15 November, 2023
Chiang Mai and Lamphun
World War Two History Excursion to Chiang Mai and Lamphun with introduction by Professor Jack Eisner
About our lecturer:
Jack Eisner is a retired university lecturer in English, who has lived in Chiang Mai since 1998. He taught at Payap University and Chiang Mai University before retiring from teaching in 2013. Since 2007, as a labor of personal interest, Jack has been doing research, writing and lecturing on the subject of the World War II pursuit fighter unit of the Republic of China Air Force, officially named the American Volunteer Group (1941-1942), but more commonly known by the moniker the Flying Tigers.
Schedule for Day Excursion:
- 8:30 Meet promptly at Lifelong Learning Payap Center for an orientation and introduction to the history and places that will be visited on this Northern Thailand World War II Excursion, by Aj. Jack Eisner. (See Aj. Jack’s brief bio below.)
- 9:45 Depart the Center by van to visit the Tango Squadron Air Museum at the Chiang Mai Airport, Airforce Base, Wing 41. The museum hangar sits on the site, more or less, of the WWII-era airfield, which was attacked by a flight of 6 Flying Tigers on March 24, 1942. At the museum there are numerous exhibits describing American contributions to the China-India-Burma Theater during World War 2. Special exhibits of vintage planes and equipment remembering the famous “Flying Tigers” are part of this Museum.
- 11:15 Depart Tango Squadron for Wat Muen San, in the Wulai area of Chiang Mai. During World War II, Wat Muen San became a field hospital of the Imperial Japanese army where they treated wounded soldiers. It was also a POW compound for a group of British soldiers captured in Singapore or Malaya. There is a Japanese-Thai memorial site at the temple where a service takes place every August 15th. Inside the temple compound museum there are various types of equipment and tools, as well as a large display of Japanese military weapons.
- 12:15 Leave from Wat Muen San for lunch at a Thai Restaurant.
- 13:30 Transfer to the Black Steel Bridge at Ban Sankhayom, Lamphun.
- 14:15 Arrive at the Black Steel Bridge, known in Thai as the “Saphan Dum” in Muang Lamphun. The bridge is used to cross the San River. During World War II, the Allied forces attempted to disrupt the supply lines and support of the Japanese army. This black bridge bears the strafing marks of bullets fired from Allied airplanes.
- 14:45 Depart Black Bridge for Ban Kat. En route to Ban Kat we will pass the rice field where Flying Tigers Squadron Leader and “Ace” Jack Newkirk was killed in the crash of his P-40 on March 24, 1942. His gravesite is still preserved, although there is no obvious marker. This is a dramatic story, in part because Newkirk was already an acclaimed hero in the USA at the time of his crash.
- 16:00 Arrive at the Japanese memorial, Ban Kat. In the Spring of 1944 Baan Kat, which was located on the Imperial Japanese Army Central Route to and from Burma, became a major stop for retreating Japanese soldiers, because of a Japanese medical facility there. The soldiers were making their way to the railhead at Chiang Mai via Sanpatong. However, thousands died at Ban Kat.
- 16:30 Leave Ban Kat and return to Chiang Mai
- 17:30 Arrive at LLL Center (depending upon traffic)
Minimum number of participants is eight
The Excursion is Inclusive of:
- Faculty Lecturer
- Local guide to escort group
- Admission fees
- Lunch with drinking water
- Drinking water on tour
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