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ANNALS OF THE FLYING TIGERS
Here's Frank Losonsky, one of three known Flying Tigers survivors, inspecting a late-model P-40 painted up to resemble the Tomahawk flown by Charlie Bond during the seven months the American Volunteer Group flew and fought over Burma, Thailand, and southwestern China. Also present was John Ma, a Chinese college student who served as a translator and code clerk for the AVG, presumably in Kunming.
At a time when the AVG fanboys are busily burnishing the reputation of the Tigers, Mr Losonsky was refreshingly candid about his motives for joining the group. When asked why he signed up, he answered: "They were paying good money," he said. "I went from $35 a month to $350 a month. That was the reason."
The reunion -- which may well be the last -- was held at the Cavanaugh Flight Museum near Dallas. As an indication of China's increasing interest in promoting the Flying Tigers as part of the nation's war against Japan (recall that the AVG flew for the Communists' sworn enemy, Chiang Kai Shek), nearly forty Chinese nationals attended the reunion.
And here is a screenshot from Google Earth, which Hak Hakanson overlaid upon a USAAF aerial photograph of the CAMCO/AVG airfield at Loiwing. If you plug 23°53'53.39"N 97°37'20.13"E into Google Earth, you can make out the ghost of that runway, now a busy village street.
I've received more information on this subject from a researcher in Canada, which I'll post when I get a chance to digest it. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford
A 'SPECIAL AIR UNIT' FOR CHINA:
THE TIGERS FORGE A LEGEND:
THE P-40 FILES:
THE BILL PAWLEY FILES:
A GOOD MYTH NEVER DIES:
Question? Comment? Newsletter? Send me an email. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford
Posted October 2014. Websites ©1997-2014 Daniel Ford; all rights reserved.