Military History Books
by Harold A. Skaarup   
Warplanes of the Second World War preserved in China

Warplanes of the Second World War preserved in China

The aim of this website is to locate, identify and document Warplanes from the Second World War preserved in China.  Many contributors have assisted in the hunt for these aircraft to provide and update the data on this website.  Photos are as credited.  Any errors found here are by the author, and any additions, corrections or amendments to this list of Warplane Survivors of the Second World War in China would be most welcome and may be e-mailed to the author at 

Data current to 9 Feb 2021.

 (David Piedra Photo)

Tupolev Tu-2, Dandong, China.  This location is officially named Memorial of the War to Resist American Aggression and Aid Korea.  The markings appear to be original and this Tu-2 in North Korean markings, may have been flown by PLAAF crews.

Re-organised National Government of China

During the Second Sino-Japanese War, Japan advanced from its bases in Manchuria to occupy much of East and Central China.  Several Japanese puppet states were organized in areas occupied by the Japanese Army, including the Provisional Government of the Republic of China at Beijing, which was formed in 1937, and the Reformed Government of the Republic of China at Nanjing, which was formed in 1938.  These governments were merged into the Reorganized National Government of China at Nanjing on 29 March 1940.  Wang Jingwei became head of state.  The government was to be run along the same lines as the Nationalist regime and adopted its symbols.

The Nanjing Government had no real power; its main role was to act as a propaganda tool for the Japanese.  The Nanjing Government concluded agreements with Japan and Manchukuo, authorising Japanese occupation of China and recognising the independence of Manchukuo under Japanese protection.  The Nanjing Government signed the Anti-Comintern Pact of 1941 and declared war on the United States and the United Kingdom on 9 January 1943.

The government had a strained relationship with the Japanese from the beginning.  Wang’s insistence on his regime being the true Nationalist government of China and in replicating all the symbols of the Kuomintang led to frequent conflicts with the Japanese, the most prominent being the issue of the regime’s flag, which was identical to that of the Republic of China.

The worsening situation for Japan from 1943 onwards meant that the Nanking Army was given a more substantial role in the defence of occupied China than the Japanese had initially envisaged.  The army was almost continuously employed against the communist New Fourth Army.

Wang Jingwei died on 10 November 1944, and was succeeded by his deputy, Chen Gongbo.  Chen had little influence; the real power behind the regime was Zhou Fohai, the mayor of Shanghai.  Wang’s death dispelled what little legitimacy the regime had.  The state stuttered on for another year and continued the display and show of a fascist regime.

On 9 September 1945, following the defeat of Japan, the area was surrendered to General He Yingqin, a nationalist general loyal to Chiang Kai-shek.  The Nanking Army generals quickly declared their alliance to the Generalissimo, and were subsequently ordered to resist Communist attempts to fill the vacuum left by the Japanese surrender.  Chen Gongbo was tried and executed in 1946.

Aviation Museums in China

Oriental Green Boat Park, 6,888, Hu-Qing-Ping Expressway, Anzhuang, Shanghai, 201713. 

Beijing Aviation Museum/Beihang University (BUAA), Xue Yuan Road No. 37, Hai Dian District, Beijing, 100083.

China Civil Aviation Museum, Zhongguo Minhang Bowuguan, Xiedao, Beijing.

Chinese People`s Revolution Military Museum, No. 9, Fuxing Road, Haldian District, Beijing.   (Tachikawa Ki-36 (103/2)).

Chinese Space Museum, South Dahongmen Road, Box No. 1, Beijing Fengtai District, Beijing 100076.

Qingdao Naval Museum, 8 Laiyang Road, Shi Nan District, Hui Quan Bay Area (Lu Xun Park), Qingdao, Shandong Province, 266071.

Museum and the Exhibition Hall of Shanghai Aerospace, No. 22 Caoxi Road, Caohejing High-Tech Area, Shanghai.  

Xinjiang Army Reclamation Museum, Shihezi.

The China Aviation Museum also known as the Datangshan Aviation Museum is located 40 km north of Beijing, China.  Part of the museum is located inside a cave in the side of Datangshan Mountain.  The cavern was originally part of the tunnels and underground bunker system of Shahezhen Air Force Base, Datangshan, Xiaotangshan, Chang Ping County, Beijing.

