MONROE, La. — China has given solid gold medals to five surviving members of the Flying Tigers, a volunteer fighter group formed in China before the United States entered World War II.

"The Flying Tigers is the trailblazer of China-U.S. cooperation," Li Qiangmin, consul general of the People's Republic of China in Houston, told people gathered Saturday at the Chennault Aviation & Military Museum in Monroe. "With the blood we shed together, we achieved the victory against Japan and built the new world order, which aimed to bring peace and prosperity to all mankind."

Richard Sherman, Frank Burnside and J.V. Vineyard were able to attend the ceremony, The News-Star reported. Charles Baisden's son, Daniel Baisden, and Carl Kice Brown's daughter, Becky Brown-Hogan, accepted medals for their fathers.

Charlie Yao, president and CEO of Yuhuang Chemical Co., gave the museum $10,000.

Li, Yao, Wang Jinshu, chairman of Shandong Yuhuang Chemical Co. Ltd. and U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham presented the medals.

The ceremony also opened "Way of a Fighter," an exhibit based on the 1949 memoir by Gen. Claire Lee Chennault, who created the group while a civilian adviser to the nationalist Chinese government.

The museum reverted to the parish this year after being part of the secretary of state's museum network for more than a decade.

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