Flying Tigers
available again for Kindle


A casket exhumed at Punchbowl
In April, four graves at Punchbowl national cemetery outside Honolulu were exhumed and the remains taken away for DNA testing. They came from the graveyard in Toungoo, Burma, and three very likely are those of the American Volunteer Group pilots killed in training accidents in September and October of 1941. The relatives of Pete Atkinson, John Armstrong, and Maax Hammer have tried for years to repatriate the graves, but it turned out that all along they were on American soil. They were exhumed in 1948, buried temporarily in India, then moved to Honolulu, where they were listed as "unknown." That may cease to be the case in a month or two when testing is concluded. (A tip of the virtual hat to Patrick Moore, who took the photo.)

Was there ever a year when a movie about the AVG wasn't in the works? 2016 is proving to be no exception, with Variety reporting last week: "Skydance and Alibaba Pictures are teaming up on the World War II pic 'The Flying Tigers,' which chronicles the first American Volunteer Group of the Chinese Air Force that fought alongside the Chinese in WWII. 'Braveheart' screenwriter Randall Wallace is penning the script. Skydance's David Ellison and Dana Goldberg will produce along with Alibaba." For more, go here

Oops! Flying Tigers will be out of print for a few months, since HarperCollins has handed the book back to the original publisher. However, I'm still well supplied! I'll send you an autographed copy for $12.95 including delivery by Media Mail. If you're in a hurry, or live in Alaska or Hawaii, then make it $15.95 for Priority Mail. (PayPal runs your credit card or otherwise takes care of the payment details, and I mail the book, usually the next day.) And an updated digital edition is now available for your Kindle reader or app. A useful companion to the history is Tale of the Flying Tigers, a collection of five short books about the AVG, now available as a paperback from and Barnes & Noble. For more, go here.

On another front, I'm told that the world's only Brewster Buffalo fighter — shot down in 1942, retrieved by a Russo-Finnish-American salvage crew in 1998, smuggled from Russia to Ireland to America in 2004, and loaned to the Finns for clean-up and display — won't be returning here on schedule. The loan has evidently been extended by two years, so BW-372 will remain on display in the Finnish Air Force Museum at least until 2018.

How can it be that, more than seventy years after it ended, new stuff keeps surfacing about the Second World War? In Europe on Trial: The Story of Collaboration, Resistance, and Retribution during World War II, Istvan Deak describes what was going on beneath the European surface, while those titanic tank battles and city-busting raids were raging elsewhere and overhead. What I like best about Mr Deak's account is that he shuns the delicate academic policy of attributing the nastiness to a mythical race of "Nazis," with an astonished German population as victimized by the aliens as anyone else. To him, there was no "Nazi-occupied Europe." The occupiers were German. (Perhaps that's because Mr Deak himself was one of the occupied. Most academics visit the Second World War as tourists, but he actually lived there.) Another fine thing about his book is that, while the paperback is rather pricey, the e-book is only $5.99. Really, you owe it to yourself to get with the digital revolution. Blue skies! — Daniel Ford

Poland's Daughter

Welcome to the forum!

Here are a thousand or so files on airplanes, pilots, and the wars of the past hundred years, grouped under these headings:

Annals of the Flying Tigers
Annals of the Brewster Buffalo
Annals of Poland: war and exile, 1939-1948
Japan at War, 1931-1945
Annals of the Chinese Air Force
Glen Edwards and the Flying Wing
Remembering Bluie West One
The Spadguys Speak (carrying a nuke to Sevastopol)
Annals of Vietnam
War in the Modern World

Plus these excellent places to look for more: