The airport, formerly named Shuangguisi Airport, opened in capacity as an auxiliary military airfield in 1938 during the Second Sino-Japanese War/World War II. At the time, it possessed only earth surface for small biplanes to take off and touch down, where the Republic of China Air Force Polikarpov I-15 fighters of the 5th Pursuit Group were based for aerial defense of the Chengdu area against Imperial Japanese bomber raids; this following the Chinese retreat from Wuhan to Chongqing as the new provisional capital in aftermath of the Battle of Wuhan against the Imperial Japanese onslaught. Civilian targets were indiscriminately bombed, and ace fighter pilot of the Chinese Air Force Major Wong Sun-shui and Lieutenant Lin Heng (younger brother of renown architect and poet Lin Huiyin) flying in their I-15 fighter planes were both killed near Shuangliu air base as a result of battling against the world's best fighter aircraft of the time, the A6M "Zero" (Reisen) fighter, in defense of Chengdu on 14 March 1941.
During World War II, the airport was known as Shwangliu (Shuangliu) Airfield and was later used by the United States Army Air Forces Fourteenth Air Force as part of the China Defensive Campaign (1942–1945). It was used as a fighter base by the 33d Fighter Group, which flew P-47 Thunderbolt fighter-bombers from the airport in 1944 to support Chinese ground forces, and also by reconnaissance units that operated camera-equipped P-38 Lightnings that located Japanese forces and provided intelligence to the fighter-bombers. The Americans closed their facilities at Shwangliu Airfield at the end of August 1945.
On December 12, 1956, the Shuangguisi Airport was put under civil aviation, which was then formally listed as a civil aviation airport and renamed Chengdu Shuangliu Airport. In 1957, the flights of Chengdu civil aviation were shifted to Shuangliu Airport from Guanghan Airport. The flight courses from Chengdu were thus opened to various cities within China including Beijing, Taiyuan, Xi'an, Chongqing, Kunming, Guiyang]], Nanchong, etc. The airport went through several earlier expansions in 1959, 1967, 1983 and 1991 respectively.
References[edit | edit source]
- Maurer, Maurer. Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama: Office of Air Force History, 1983. ISBN 0-89201-092-4
- USAFHRA document search - Shwangliu
- Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport
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