Flying Tigers: Claire Chennault and His American Volunteers, 1941-1942

Flying Tigers: Claire Chennault and His American Volunteers, 1941-1942

by Daniel Ford

During World War II, in the skies over Rangoon, Burma, a handful of American pilots met and bloodied the "Imperial Wild Eagles" of Japan and in turn won immortality as the Flying Tigers.

One of America's most famous combat forces, the Tigers were recruited to defend beleaguered China for $600 a month and a bounty of $500 for each Japanese plane they shot downfantastic money in an era when a Manhattan hotel room cost three dollars a night.To bring his prize-winning history of the American Volunteer Group up to date, Daniel Ford has completely rewritten his 1991 text, drawing on the most recent U.S., British, and Japanese scholarship.

Ford also takes up the rumors that Royal Air Force pilots "sold" combat victories to the Flying Tigers in order to share in the bounties paid by the Chinese government."Admirable," wrote Chennault biographer Martha Byrd of Ford's original text.

  • Language: English
  • Category: History
  • Rating: 3.96
  • Pages: 384
  • Publish Date: August 21st 2007 by Harper Perennial
  • Isbn10: 0061246557
  • Isbn13: 9780061246555

What People Think about "Flying Tigers: Claire Chennault and His American Volunteers, 1941-1942"

This was one way to maximize the number of "scrambled" aircraft at the same time: (view spoiler)Group Captain Manning assigned the Tomahawks to Mingaladons eastwest runwaythe crosspiece of the letter Awhile his Buffaloes used the one that ran northsouth. All pilots were supposed to keep to the right, and the Buffalo pilots to hold down and let the Tomahawks cross over them where the runways intersected. Fourteen Buffaloes and sixteen Tomahawks made the rush across the gravel, sweeping past each other with a flair that did credit to the Flying Trapezethe damnedest rat race you ever saw, Curt Smith recalled.

For all its detail and focus on purely factual data, FLYING TIGERS is an exhilarating ride.

Mr. Ford tells the story of the Flying Tigers in an excellent manner, and educates the reader in all aspects of the early war in China and Burma.

The AVG (American Volunteer Group, fighting for the Chaings of China) now commonly known as "The Flying Tigers", had a rich history in their fight against the Japanese over Burma and Southern China.

Mr. Ford conducted research from Japanese, Chinese, and American sources.

Seventy years ago, the heroic pilots of the American Volunteer Group (AVG) provided a glimmer of hope to the people of the United States, China, and other Allied nations during the grim early days of the Second World War. They were daredevil U.S. pilots; they flew P-40 Tomahawks adorned with the twelve-pointed star of the Chinese Air Force, and decorated with a ferocious shark-mouth emblem painted on each planes air scoop. In Flying Tigers: Claire Chennault and His American Volunteers, 1941-1942, Daniel Ford provides a compelling account of the Tigers establishment, and of the manner in which a small group of American pilots and air crews successfully disrupted the military plans of the Japanese Empire. In fact, of course, they were there to fly fighter planes and attack the bombing squadrons that were making life hell for ordinary Chinese in those cities like Chongqing and Kunming that were still under the control of Chinas nationalist government. Comparably engaging are the stories of the Flying Tigers name and logo, and of the shark-mouth emblem that still makes their planes among the most recognizable of the Second World War. The shark mouths were inspired when Charlie Bond thumbed through the Illustrated Weekly of India and spotted a photograph of a Tomahawk in North Africa, its air scoop painted to represent the mouth of a shark (p. That wish to demythologize also contributes to one of the most controversial aspects of Daniel Fords Flying Tigers -- the manner in which author Ford, on the basis of his review of Japanese military records, concludes that theres a discrepancy between Flying Tiger combat claims and the losses actually suffered by Japanese air units in Southeast Asia and southwestern China (p. Ford, a pilot himself, describes aerial combat in a compelling way, capturing the drama and tension of mid-air dogfights without overwhelming the reader with technical terminology, as in this passage: Greene worried the bombers for four or five passes, then broke off to defend himself from the Nates. The film, Waynes first war picture, benefited from the presence of AVG veterans as technical advisors; and in an America that was desperate for good news from the battlefronts, Flying Tigers was one of the biggest box-office hits of the year. Well-written and well-illustrated with maps and photographs, Daniel Fords Flying Tigers deserves a place on the shelf of anyone with an interest in World War II history.

Even with my love of the material, this book is absolutely unreadably dry. Prospective readers beware, unless you literally only want to absorb as many facts as you can about the Flying Tigers and care absolutely 0% about how interesting the book you're reading is, I would stay clear of this book.