Not the American Volunteer Group, it's true, but a P-40 pilot under Tex Hill at Guilin, China, in 1944: 1st Lt Wilfred Taylor is the lad with the shock of black hair, standing in back, second from left. The year is 1944 and the Warhawk belongs to the 118th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, 23rd Fighter Group. (The 23rd FG replaced the 1st AVG on July 4, 1942.) As pictured at left, Mr Taylor is now 97 and still going strong despite having lost his sight. He was awarded the Purple Heart for burns received after his P-40 crashed while taking off on a strafing mission, three days before his daughter was born and eight days before the 118th evacuated Guilin. (A tip of the virtual hat to Orin Hoopman.)
I've posted a final installment of pilot biographies, from Erik Shilling to Peter Wright. See them here. This completes the roster, which thanks to the flight instructors actually comes to 110. Their stories, are told in 100 Fair Pilots: The Men Who Became the Flying Tigers, a $2.99 e-book from Amazon stores worldwide and most other e-tailers. I'll be updating the text as new information comes in, as it regularly does. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford
Question? Comment? Newsletter? Send me an email. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford
Posted November 2015. Websites ©1997-2015 Daniel Ford; all rights reserved.