Flying Tigers

Flying Tiger1st American Volunteer GroupAmerican Volunteer Group1st American Volunteer Group (Flying Tigers)American Flying TigersAmerican Volunteer Group (Flying Tigers)Americans already fighting the enemyAVG Flying TigersChina Air Task Forcefly fighters
The First American Volunteer Group (AVG) of the Chinese Air Force in 1941–1942, nicknamed the Flying Tigers, was composed of pilots from the United States Army Air Corps (USAAC), Navy (USN), and Marine Corps (USMC), recruited under President Franklin Roosevelt's authority before Pearl Harbor and commanded by Claire Lee Chennault.wikipedia
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Republic of China Air Force

Chinese Air ForceAir ForceROCAF
The First American Volunteer Group (AVG) of the Chinese Air Force in 1941–1942, nicknamed the Flying Tigers, was composed of pilots from the United States Army Air Corps (USAAC), Navy (USN), and Marine Corps (USMC), recruited under President Franklin Roosevelt's authority before Pearl Harbor and commanded by Claire Lee Chennault. The American Volunteer Group was largely the creation of Claire L. Chennault, a retired U.S. Army Air Corps officer who had worked in China since August 1937, first as military aviation advisor to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek in the early months of the Sino-Japanese War, then as director of a Chinese Air Force flight school centered in Kunming.
In the latter half of the Sino-Japanese War, part of World War II, the ROCAF was augmented by a volunteer group of American pilots (the Flying Tigers) in 1941.

Claire Lee Chennault

Claire ChennaultClaire L. ChennaultChennault
The First American Volunteer Group (AVG) of the Chinese Air Force in 1941–1942, nicknamed the Flying Tigers, was composed of pilots from the United States Army Air Corps (USAAC), Navy (USN), and Marine Corps (USMC), recruited under President Franklin Roosevelt's authority before Pearl Harbor and commanded by Claire Lee Chennault. The American Volunteer Group was largely the creation of Claire L. Chennault, a retired U.S. Army Air Corps officer who had worked in China since August 1937, first as military aviation advisor to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek in the early months of the Sino-Japanese War, then as director of a Chinese Air Force flight school centered in Kunming.
Claire Lee Chennault (September 6, 1893 – July 27, 1958) was an American military aviator best known for his leadership of the "Flying Tigers" and the Republic of China Air Force in World War II.

Nose art

painted nosesmarkingsmascots on the noses of airplanes
The 23rd FG went on to achieve similar combat success, while retaining the nose art on the left-over P-40s.
What is perhaps the most famous of all nose art, the shark-face insignia later made famous by the First American Volunteer Group (AVG) Flying Tigers, first appeared in World War I on a British Sopwith Dolphin and a German Roland C.II, though often with an effect more comical than menacing.

Fourteenth Air Force

14th Air ForceFourteenth Aerospace ForceChinese-American Composite Wing
On 4 July 1942 the AVG was disbanded and replaced by the 23rd Fighter Group of the United States Army Air Forces, which was later absorbed into the U.S. Fourteenth Air Force with General Chennault as commander.
With the United States entry into World War II against the Empire of Japan in December 1941, Claire Chennault, the commander of the American Volunteer Group (AVG) (known as the Flying Tigers) of the Chinese Air Force was called to Chungking, China, on 29 March 1942, for a conference to decide the fate of the AVG.

American Volunteer Group

AVGFlying TigersA.V.G.
The American Volunteer Group was largely the creation of Claire L. Chennault, a retired U.S. Army Air Corps officer who had worked in China since August 1937, first as military aviation advisor to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek in the early months of the Sino-Japanese War, then as director of a Chinese Air Force flight school centered in Kunming.
The only unit to actually see combat was the 1st AVG, popularly known as the Flying Tigers.

