THE WARBIRD'S FORUM
Here's Frank Losonsky, one of three known Flying Tigers survivors, inspecting a late-model P-40 painted up to resemble the Tomahawk flown by Charlie Bond during the seven months the American Volunteer Group flew and fought over Burma, Thailand, and southwestern China. Also present was John Ma, a Chinese college student who served as a translator and code clerk for the AVG, presumably in Kunming. At a time when the AVG fanboys are busily burnishing the reputation of the Tigers, Mr Losonsky was refreshingly candid about his motives for joining the group. When asked why he signed up, he answered: "They were paying good money," he said. "I went from $35 a month to $350 a month. That was the reason."
The reunion -- which may well be the last -- was held at the Cavanaugh Flight Museum near Dallas. As an indication of China's increasing interest in promoting the Flying Tigers as part of the nation's war against Japan (recall that the AVG flew for the Communists' sworn enemy, Chiang Kai Shek), nearly forty Chinese nationals attended the reunion. Interestingly, there's a tribute to the Flying Tigers scheduled for the Sam Rayburn Office Building on Capitol Hill, Washington DC, November 13-14. The photo exhibition was arranged by Pedro Chan, advisor to the Chinese American Museum. I wonder how slanted it will be toward the Beijing version of history?
I've been aware of Flight of the Intruder for quite a few years, but tales of air-to-ground combat have never particularly inspired me. What a mistake! The movie version popped up on Netflix the other night, so I gave it a look, and I was blown away. It's a great flick. So I have every reason to think that the novel by Stephen Coontz is equally worthwhile. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford
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Here are a thousand or so files on airplanes, pilots, and military history, grouped under these headings:
- Annals of the Flying Tigers
- Annals of the Brewster Buffalo
- Annals of Poland: war and exile, 1939-1948
- Japan at War, 1931-1945
- Annals of the Chinese Air Force
- Glen Edwards and the Flying Wing
- Remembering Bluie West One
- The Spadguys Speak (carrying a nuke to Sevastopol)
- Annals of Vietnam
- War in the Modern World