 (Calflier001 Photo)

 (Allen Watkin Photo)

Curtiss C-46 Commando.

de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito

Fairchild PT-19 trainer

Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik.

 (danmairen Photo)

 (Triple-green Photos)

Ilyushin Il-10, 33.  From 1950 to 1952, 254 Il-10 attackers were imported, used by assault aviation divisions of PLAAF. They were used in combat during conflict with Taiwan on border islands in January 1955. The last 103 IL-10's retired in 1972.

 (Flavio Mucia (AMB Brescia) Photo)

Ilyushin Il-10, 1219.

 (Calflier001 Photo)

Kawasaki Ki-48, 308.


Douglas C-47 Skytrain.

 (G B NZ Photo)

Douglas DC-3, 311.

 ( Photo)

Lisonov Li-2, 4766.

 ( Photo)

 (G B NZ Photos)

Lisonov Li-2, 8205, licence-built Soviet version of the Douglas DC-3, originally designated PS-84.

Mitsubishi A6M Zero (Serial No. unknown), the Museum Dirgantara Mandala in Yogyakarta.

 (Morio Photo)

 (Tyg728 Photo)

North American P-51D-25NA Mustang (Serial No. 44-73920).  The Chinese Nationalist Air Force obtained the P-51 during the late Sino-Japanese War to fight against the Japanese.  After the war, Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalist government used the fighters against insurgent Communist forces.  The Nationalists retreated to Taiwan in 1949.  Pilots supporting Chiang brought most of the Mustangs with them, where the aircraft became part of the island's defence arsenal.  The Communist Chinese captured 39 P-51s from the Nationalists while they were retreating to Taiwan.  Military Museum of the Chinese People's Revolution, Beijing.

North American P-51K-10NT Mustang (Serial No. 44-12458), People's Liberation Army Air Force Museum, Changping. 

 (Triple-green Photos)

Polikarpov I-16, 5806.

Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk. XVIe (Serial No. TE330.  Displayed at the China Aviation Museum, Datangshan.  This aircraft was acquired in 2008 from New Zealand where it underwent restoration to static display condition by the Subritzky family of North Shore and was then sold to China via auction.

 (Morio Photo)

Tachikawa Ki-55

 (Max Smith Photo)

 (Calflier001 Photo)

 (Flavio Mucia (AMB Brescia) Photos)

Tupolev Tu-2, 20.

 (G B NZ Photo)

 (Triple-green Photos)

Tupolev Tu-2 (2nd of 2).

 ( Photo)

 (Alan Watkin Photo)

 (Calflier001 Photo)

Tupolev Tu-4 (Serial No. 4114), c/n 2806501), ex-KJ-1 AEWC, in storage.

 (Triple-green Photo)

 (Flavio Mucia (AMB Brescia) Photo)

 (Calflier001 Photos)

Tupolev Tu-4 (Serial No. 4134), c/n 2205008.

 (Marcus Smith Photo)

Northrop P-61B-15NO Black Widopw (Serial No. 42-39715), c/n 1234.  This aircraft is on static display inside the Beijing Air and Space Museum (BASM) at Beihang University (BUAA) in Beijing, China.  This aircraft was manufactured by Northrop Aircraft, Hawthorne CA and accepted by the USAAF on 5 Feb 1945.  It was sent to Newark, New Jersey for deployment on 16 Feb 1945 and departed the USA on 26 Feb 1945.  It was then assigned to the Tenth Air Force, China Burma India Theater of Operations, 427th NFS, on 3 March 1945.  At the end of the war the Communist Chinese came to one of the forward airfields in Sichuan Province and ordered the Americans out, but instructed them to leave their aircraft.  It has been reported that there had been three P-61s taken and sometime later the Chinese wrecked two of them.  P-61B-15NO c/n 1234 was stricken by the USAAF on 31 December 1945.  P-61B-15NO c/n 1234 was turned over to the Chengdu Institute of Aeronautical Engineering in 1947.  When the Institute moved to its present location, it did not take this aircraft with them, instead shipping it to BUAA (then called the Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics) in 1954 and placed on outside display with other aircraft as part of a museum.  Sometime in 2008–2009 the museum closed and the display aircraft were moved to a parking lot approximately 200 metres south.  The outer wing sections of P-61B-15NO c/n 1234 were removed during this transfer.   By April 2013 the P-61 had been reassembled and repainted in the new BASM building with other aircraft that were previously outside.