Liangping Airport (Chinese: 梁平机场) (IATA: LIA, ICAO: ZULP), also called Liangshan Airport, is a former dual-use military and civil airport, located north of Liangping District (formerly called Liangshan) in Chongqing Municipality, China. It served the city of Wanxian (now Wanzhou District) from July 1988 until May 2003, when all civil flights were transferred to the new Wanzhou Wuqiao Airport.
|Airport type||Military/Former public|
|Location||Liangping District, Chongqing, China|
Originally called Liangshan, the spot where the airport sits today was originally a military base established in 1923 by the local "Lülin" (Hanzi: 绿林 - "Green Forest") militia for the Sichuanese warlord Yang Sen; it was later expanded into an airbase for flight operations of the air force under succeeding warlord Liu Xiang in 1928-1929, with earthen runways 600 meters north to south and 700 meters east to west.
With the outbreak of the War of Resistance-World War II following the 7/7 Incident in 1937, Liangshan Airfield, as it became known as, was integrated along with the warlord aircraft assets into the centralized Nationalist Air Force of China; Liangshan Airfield served in defense of Sichuan as well as launching fighters on escort missions for bombing runs against Japanese positions in Hubei. Liangshan Airfield served as a forward air force base stationing the 24th PS, 4th PG which regularly engaged attacks by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Force and Army Air Force in the Battle of Chongqing and Chengdu; one such major aerial combat engagement occurring over Liangshan on 20 May 1940 when 24 bombers raided Liangshan and was met with eight Polikarpov I-16 Type 17 fighters of the 24th PS led by Capt. Li Wenxu (all having to launch in single-file as bombing damage to the runways on night before of 19 May weren't completely fixed) and claimed seven Japanese aircraft shot down (three bombers and a reconnaissance-attack plane among confirmed kills).
After the Americans entered World War II following the Pearl Harbor attack, the airport was also used by the United States Army Air Forces Fourteenth Air Force as part of the China Defensive Campaign (1942–1945). The airport was primarily used by transport units, flying C-47 Skytrain in and out of the airport carry supplies, troops and equipment. In addition, unarmed P-38 Lightning photo-reconnaissance aircraft flew from the airport to gathering intelligence over Japanese-held areas. The airport was defended by the 426th Night Fighter Squadron, which operated P-61 Black Widow interceptors on night missions against any attacking enemy aircraft in the Chongqing area. On 06 June 1943, the new CO of the P-40E Warhawk-equipped 23rd PS, 4th PG, Captain Zhou Zhikai and his squadron had just landed back in Liangshan from a close-air support mission, and while their Warharks underwent post-flight service, the airbase was suddenly attacked by IJA aircraft; Captain Zhou "hijacked" a USAAF P-66 Vanguard that happened to be nearby and ready, and managed to takeoff in pursuit of the raiders, shooting down two Ki-48 bombers in the process and damaging another, however, the Japanese airstrike was able to destroy eleven of the P-40E that were parked. The Americans closed their facilities at the airport at the end of the war.
In the seven years of air battles over Sichuan, from 1938-1945, the Imperial Japanese raiders attacked Liangshan airbase alone with 7,855 bombs, resulting in the deaths of more than 2,000 military and civilian personnel; thousands of migrant workers worked feverishly to keep the airbase and facilities repaired, of these, 522 migrant workers died during combat operations, while over 3,000 migrant workers died in total from all causes, including cholera in those war years.
The airport was opened to commercial flights on 14 July 1988, and over the years had routes to Chengdu, Wuhan, Xi'an, Chongqing, and Guangzhou. During its heyday in 1992 and 1993, Liangping Airport was the 54th-busiest among the 110 airports that were in China at the time. The airport had its final commercial flight on May 25, 2003.
- Airport information for Liangping Airport at Great Circle Mapper.
- 挥手作别梁平机场 (in Chinese). Carnoc.com. 27 May 2003. Retrieved 9 November 2011.
- 重庆晚报 (2018-05-11). "珍贵旧照片透露梁平机场抗战地位：拱卫重庆"横拒荆楚半边天"--重庆频道--人民网". People's Daily. Retrieved 2020-11-11.
In 1928, Liu Xiang commissioned 3rd Division Commander Wang Lingji to recruit migrant workers to expand Yang Sen's former playground into Chongqing's first airport with a length of 700 meters from east to west and a width of 600 meters from north to south. 1928年，四川军阀刘湘与杨森两军冲突，下川东战事再起，最终以刘湘获胜而告结束... 他听从部下的建议，决定组建空军，构筑大西南空中防线。在获取的地盘中，梁山县(现重庆梁平县)属丘陵地貌... 地势开阔平坦，适合建机场... 北门操场原是杨森为检阅招安的“绿林军”，借用北门外农田修建的检阅场... 征调民工扩建成东西长700米，南北宽600米的重庆第一个机场... 刘湘又对梁山机场进行了续建。
- Sun, Vlasova, Harmsen, Lianggang, Evgenia, Peter. "Shanghai 1937 – Where World War II Began". SHANGHAI 1937: WHERE WORLD WAR II BEGAN. Retrieved 2020-12-31.
When did World War II begin? Shanghai 1937: Where World War II Began answers that question in a way most audiences will find surprising. Americans might say December 7, 1941… The day the Japanese Imperial Navy attacked the American naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. For Europeans, it was September 1, 1939… When Nazi Germany invaded Poland. But in China, people will tell you a different date. August 13, 1937.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
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重庆市的第一个机场... 军长刘湘，为了扩大在四川的影响力，积极筹备组建空军... 建造了重庆第一个飞机场 - 梁山军用机场。
- 红岩春秋 (2019-01-17). "Liangshan Was A Rudimentary Airfield That Suddenly Became The Chinese Air Force Front Line Defense In The Battle Over Chongqing". Retrieved 2020-11-11.
- Chen, C. Peter (2016). "Zhou Zhikai". WW2DB. Retrieved 2021-01-05.
Captain Zhou Zhikai who had just landed in a P-40E fighter after a ground support mission, commandeered a P-66 Vanguard fighter belonging to US Army Air Forces parked nearby and shot down two Ki-48 aircraft and damaged another. Zhou was later awarded the Order of Blue Sky and White Sun for this action.
- Cheung, 2015, p. 79. The normally effective Chinese air-raid early-warning network had on this occasion failed to detect the incoming raid of IJAAF Ki-48s and Ki-43s, possibly because they were misidentified as returning CAF Lockheed A-29 Hudsons escorted by P-66 Vanguards.
- "重庆梁山机场 曾培养"中国太空第一人"-搜狐旅游". 搜狐 SOHU. Sohu. 2010-03-08. Retrieved 2020-11-11.
- Cheung, Raymond. Osprey Aircraft of the Aces 126: Aces of the Republic of China Air Force. Oxford: Osprey Publishing, 2015. ISBN 978 14728 05614.
- Maurer, Maurer. Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama: Office of Air Force History, 1983. ISBN 0-89201-092-4
- 徐 (Xú), 露梅 (Lùméi). 隕落 (Fallen): 682位空军英烈的生死档案 - 抗战空军英烈档案大解密 (A Decryption of 682 Air Force Heroes of The War of Resistance-WWII and Their Martyrdom) 东城区, 北京， 中国: 团结出版社, 2016. ISBN 978-7-5126-4433-5.
- Airfields & Seaplane Anchorages China
- USAFHRA Document Search - Liangshan