Files and images about the American Volunteer Group commanded by Claire
Chennault. The AVG Flying Tigers defended Burma and China with their
shark-faced P-40 Tomahawks in the opening months of the Pacific War,
December 1941 - July 1942.
ANNALS OF THE FLYING TIGERS
Shantih (peace) to Chuck Baisden, who died in his sleep on February 21.
He was 96 years old. Chuck was an armorer in the 3rd Squadron of the
American Volunteer Group, the "Flying Tigers" of Burma and China, who
from December 1941 to July 1942 were the only effective American fighting
force on the mainland of Asia. After the AVG was disbanded, he returned
to the U.S. and volunteered as a Tech Sergeant in the USAAF, where he
was trained as a ball-turret gunner, then assigned to the 1st Air Commando
where he flew 58 combat missions in Burma in Barbie II
, piloted by R.T.
Smith, also an AVG veteran. Postwar, he served in the new US Air Force,
retiring in 1964. He wrote one of the better memoirs of his wartime
service, which Schiffer published in 2004 as
Tiger to Air Commando
. His death leaves only two known survivors
of the roughly 300 men and women recruited for the AVG in 1941.
Speaking of AVG veterans, I've always been entranced by the career of
Henry Olson, also of the 3rd Squadron, who was called "Little Olson" to
distinguish him from the squadron leader. Like so many men back from the
war, he wildly exaggerated his feats, only to get so caught up in the
pretense that he was persuaded to run for Congress. Fortunately he didn't
make it, whereupon he joined the air force, became the pilot he had
pretended to be, and by golly became a certified hero in the European
theater, flying a P-47 Thunderbolt. Here he is as a flight cadet in
1943, again boasting of his Flying Tiger heroics. (At least he no longer
claimed to have flown in combat!) A tip of the virtual hat to Chris Davis,
who found this article online at Army Air Forces Collection. Read more
about the talented Mr Olson here.
Blue skies! — Daniel Ford
A 'Special Air Unit' for China:
The Tigers forge a legend:
Half price and postpaid!
I still have some copies of the iUniverse edition of
Remains: A Story of the
Flying Tigers. (The cover was different and the price was higher.)
While they last, you can get one for
$7.98 postpaid, sent by Media Mail to your U.S. postal address.
PayPal rolls your credit card; I sign the book and put it in the
mailbox, usually the same day.
The P-40 files:
The Bill Pawley files:
A good myth never dies:
Home again! From Toungoo to the Punchbowl Cemetery, 1941-2016
Billy McDonald, the Hawk 75, and Chennault's combat victories
'Straight from the Tiger's Mouth!'
Ajax Baumler, the 100th Flying Tiger
No, sorry, the AVG never met the Zero in combat
Did the RAF 'sell' victories to the AVG?
1,500 planes shot down? The ultimate AVG myth
Chris Shores on the subject of AVG victory claims
Ed McClure: The Last Flying Tiger Ace
The exfiltration of Mac McGarry
The strange journey of "Little Olson"
Not a Tiger: an imposter 'fesses up
What about that 'phantom P-40' shot down in China?
It's official: the AVG fought for the U.S.
The multiple weddings of Olga Greenlaw
Harvey Greenlaw in Baja: a friend remembers
Erik Shilling, off on his last flight
Hostel Number One and the Hump Bar, Kunming
Tiger Yee of Aurora, Colorado
Preserving the Flying Tiger Heritage
Heroes—but were they legal?
A ghostly airfield in Yunnan province