Descendants of Doolittle Raiders visit Quzhou, celebrate China-US friendship

时间:2024-04-20 17:17:24 | 来源 | 责任编辑:孟君君


Descendants of the Doolittle Raiders visited Quzhou, Zhejiang province, from Tuesday to Thursday to commemorate a rescue of their downed fathers in an emergency landing in 1942.

During the trip, a delegation of the descendants, including Susan Ozark, daughter of Lt. Charles Ozark, William Ross Comptonberg and George Duncan Comptonberg, Lieutenant Rodney R. Wilder's two grandsons, participated in cultural exchange activities. They visited historical sites and attended memorial ceremonies to remember their forebears and express their gratitude to the bravery and kindness of the Quzhou people.

Susan Ozark (L), daughter of Doolittle Raider Charles Ozark, hugs with Liao Mingfa, son of Liao Shiyuan, on April 17, 2024. In 1942, Quzhou villager Liao Shiyuan rescued and took care of the injured Charles Ozark after the Doolittle Raid in 1942. [Photo/Xinhua]

In 1942, following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. launched the Doolittle Raid, the first air raid to strike the Japanese main islands. After bombing Tokyo and other Japanese cities, the pilots faced fuel shortages and bad weather. Many were forced to eject over the Chinese provinces of Jiangxi, Zhejiang, Anhui, and Fujian.

Local Chinese, upon learning of the pilots' mission, launched a massive rescue operation. Despite significant risks, they helped 64 of the 80 airmen escape to safety, many of whom finding refuge in Quzhou. This act of bravery and kindness was a focal point of the visit.

A major part of the visit was centered on the Doolittle Raid Rescue Memorial Museum in Quzhou, which opened in 2018. The museum features an extensive collection of exhibits related to the raid, including photographs, aircraft debris, and personal accounts, offering visitors a comprehensive view of the military operation and the rescue.

Descendants of Doolittle Raiders visit the Jiangshan City Archives in Quzhou, Zhejiang province, on April 16, 2024. [Photo/Xinhua]

The delegation also visited Fangyuan village, where the Comptonberg brothers unveiled a commemorative monument at their grandfather’s parachute landing site. In Longtoudian village, Susan Ozark visited the house where her father was sheltered, exchanging gifts with the descendants of those who helped him.

They also attended a donation ceremony at the Jiangshan City Archives, and donated historical documents, wartime reports, and magazines from 1942 that covered the raid to the archive.