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“A Great Friend – Photo Exhibition on General Stilwell’s Life” General Stilwell in Chongqing Through the Lens

“A Great Friend – Photo Exhibition on General Stilwell’s Life”

General Stilwell in Chongqing Through the Lens



By Liu Dingrui and Tang Anbing/The World and Chongqing


On August 8, “A Great Friend – Photo Exhibition on General Stilwell’s Life” commenced at the Chongqing Stilwell Museum as part of the events commemorating the 140th birth anniversary of General Stilwell.

General Stilwell’s Grandson Helping Prepare the Photo Exhibition

The 192 photos and more than 60 items on display vividly show General Stilwell’s life and military career, especially his love for traditional Chinese culture and the Chinese people during his stay in China.

Earlier, John Easterbrook, grandson of General Stilwell, donated some of the precious photos of General Stilwell’s work and life to the Chongqing Stilwell Museum, as well as a copy of the letter written by the U.S. Department of Defense to Mrs. Stilwell after he passed away. This year, the Chongqing Stilwell Museum, with the assistance of John Easterbrook, curated and launched this photo exhibition.

In addition to the preface, the exhibition is divided into three parts. The first part talks about Stilwell’s young years and his first four visits to China. The second part presents the stories of Stilwell, who came to China during World War II as the Chief of Staff to the Allied China Theater and assisted in commanding the operations in the China-Burma-India Theater. The third part reviews Stilwell’s experience after his return to the United States and the commemorating activities held by the Chinese and American people after he passed away.


No. 63 Jialing New Road, a Witness to General Stilwell’s Stories in Chongqing

Shortly after the Pearl Harbor Incident, the World Anti-Fascist Alliance was formed, and the Command of Allied Forces, China Theater was established in Chongqing. In March 1942, Stilwell was appointed Chief of Staff of the Allied China Theater, Supreme Commander of U.S. Forces in the China-Burma-India Theater, and U.S. Representative to the Allied War Committee in the China-Burma-India Theater.

Upon his arrival in Chongqing, Stilwell lived and worked at what is now No. 63 Jialing New Road until October 1944. Many of the photos in this exhibition record Stilwell’s years of fighting side by side with the Chinese people in Chongqing.

Time magazine once described General Stilwell as a staunch admirer of China and a learner of Chinese culture, a true “China Expert”. On the evening of March 9, 1942, Chiang Kai-shek and Soong Mei-ling hosted a banquet at the Huangshan Residence in honor of Stilwell. At the reception, Stilwell answered the toast in Chinese and conveyed President Roosevelt’s message again.

At the first press conference announcing his appointment, he said that trusting “my troops,” the Chinese army, “the happiest day of our lives will be the day when the Chinese and American troops enter Tokyo together.”

In October 1943, Stilwell led the China-U.S. Allied Forces in a counteroffensive in northern Burma. As the Chief of Staff to the Theater and Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. military, Stilwell often flew to and from Chongqing, India and Burma to deal with theater affairs. His private plane, a C-47, was known as “Uncle Joe’s chariot.” Chatting with fellow passengers on the plane also became rare leisure time for Stilwell.


左 1943年,史迪威与盟军东南亚最高司令路易斯·蒙巴顿勋爵在其重庆司令部门口交谈。

右 1943年,史迪威与布里恩·萨默维尔将军在其重庆司令部阶梯上合影。



 “I would like to see the places described in Red Star Over China.”

During his stay in China, General Stilwell also helped China build highways and promoted close cooperation between the U.S. military and the Communist Party of China. Significant contributions were made to the final victory of the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War. Visitors can also relate to those years from this photo exhibition.

On September 13, 1944, Stilwell received two representatives of the CPC in Chongqing. They conveyed to Stilwell the message from Commander-in-Chief Zhu De, “If we can get the necessary equipment, the CPC army is willing to shoulder important tasks in cooperation with the Allies.”Stilwell happily wrote down Zhu De’s words on a piece of paper, saying, “We are currently working in this direction.” They also said that General Stilwell was welcome to Yan’an, to which Stilwell replied, “I would like to see the places described by my friend Edgar Snow in Red Star Over China. This time I return from Guilin, I must go to Yan’an. I am the Commander-in-Chief of the Vanguard. How can I perform without going to the front line?”

Stilwell was instrumental in the founding of Soong Ching-ling’s China Defense League and transported a large number of medical supplies to Yan’an by U.S. military aircraft. Soong Ching-ling and Stilwell forged a deep friendship. In October 1944, Stilwell received an order of recall to return to the U.S., and before leaving Chongqing, Stilwell rushed to Soong Ching-Ling’s Mansion to bid farewell. Soong Ching-ling and Stilwell sat silently in the living room for a long time. Before leaving, Soong picked up a pot of blooming white roses in the corridor and handed it to Stilwell. “Take it. This is my gift to your wife: a pot of Chinese white roses. It can also grow in the United States.” Stilwell died of stomach cancer in San Francisco on October 12, 1946.

The “A Great Friend – Photo Exhibition on General Stilwell’s Life” is a permanent exhibition open to the public at the Chongqing Stilwell Museum.


Translation/Gao Xiang and Xiong Lingsong

文/本刊记者 刘丁睿  图/本刊记者 唐安冰















史迪威对宋庆龄创建的保盟提供了有力帮助,曾通过美国军用飞机将大量医疗物品运往延安。宋庆龄和史迪威结下了深厚的友谊。1944年10月,史迪威收到回国调令,离开重庆前,史迪威赶往宋庆龄公馆道别。宋庆龄和史迪威在会客厅里默默地坐了好一阵。临行时,宋庆龄端起放在走廊上的一盆盛开的白玫瑰花,递给史迪威:“带上它,这是我给你夫人的赠礼,一盆中国的白玫瑰,它也能在美国生长下去。” 1946年10月12日,史迪威因患胃癌在旧金山逝世。










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