Allies of World War II

AlliedAlliesAllied forces
It demonstrated innovative tactical victories when the news in the U.S. was filled with little more than stories of defeat at the hands of the Japanese forces and achieved such notable success during the lowest period of the war for both the U.S. and the Allied Forces as to give hope to America that it might eventually defeat Japan.
In November 1940, American military aviator Claire Lee Chennault upon observing the dire situation in the air war between China and Japan, set out to organize a volunteer squadron of American fighter pilots to fight alongside the Chinese against Japan, known as the Flying Tigers.

Kunming

Kunming, ChinaKunming CityKunming, Yunnan
The American Volunteer Group was largely the creation of Claire L. Chennault, a retired U.S. Army Air Corps officer who had worked in China since August 1937, first as military aviation advisor to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek in the early months of the Sino-Japanese War, then as director of a Chinese Air Force flight school centered in Kunming.
Later in the war, Kunming was targeted by the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force during its bombing campaigns, and when the Burma Road was lost to the Japanese, the 1st American Volunteer Group, known as the "Flying Tigers", used Kunming as a base in 1941 and 1942 to fly in supplies over the Himalayas from British bases in India in defiance of Japanese assaults.

Charles Bond (pilot)

Charles BondBond, CharlesCharles R. Bond
(The AVG nose-art is variously credited to Charles Bond and Erik Shilling.) About the same time, the AVG was dubbed "The Flying Tigers" by its Washington support group, called China Defense Supplies.
He served with the Flying Tigers in Burma and China during World War II.

Fighter aircraft

fighterfightersjet fighter
The group consisted of three fighter squadrons of around 30 aircraft each that trained in Burma before the American entry into World War II to defend China against Japanese forces.
In China, the Flying Tigers also used the same tactics with some success, although they were unable to stem the tide of Japanese advances there.

Curtiss P-40 Warhawk

P-40 WarhawkCurtiss P-40P-40
Chennault spent the winter of 1940–1941 in Washington, supervising the purchase of 100 Curtiss P-40 fighters and the recruiting of 100 pilots and some 200 ground crew and administrative personnel that would constitute the 1st AVG.
The Flying Tigers, known officially as the 1st American Volunteer Group (AVG), were a unit of the Chinese Air Force, recruited from U.S. aviators.

Tex Hill

David Lee "Tex" HillColonel David L. "Tex" HillDavid Hill
To stem this tide, 2nd Squadron Leader David Lee "Tex" Hill led a flight of four new P-40Es bombing and strafing into the mile deep Salween River Gorge.
He is credited with 12 1⁄4 victories as a squadron leader with the Flying Tigers and another six as an officer in the United States Army Air Corps in World War II.

Taungoo

ToungooToungoo DynastyBishop of Toungoo
They were initially based at a British airfield in Toungoo for training while their aircraft were assembled and test flown by CAMCO personnel at Mingaladon Airport outside Rangoon.
In 1940, the British Royal Air Force built an airfield north of the town, which from August 1941 through February 1942 served as a training and support base for the 1st American Volunteer Group, popularly known as the Flying Tigers.

Yangon International Airport

YangonRAF MingaladonMingaladon Airport
They were initially based at a British airfield in Toungoo for training while their aircraft were assembled and test flown by CAMCO personnel at Mingaladon Airport outside Rangoon.

Kenneth Jernstedt

Jernstedt, Kenneth A.Kenneth A. Jernstedt
Kenneth Allen Jernstedt (July 20, 1917 – February 5, 2013) was an American Flying Tigers fighter pilot, a test pilot, a politician and a businessman.

T. V. Soong

Soong Tse-venSong ZiwenT.V. Soong
Chiang then asked for American combat aircraft and pilots, sending Chennault to Washington as an adviser to China's ambassador and Chiang's brother-in-law, T. V. Soong.
During the war years, he financed the "Flying Tigers"—the American Mercenary Group that was later incorporated into the United States Air Force.

Charles Older

Charles H. OlderCharles Herman "Chuck" OlderJudge Charles H. Older
Charles Herman Older (September 29, 1917 – June 17, 2006) was an American who was the third highest scoring ace of the American Volunteer Group (the "Flying Tigers") and later the judge in the Charles Manson murder trial.

