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Flying the Hump

July 31, 2016 CHUNG Flying the Hump

On May 21, 2015 The Elephant Story published a blog entitled Elephants Help Allies Fly the Hump in W.W. II. Beginning August 15, there will be a re-enactment of an historic C47 flight from Australia to China. Our friend, Tom Claytor, will be one of 4 pilots on the Mandalay/Kunming leg of the flight.

Tom, a famous bush pilot in Africa and Southeast Asia, Thai movie star and an accomplished horse and elephant polo player is shown below. He and his King Power team defeated The Elephant Story in the 2016 King's Cup finals in Bangkok to take the King's Cup.

The details of the commemorative flight are shown below as well as a reference that can enable you to follow the events which will begin in Australia on August 15 and terminate in Guilin, China eight days later. We wish Tom all the best and expect to hear many exciting stories when we next meet.

15-22 August 2016
Commemorative Flight from Australia through Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar across the Himalayas to China
The Flight is being conducted to honor those men who served to bring victory and peace, and to the friendships between nations today that are charged with keeping the peace.
A C47 named "Buzz Buggy" painted in D-Day Invasion Colors and owned by the Flying Tigers Organization. Upon arrival in China, the aircraft will be repainted with CBI (China-Burma-India) markings on one side and CNAC (China National Aviation Corporation) markings on the other side.

The Aircraft will be flown VFR via Darwin, Bali, Jakarta, Johor, U-Taphao, Chiangmai, Mandalay, Kunming, Guilin.
DAY 1 - Bathurst (YBTH) - Longreach / 666NM (4.8hr)
DAY 2 - Longreach (YLRE) - Darwin / 1,018NM (7.3hr)
DAY 3 - Darwin (YPDN) - Bali / 959NM (6.9hr)
DAY 4 - Bali (WADD) - Johor / 1,002NM (7.2hr)
DAY 5 - Johor (WMKJ) - Utaphao / 654NM (4.7hr)
DAY 6 - Utaphao (VTBU) - Mandalay / 627NM (4.6hr)
DAY 7 - Mandalay (VYMD) - Kunming / 442NM (3.2hr)
DAY 8 - Kunming (ZPPP) - Guilin (ZGKL) / 371NM (2.7hr)

TOTAL DISTANCE - 5,658NM (40.5hr)
See all the details

In the latter part of July 1942, General Chennault sent the China National Aviation Corporation (CNAC) a message, urging them to adopt an insignia and put it on all their planes to help the 14th Air Force pilots in identification. Captain Sharp called in Z.M. WongY.Y. Zee and W.C. McDonald, Jr. and directed them to get this job done immediately. After considerable discussion CHUNG was born. They painted the CHUNG on all the aircraft in short order and sent General Chennault photographs of the planes with this character on them.

This symbol saved many from being shot down by Allied pilots and also played a vital role in keeping the CNAC Association together.

CHUNG is a Chinese character which means "in the middle of" or "the center," or, as applied to our CNAC aircraft, "MIDDLE KINGDOM SPACE MACHINE FAMILY."

The CHUNG has adorned many CNAC aircraft: DC-3's, C-47's, C-53's, C-46's and DC-4's. Its real claim to fame is the thousands of flights it made with precious cargo over the Himalayas. It has also flown the Pacific and around the world and is still "in the center" of the hearts of CNAC people.

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