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First Korean pilot Ahn Chang-nam’s medal to be on permanent display

First Korean pilot Ahn Chang-nam’s medal to be on permanent display

Posted February. 24, 2023 07:54,   

Updated February. 24, 2023 07:54


The medal awarded to Ahn Chang-nam, the first Korean pilot and independence fighter who flew over the Korean peninsula, will be permanently exhibited at the Air Force Academy in Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province.

The Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs released a statement on Thursday, stating that Minister Park Min-sik passed on the medal at the Ahn Jung-geun Hall and gave a special lecture on the role of veterans in the future of the Republic of Korea to the cadets. Mr. Ahn obtained a third-class aviator’s license just three months after entering Okuri Flight School in Tokyo in 1920 and subsequently obtained a second-class aviator’s license in May 1921. In December 1922, Mr. Ahn flew over the Korean Peninsula for the first time in a single-engine biplane, “Geumgang-ho.” He also actively participated in Korea’s independence fight against Japan by training aviators of an independence army with the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea.

Mr. Ahn became a principal of the Chinese Sanseo Flight School in 1926. He died in a crash in 1930 due to mechanical failure during flight training. The government awarded the Patriotic Order of Merit for National Foundation to Mr. Ahn in 2001.

However, the medal has been kept by the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs until now as none of his descendants has been found. “We’ve decided to pass on the medal to provide an opportunity for cadets to reflect on the life of Mr. Ahn, which was the life of sacrifice, dedication, and commitment to national independence,” the ministry stated. The medal will be on permanent display at the Air Force Museum.

Sang-Ho Yun ysh1005@donga.com