Looking Back From Ninety


A bit of disinformation

I've mentioned before how China tries to leverage the Flying Tigers to persuade Americans to cozy up to the CCP. In March, this long-running campaign took a comical turn, with the China Military website celebrating the anniversary of an earlier propaganda event:

Ceremony on 5th anniversary of photo exhibit wall about Flying Tigers held in Los Angeles of US
By Zhang Shuo
LOS ANGELES, US, March 20 -- An event commemorating the 5th anniversary of the photo exhibition wall honoring the Flying Tigers was held in Los Angeles, US, on March 18.
In 1941, the First American Volunteer Group (AVG), nicknamed the Flying Tigers, was formed under the leadership of late US Lieutenant General Claire Lee Chennault to help Chinese fight against the invading Japanese troops during the World War II....
Hundreds of people from China and the US attended the ceremony, including officials from Chinese Consulate General in Los Angeles, US Congresswoman Judy May Chu, Mrs. Nell Calloway, the granddaughter of Chennault, and Mel McMullen, a US Flying Tigers veteran. The event aimed to help people understand the history and pass on the friendship between China and the US from generation to generation.

This is a hilarious upending of General Chennault's attitude toward Communist China. He was so devoted to Madame Chiang, the Generalissimo, and the Nationalist government that he returned in 1946 to build Civil Air Transport as a paramilitary airline supporting them against Mao Zedong's Communist forces. He even wanted to recruit American airmen to fight in China -- a new AVG!

When Chiang and the Nationalists lost the civil war in 1949, Chennault retreated with them to Taiwan. There, CAT became a contractor for the Central Intelligence Agency, flying supplies into the besieged French outpost at Dienbienphu. A year later, when North Korea invaded the South, CAT aided the UN forces, even to dropping clandestine agents into China in hopes of destabilizing the Bejing government that was supporting North Korea. After Chennault died in 1958, CAT became Air America, whose gray spook planes were active in the Vietnam War until the Saigon government collapsed. The airline was dissolved in 1976.

A bit of a discount

I have a few too many paperbacks of Flying Tigers: Claire Chennault and His American Volunteers, so for $15 I'll send a signed copy by Media Mail to your address in what Alaskans call the Lower Forty-Eight. PayPal rolls your credit card and I put the book in the mail, usually next day. In the contiguous US, Media Mail generally takes less than a week. but I don't recommend it for Alaska or Hawaii, where it takes much longer.

Crew 31 over Germany

Frank Murphy was the navigator in a B-17F in the days before the Eighth Air Force had long-range fighters to escort the bombers to the target and back to England. Over Münster in October 1943, just after his 22nd birthday, a 20mm shell wounded him and crippled the plane. He got out in time (not everyone was so lucky), parachuted to the ground, and spent the rest of the war in German prison camps. He wrote Luck of the Draw before he died, and I reviewed it last month for the Wall Street Journal. It's a good book. Read it!

Blue skies! -- Daniel Ford. You can support Ukraine through Razom (a tax-exempt US charity). Or donate to the military directly through the National Bank of Ukraine.

And welcome to the forum!

Here are a thousand or so files on airplanes, pilots, and the wars of the past hundred years, 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
Annals of Vietnam
War in the Modern World

Plus these excellent places to look for more:
The Warbird's Book Club
Daniel Ford’s books
The Piper Cub Forum

Flying Tigers
revised and updated

On this website: Front page | Flying Tigers | Chinese Air Force | Japan at War | Brewster Buffalo | Glen Edwards & the Flying Wing | Vietnam | War in the Modern World | Bluie West One | Poland 1939-1948 | Book Club | Book reviews | Question? | Google us | Website & webmaster | Site map

Other sites: Flying Tigers: the book | Daniel Ford's blog | Daniel Ford's books | Facebook | Piper Cub Forum | Reading Proust

Posted April 2023. Websites © 1997-2023 Daniel Ford; all rights reserved. This site sets no cookies, but Mailchimp and Amazon do, if you click through to their services. I never see those cookies.