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Thursday, 10 January 2013 17:00

011013n4A reception for Theodore “Teddy” Chang was held at Pacific Plaza in San Leandro to celebrate Chang’s memoir of his experiences in the field of aviation.

Family and friends had read his memoir and wanted to honor him as a World War II hero. Many of these friends had no idea of the history Chang had lived. They knew him as a friendly longtime neighbor and condo association member where Chang has resided for over 20 years.

Chang’s career in aviation began with his induction into the Chinese Air Force Academy in 1943 where he learned to fly airplanes constructed out of wood and canvas.

He later flew with the Flying Tigers during World War II, completing 300 missions over “The Hump,” extremely dangerous flights but a vital supply route over the Himalayas.

Many lives were lost and 600 planes failed to successfully negotiate the unpredictable weather and air currents over the mountains.

Later, Chang flew with Air America during the Vietnam War. After the war he flew with The Manchurian Jet, the first commercial jet to fly out of the Far East with scheduled stops in Tokyo, Taiwan, Manila and Hong Kong.

During the reception luncheon, friends of this unassuming friendly neighbor were able to salute this hero of aviation history.

CAPTION: Teddy Chang learned to fly in China and flew many missions in World War II with the Flying Tigers on supply missions over the Himalayas.

 

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