All about the American Volunteer Group "Flying Tigers," the Japanese and Chinese military during the Second World War, the Northrop Flying Wing, Poland's experience of war and exile, and other subjects that take my fancy from time to time. Enjoy! -- Dan Ford

100 Hawks for China


THE WARBIRD'S FORUM

Frank Losonsky admires a P-40

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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