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
Here's the village street that is Yunnanyi, much as the American Volunteer Group pilots and ground crew would have seen it in 1942, in a photo by Bob Bergin who this month reports from Kunming about Chinese efforts to protect the Flying Tiger heritage. China's explosive growth is suggested by the taller buildings in the distance and by the new building towering over the street--a Motel 6, perhaps? (Yunnan-yi was the location of the Chinese Air Force flight school in 1941 that was run by Butch Carney under Chennault's direction. Several of its American check pilots joined the AVG combat squdrons when the school was shut down in the spring of 1942. It also served as an intermediate field when the Japanese onslaught reached into Yunnan province.)
I got an interesting email from the daughter of French air force
general Pierre Pouyade, who as a young captain was shot down and
wounded during the German invasion of France in 1940. Remaining in the
Vichy air force, he was posted to Vietnam (French Indochina, as we knew
it at the time) as commander of a fighter squadron. When the Japanese
took over, he was told to engage any Chinese or "Flying Tiger" aircraft
that ventured over the border. As his daughter writes, he was at
Lao Kai when the AVG strafed a train there in May 1942 and Lew Bishop
was shot down and captured by Vichy French supporters and turned over
to the Japanese for questioning. "My father was horrified," Mlle Pouyade
writes, "and later [escaped] to join Free French in Kunming." That
he did, in October as I see on
Wikipedia. He made his way back to Europe by way of New York City,
recruiting a Free French unit to fight on the Russian front, credited
with eight victories over Belarus, Poland, and East Prussia. Postwar,
he rose to the rank of brigadier general in the French air force and
after his retirement served as a deputy in the National Assembly.
Quite a life!
Blue skies! - Dan Ford
A 'SPECIAL AIR UNIT' FOR CHINA:
THE TIGERS FORGE A LEGEND:
THE P-40 FILES:
A GOOD MYTH NEVER DIES:
Question? Comment? Newsletter? Send me an email. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford
Posted March 2014. Websites ©1997-2014 Daniel Ford; all rights reserved.