By John Toland
In the course of international warfare II, a bunch of yank fighter pilots roamed the skies over China and Burma, menacing the japanese warfare attempt with out letup. Flamboyant, bold, and brave, they have been referred to as the Flying Tigers.
The Tigers, who were recruited from the military, army, and Marines, first observed motion as a volunteer staff combating at the part of the Chiang Kia-shek's China opposed to Japan. knowledgeable within the unconventional air-combat strategies in their maverick chief Claire Lee Chennault, they racked up one of the most impresive air victory files of worldwide conflict II.
This is the tale of Chennault and his amazing Tigers -- and the way they played the most unlikely.
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Additional info for The Flying Tigers
In a few days Christman and other artists had painted sharks on every plane. Improving on the British model, they added a red tongue and a staring red eye behind the propeller. By the first week of December, 1941, Chennault had accomplished the impossible. He had taken some hundred pilots and several hundred ground crew of varying talents and experience and welded them into a well-knit inspired unit. The AVG was ready, willing and able to fight. Chennault organized his volunteers into three squadrons.
A moment later a mechanic on a bicycle raised the total to eight when he bumped into a parked plane and put it out of commission. ” By now dissatisfaction with the P-40 was becoming open. A dozen men, using this as a partial excuse, quit the AVG. Several others came to Chennault and said they were too frightened to fly in combat and asked for ground duty. Chennault was glad to get rid of those who wanted to leave the Group. And he listened sympathetically to those who confessed they didn’t have the stomach to fight in the air.
But there was no reply. Washington, apparently, had bigger problems. Chennault would not even get replacement fighter planes for some time. Desperately needed parts, including tires, would not arrive. Replacement fighter pilots already on their way to the AVG would be detoured instead to Australia. Chennault would have to face the Japanese with what he had. Some 110 pilots had arrived but because of the dozen resignations there were now fewer than 100. Of the original 100 Tomahawks, only about 75 were fit for combat.