Kunming Wujiaba International Airport
|Airport type||Public (defunct)|
|Elevation AMSL||1,895 m / 6,217 ft|
|Kunming Wujiaba International Airport|
Kunming Wujiaba International Airport was the main airport serving Kunming, the capital of Yunnan Province, China. It is located 4 km (2.5 mi) south-east of metropolitan Kunming. Originally built in 1923, the airport had been renovated numerous times into a modern facility before closing on 28 June 2012. It was a major hub for China Eastern Airlines, Kunming Airlines, and Lucky Air. The airport has been replaced by the new Kunming Changshui International Airport. Wujiaba Airport will soon be demolished and the land will be redeveloped.
Wujiaba is among the oldest airports in China, with a history that can be traced back over 100 years to the early 20th century, when Wujiaba Airport was first built under the supervision of local warlord, General Tang Jiyao.
During the Sino-Japanese War, which began before World War II, the airport was expanded. It was a base for operations of the legendary "Flying Tigers", the 1st American Volunteer Group (AVG), of the Chinese Air Force, led by Claire Lee Chennault before the United States entered the war. After the US entered the war in December 1941, and starting in 1942, Wujiaba Airport was the headquarters of numerous United States Army Air Forces units, including the Fourteenth Air Force and later the Tenth Air Force.
The USAAF Air Transport Command (ATC) established a major air transport facility at the airport, which connected flights west to Chabua Airfield, India, with other routes within China Jiangbei Airport (Chunking); Chengtu Air Base, and Banmaw Airport (Bhamo, Burma). After the war ended in 1945, a 1,390-mile (2,224 kilometer) route east to Clark Air Base in the Philippines was established. The route to Clark AB established a complete worldwide transport route for ATC
- Rossi, J.R. (1998). "History: The Flying Tigers – American Volunteer Group – Chinese Air Force". AVG.
- Older, Chuck (1980s). "Hammerhead Stalls and Snap Rolls". The Flying Tigers – American Volunteer Group – Chinese Air Force.
- Rossi, Lydia. "OUR FABULOUS TRIP TO CHINA". The Flying Tigers – American Volunteer Group – Chinese Air Force.
- "World Airline Directory." Flight International. 1–7 April 1998. 57. "Wujaba [sic] Airport, Kunming, 650200, Yunnan Province, China"
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- Rossi, J.R. "AVG American Volunteer Group – Flying Tigers".