A World War II Story That China Would Like You to Hear

On May 6, 1944, U.S. army pilot Glen Beneda of the Flying Tigers was shot at by Japanese fighters while flying a combat mission over China. His plane caught fire, he ejected, and minutes later he landed in a rice paddy, frightening a group of Chinese workers doing manual labor. Injured and fearing for his life, Beneda managed to communicate using a pamphlet of simple translated phrases, persuaded the farmers that he was an American fighting the Japanese invasion, and was thereafter hidden in local homes. The farmers fed him, carried him many miles on a stretcher, and turned him over to anti-Japanese guerrillas, who undertook an even more dangerous journey: braving Japanese lines and an intense firefight, they got him to a Chinese army headquarters. He met military commander Li Zongren, who later became president of China, and was sent back to America with a Japanese pistol and a photograph as a parting gift.

History, Politics