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Kunming Airfield

Type   68 Air Base
Historical Name of Location   Kunming, Yunnan, China
Coordinates   24.992222000, 102.743333000


ww2dbaseThe Kunming Airfield in southern China was originally built in 1923, ordered by regional warlord Tang Jiyao. In 1937, the Central Aviation Academy was relocated from Jianqiao Airfield in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China to Kunming due to the outbreak of WW2. In 1941, it became the main base for the 1st American Volunteer Group "Flying Tigers" (and later AVG's successor unit US 23rd Fighter Group, after the official US entry into the war), and as the war progressed several major US formations established headquarters at Kunming Airfield. It was also a hub for military and supply flights to and from India and Burma. Shortly after the war, the US Air Transport Command established an air route from Kunming Airfield to Clark Air Base in the Philippine Islands, which completed worldwide transport route for the ATC. Communist Chinese authorities later converted the airfield into the civilian Kunming Wujiaba International Airport, which served the region until 2012 when it was replaced by the new Kunming Changshui International Airport.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia

Last Major Update: May 2014

Kunming Airfield Interactive Map


Chinese SB-2 bomber, Kunming, China, date unknownChinese Hawk III fighters at Kunming, Yunnan Province, China, circa 1940s
See all 13 photographs of Kunming Airfield

Kunming Airfield Timeline

28 Jul 1937 The Central Aviation Academy was ordered to relocate from Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China to Kunming Airfield, Kunming, Yunnan Province, China.
1 Apr 1938 Chiang Kaishek took personal command of the Chinese Central Aviation Academy at Kunming Airfield, Kunming, Yunnan Province, China, relieving Lieutenant General Chen Qingyun.
18 Dec 1941 The 1st and 2nd Squadrons of the American Volunteer Group was transferred to Kunming, Yunnan, China.
23 Dec 1941 Three CW-21 fighters crashed in poor weather while being ferried from Rangoon, Burma to Kunming, China.
5 Feb 1945 The first Allied supply convoy from Ledo, India to successfully cross the Burmese-Chinese border on 29 Jan 1945 arrived in Kunming Airfield, Yunnan Province, China.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Christopher M Pappas says:
18 Dec 2021 09:21:57 AM

Gus c pappas chicago 2-7-24
2. Commenter identity confirmed Alan Chanter says:
18 Jan 2022 08:09:11 AM

Kunming Airfield was the scene of a tragic accident on 23 December 1947. A Belgian Short Stirling V transport registered to Air Transport carrying missionaries crashed on take-off as a result of a multiple failure of three of its four engines. Of the 30 people aboard, 25 were killed including the four crew.

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Modern Day Location
WW2-Era Place Name Kunming, Yunnan, China
Lat/Long 24.9922, 102.7433
Kunming Airfield Photo Gallery
Chinese SB-2 bomber, Kunming, China, date unknownChinese Hawk III fighters at Kunming, Yunnan Province, China, circa 1940s
See all 13 photographs of Kunming Airfield

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