Files and images about the American Volunteer Group commanded by Claire Chennault. The AVG Flying Tigers defended Burma and China with their shark-faced P-40 Tomahawks in the opening months of the Pacific War, December 1941 - July 1942.

Tales of the Flying Tigers


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.

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.

A 'Special Air Unit' for China:

Flying Tigers
revised and updated

The Tigers forge a legend:

The P-40 files:

The Chennault files:

The Bill Pawley files:

Remains - A Story of the Flying Tigers

Books, movies, comics:

A good myth never dies:

Question? Comment? Newsletter? Send me an email. Blue skies! — Daniel Ford

Looking Back From Ninety

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