This website contains 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.

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ANNALS OF THE FLYING TIGERS

CAMCO airstrip on Google Earth
There must be something lacking in the nightlife of Chiang Mai, because expat Hak Hakanson seems to have a limitless amount of time to suss out the airfields of the Second World War. Above is a screenshot from Google Earth, overlaid by a USAAF aerial photograph of the CAMCO airfield at Loiwing, where Bill Pawley hoped to assemble aircraft for the Chinese Air Force, and where the Flying Tigers were stationed in the spring of 1942. (Larger view here.) If you plug 23°53'53.39"N 97°37'20.13"E into Google Earth, you'll see the ghost of that runway, become a busy village street. Fascinating!

Rangoon airport today
And here's another remarkable screenshot from Google Earth, annotated by Matt Poole to show the CAMCO/AVG hangars that were built in 1941 to house the Tomahawks sent to Rangoon for assembly. Indeed, traces of the 1941 asphalt runways are clearly visible here. The one Matt has marked was Runway 6/24, which is crossed on its east side by Runway 18/36. For the wartime layout of Mingaladon, go here.

Last month I updated the page about Ray Whitehead of the Chinese Air Force and the AVG, thanks to fresh information from his daughter. Now she has provided a photo from those early years, taken when Mr. Whitehead was serving with French mercenaries in the Chinese 5th Air Force at Kunming. Chennault in those years had also been sent back to Kunming to head up the CAF flight school there, and to make room for the Russian advisors who had moved into China in a big way in 1938. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford

A 'SPECIAL AIR UNIT' FOR CHINA:

THE TIGERS FORGE A LEGEND:

THE P-40 FILES:

THE BILL PAWLEY FILES:

BOOKS ETC.

A GOOD MYTH NEVER DIES: