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.

Flying Tigers
3rd edition 2016


Dr Carl Brown, the last Flying Tiger Meet Carl Brown, the only survivor of the 110 pilots who volunteered to fly for China in the summer and fall of 1941. (One of them was denied a passport, and ten were flight instructors for the Chinese Air Force, though most later joined the combat squadrons.) I dedicated Tales of the Flying Tigers to Carl, and Brad Smith kindly delivered a copy to him last month (and took the photograph). Carl joined the US Navy in 1939 and was flying a torpedo plane aboard Saratoga when recruited for the AVG. He took part in the AVG's first combat outside Kunming on December 20, 1941. After the group was disbanded, he flew for CNAC, the Chinese airline; postwar, he became a doctor in California, specializing in neurology and anesthetics. In the 1990s he signed on as the physician at Corcoran State Prison, where the cult leader and murderer Charles Manson was among his patients.

The third edition of Flying Tigers: Claire Chennault and His American Volunteers, 1941-1942, is now available at all the usual suspects: Amazon, Book Depository, Books-A-Million, Barnes&Noble. (Thanks to the gnomes at Amazon, you can even read the first chapter online.) I've also updated the book's website to mesh with the new edition. The supplementary material -- Notes & Sources, pilot roster, Order of Battle tables, victory credits, and aircraft profiles -- are now online. That keeps the price of the print book at $14.95, a dollar under the HarperCollins edition of 2007.

And I suppose I ought to say something about Bill Yenne's "definitive" history of the AVG. Okay, here's the review I wrote for the Wall Street Journal, which shortened and softened it for publication. Blue skies! — Dan Ford

A 'Special Air Unit' for China:

The Tigers forge a legend:

Remains - A Story of the Flying Tigers

The P-40 files:

The Bill Pawley files:

Books etc.:

A good myth never dies: