VIDEO: ‘China Before Mao’ exhibit adds historical context

Deana Smith

Refreshments were served just outside the Garvey Fine Arts Center to celebrate the opening of their new exhibit Feb. 8.

A sizable crowd of patrons, including many veterans, came to see the exhibit: “China Before Mao: Through the lens of a Flying Tigers Photographer.” It features a large collection of photographs and memorabilia accumulated between 1943 and 1945. Most of these keepsakes were the work of the late Bill Dibble, and include a variety of noteworthy items.

Among them are color photographs taken by William Dibble .

“Color film was developed by Kodak for the military to help with recon,” said Jan Bychinski, a museum employee. “That is why many of the first color photographs are army related.”

A section of the museum is dedicated to documenting “The Hump,” which is the name of the dangerous plane route that was used as an air bridge for supplies during the war.

Many of the Flying Tigers flew this dangerous route.

“The planes had no radar flying over the some of the highest mountains in the world and the engines sometimes froze up,” said Mary Dibble.

This exhibit is headed to the Flying Tigers Museum in Kissimmee, Fla. after its stay in Garvey, which will end after March 22.