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


airfield at Suili

In recent months I've been posting new information about the Chinese airfield at Loiwing, on the Burma frontier, where Bill Pawley assembled warplanes and Claire Chennault based his Flying Tigers after they were run out of Burma in March 1942. Well, never mind! as Gilda Ratner used to say on Saturday Night Live. Hak Hakanson has gone back to basics and decided that we were all wrong: that field was indeed used by Pawley's factory, but the Tigers flew out of yet another Chinese airfield several miles away. There it is above, as seen on Google Earth today, its 1940s outline still visible beneath the patchwork of fields that now overlay it – an actual case of swords having been beaten into plowshares!

Some good reads this month: Go here for my comments on Stalin: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928 by Stephen Kotkin, an amazing biography of the dictator's early years, emerging from the rubble of the Russian Empire to become, with Lenin and Trotsky, one of the bloodiest creators of the "worker's paradise" of the Soviet Union. A hypnotic book that will keep you out of trouble for weeks! And for a lighter taste, there's The Unsubstantial Air: American Fliers in the First World War by Samuel Hynes, himself a combat pilot in the Second World War. Ten years after the Wright Brothers taught the world to fly, Americans didn't have the slightest idea of how to fight a war in the air, with the result that Americans first took the controls of French and British aircraft, in French and British uniforms. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford

Welcome to the Warbird's Forum!

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
  • Plus these excellent places to look for more:

  • Book(s) of the month
  • Reviews of worthwhile military+aviation titles
  • The Piper Cub Forum
  • Rising Sun Over
    Rising Sun Over Burma - Wild Eagles and Flying Tigers - How Japan Remembers the Battle. Kindle edition.

    Poland's Daughter
    Poland's Daughter - How I Met Basia, Hitchhiked to Italy, and Learned About Love, War, and Exile. Paperback or Kindle edition.

    A Vision So Noble: John Boyd, the OODA Loop, and America's
War on Terror
    A Vision So Noble - How would John Boyd have dealt with Osama bin Laden? Paperback or Kindle edition.

    Flying Tigers: Claire Chennault and His American Volunteers, 1941-1942
    Flying Tigers: Claire Chennault and His American Volunteers - "The exciting story of this legendary fighting force that wore American uniforms but Chinese insignia" Paperback or Kindle edition.

    Incident at Muc
    Incident at Muc Wa: The Vietnam novel that inspired the acclaimed Burt Lancaster movie, Go Tell the Spartans. In paperback or as a Kindle edition.

    Question? Comment? Newsletter? Send me an email. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford