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.

HOME > AVG

ANNALS OF THE FLYING TIGERS

About those 'engineering helpers'

Sgt Pak On LeeFans of the Flying Tigers have long been mystified by those Chinese names on the AVG roster, most often with the label "engineering helper." There were six of them, graduates of a seven-week training school at the Allison engine plant in Indianapolis. (They trained on the fifty Allisons purchased as spares for the AVG Tomahawks.) They sailed to Rangoon on Boschfontein with the last contingent of Flying Tiger pilots. Go here for their story, as told in an interesting self-published book by the son of Pak On Lee, one of the Chinese-Americans who served their adopted country as members of the American Volunteer Group. (At left: Sergeant Lee as a USAAF noncom in 1945)

A 'peculiar' British fighter

downed AVG fighter

This photo appeared in the Japanese Times & Advertiser in May 1942. According to the caption, the "British" fighter was shot down over Lashio airfield, but more likely it was a crash landing from earlier in the war or one of the Tomahawks captured at the CAMCO airfield in Loiwing, which the Japanese army entered on May 3. The caption reads: "Proving no match for the daring Japanese plane it met in mid-air combat, this British fighter was promptly sent crashing down to a miserable doom on the Lashio airfield. Note the peculiar design painted on the wreckage--a shark's bared teeth. If these markings were found on a submarine, the significance could perhaps be understood; but on a plane? Suffice it to say that Japan's "wild eagles" will rule the sky regardless of what freaks the enemy may send up in his futile attempts to continue resistance. (Passed by the War Ministry)"

Added to the Flying Tiger bibliography this month: "Traces of a Second American Volunteer Group: The Glenn Hagenbuch Story" and A Chinese in the A.V.G.. And three e-books dealing with the AVG: AVG Confidential (a Flying Tiger reports to the U.S. Navy); 100 Hawks for China (the story of the shark-nosed P-40 that made the Flying Tigers famous; and Rising Sun Over Burma (Flying Tigers and Wild Eagles - how Japan remembers the battle. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford


A 'SPECIAL AIR UNIT' FOR CHINA:

THE TIGERS FORGE A LEGEND:

THE P-40 FILES:

BOOKS ETC.

A GOOD MYTH NEVER DIES: