Historical Marker Honoring World War II Hero to Be Unveiled

Join us on Wednesday, October 14 at 10 a.m. at the corner of Monroe and Ash Streets in Commerce, Texas for the Lt. Gen. Claire Lee Chennault and the Flying Tigers Memorial Dedication.

A ceremony honoring Lt. General Claire Lee Chennault and the Flying Tigers American Volunteer Group will take place on Oct. 14 at 10 a.m. at Chennault’s birthplace, 1509 Monroe Street in Commerce, Texas. A new historical marker in Mandarin will be unveiled at that time. The Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp, Texas A&M University-Commerce President Dan Jones, Commerce Mayor John Ballotti and Chennault’s granddaughter, Nell Calloway, are scheduled to attend the event.

This marker will be a way to celebrate this Commerce native’s heroic actions during WWII and his assistance to the people of China in the legendary fight to defend their homeland.

“I am extraordinarily proud of the role that Texas A&M University-Commerce has played in ensuring that the legacy of this native son of Commerce is properly recognized and celebrated,” said President Jones.

A marker in English was placed at this location in 1968; the new marker in Mandarin translates the original to make it accessible to a wider international audience. This historical marker in Mandarin is the first of its kind in the state of Texas.

Chennault was the organizer and commander of the famous “Flying Tigers” of the China–Burma–India theater in WWII. An outstanding air strategist, Chennault had retired from a pioneer flying career when, in 1937, he was asked by Gen. Chaing Kai-Shek to help China develop an air force to combat threatening raids by Japan.

The heroic action of Chennault and the Flying Tigers is believed to have saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of Chinese during the Japanese invasion of China.