In 1945, one hundred young Chinese officers were specially selected for a confidential mission and sent on planes to the U.S. with no knowledge of their assignment’s purpose. The “FAB-100” were well educated, fluent in English, familiar with American military doctrine, highly trained, and had seen heavy combat. They were divided into two groups containing 50 members each. Both groups left out of the city of Kunming in the Yunnan province only two months apart; the first leaving in April and the second in June. Their voyage to the U.S. – which passed through, Burma, India, Saudi Arabia, Cairo, Libya, Casablanca, the Azores, and Newfoundland – was so secretive that they made no refueling stops to avoid the Axis agents’ eyes, flew through weather that would have grounded most aircraft, and arrived in New York without the U.S. generals there knowing they were coming. After the two groups of fifty arrived in New York and California, the highly skilled “Chinese Training Detachment” worked as interpreters and instructors in classrooms, labs, shops, and in the air, teaching aviation mechanics, bombardiers, meteorologists, navigators, pilots, and radio mechanics. While many of the FAB-100 were stationed at Bergstrom Army Air Field in Austin, TX, members of the special task force eventually served at most major air bases in the South, Midwest, and West. In December 1945, the FAB-100 were disbanded and 56 of the officers chose to stay in the U.S., many receiving advanced degrees. In 1945, President Truman awarded 22 of the officers with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for their “meritorious service” to the U.S. against the enemy, although it took over forty years for many to receive their awards. To this day, the original secret mission of the FAB-100 remains unknown. The above photo shows the second half of FAB-100 after they arrived in Bakersfield, CA.