Nakajima Ki-27

Ki-27Mansyu Ki-79Ki-27 "Nate
They were escorted by Nakajima Ki-27 "Nate" fighters of 77th Sentai.
The VVS introduced new tactics consisting of flying in large tightly knit formations, attacking with altitude and/or speed advantage and hit-and-run (high-energy) tactics much as Claire Chennault would later formulate for the 1941-era Flying Tigers (likewise to fly against Japanese forces).

Second Sino-Japanese War

Sino-Japanese WarJapanese invasion of ChinaJapanese invasion
The American Volunteer Group was largely the creation of Claire L. Chennault, a retired U.S. Army Air Corps officer who had worked in China since August 1937, first as military aviation advisor to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek in the early months of the Sino-Japanese War, then as director of a Chinese Air Force flight school centered in Kunming.
In mid-1941, the United States government financed the creation of the American Volunteer Group (AVG), or Flying Tigers, to replace the withdrawn Soviet volunteers and aircraft.

Robert William Prescott

Robert PrescottPrescott, Robert William
An ace with the Flying Tigers in the early part of World War II, he went on to found the Flying Tiger Line, the first scheduled cargo airline in the United States.

VMA-214

VMF-214Black Sheep SquadronMarine Attack Squadron 214
Major Boyington had just returned from a year's tour in China as a member of the 1st American Volunteer Group (nicknamed the Flying Tigers), and had been credited with multiple kills of Japanese aircraft.

Robert T. Smith

Lt. Col. Robert T. SmithR.T. SmithSmith, Robert T.
Robert Tharp (R.T.) Smith (February 23, 1918 – August 21, 1995) was a World War II fighter pilot and ace, credited with 8.7, 8.9 or 9 Japanese aircraft while fighting with the American Volunteer Group (Flying Tigers).

No. 112 Squadron RAF

No. 112 Squadron112 Squadron112
This was done after pilots saw a photograph of a P-40 of No. 112 Squadron RAF in North Africa, which in turn had adopted the shark face from German pilots of the Luftwaffe's ZG 76 heavy fighter wing, flying Messerschmitt Bf 110 fighters in Crete.
(This practice was later followed by P-40 units in other parts of the world, including the Flying Tigers, American volunteers serving with the Chinese Air Force.) In December, the Tomahawks were replaced by the improved P-40 Kittyhawk, which the squadron used for the remainder of its time with the Desert Air Force, often as a fighter bomber.

Jack Newkirk

John V. "Scarsdale Jack" NewkirkNewkirk, John
John Van Kuren "Scarsdale Jack" Newkirk (15 October 1913 – 24 March 1942) was a United States naval aviator and squadron leader with the 1st American Volunteer Group (AVG), also known as the Flying Tigers, who may have led the first American offensive mission of World War II.

Central Aircraft Manufacturing Company

LoiwingCAMCOCentral Aircraft Manufacturing Company (CAMCO)
Ten more army flight instructors were hired as check pilots for Chinese cadets, and several of these would ultimately join the AVG's combat squadrons.) The volunteers were discharged from the armed services, to be employed for "training and instruction" by a private military contractor, the Central Aircraft Manufacturing Company (CAMCO), which paid them $600 a month for pilot officers, $675 a month for flight leaders, $750 for squadron leaders (no pilot was recruited at this level), and about $250 for skilled ground crewmen.
In the winter of 1940-1941, Pawley became involved in the recruitment and supplying of the 1st American Volunteer Group (AVG), later known as the Flying Tigers.

Kawasaki Ki-45

Ki-45Kawasaki Ki-45 ToryuKi-45 Nick
Some of the last missions the AVG flew were defending Guilin against raids by JAAF Nates, Lilys, and new Kawasaki Ki-45 Toryu ("Nick") heavy fighters.
The 84th Independent Flight Wing (Dokuritsu Hikō Chutai) used them in June 1942 in attacks on Guilin, where they encountered, but were no match for, Curtiss P-40s flown by the Flying Tigers.