All about the Chinese Air Force of the Guomindang (Nationalist) government that resisted Japanese aggression from 1931 to 1945

Cowboy: interpreter, warlord, one more casualty



CAF pilots with

The handsome gent standing front and center is Chow Shi-lin of the Republic of China Air Force in the early 1960s, when the CAF was flying the F-84 Thunderjet. They later transitioned to the Lockeed F-104 Starfighter. In January 1967, four CAF 104Gs intercepted eight MIG-19s of the Peoples Liberation Army Air Force over the disputed island of Kinmen. Two MIGs were shot down at the cost of one Starfighter lost with its pilot. I think that Chow Shi-lin was one of the pilots on the winning side. (A tip of the virtual hat to Lew Hansen, who pointed out that the photo shows a straight-wing fighter, not the F-104.)

Now 99, Major General Chow formerly lived in the US but went home to Taiwan eight years ago. The photo was sent to me by his granddaughter, who is looking for a museum home for the general's diaries and memorabilia. (Email me if you have a suggestion, and I will pass it along.)

And not to be forgotten: Anna Chan Chennault, widow of the much older General Claire Chennault, founder of the American Volunteer Group Flying Tigers, who died at the end of March at her home in Washington, DC.

Blue skies! -- Dan Ford

The CAF files