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


Restored P-40B

The Collings Foundation has restored this pretty Pearl Harbor "survivor" to flying condition, making it the only airworthy B model P-40 known to exist. (There's also a P-40C, restored some years ago at Fame in Chino CA and now owned by the Flying Heritage Collection in Everett, Washington.) US Air Corps serial number 39-284 isn't actually a survivor of the December 7 attack on Hawaii, because it was in a hangar being repaired from a belly landing at the time.

I'm a bit mystified about the provenance of this aircraft. I was told that it is the same P-40B under restoration long ago by Project Tomahawk in California, but the serials don't match. I'll be grateful for any more information about these planes, so I can update my page on the small-mouth P-40 survivors. Comparing the images from Chino and Everett, I notice a comical change: the Tomahawk originally was fuselage number 71, flown by Erik Shilling, but today it seems to be Bob Neale's number 7, which also graces the P-40 replica at the Pensacola Museum of Naval Aviation.

Repatriating the remains The remains of the three Flying Tiger pilots killed in training accidents at Toungoo in the late summer of 1941 have been returned to their relatives for burial. Here the casket of Maax Hammer, killed September 22 in "peculiar" circumstances, as Chennault noted in his diary. One theory was that Hammer got into an inverted spin and could not recover. The other pilots were John Armstrong, killed September 8 when his Tomahawk lost a wing in a collision with Gil Bright; and Peter Atkinson, killed October 25 while testing the guns on a Tomahawk, his plane breaking apart apparently because the Allison engine was revved to such a speed that it disintegrated. The three men were buried at St. Luke's graveyard in Toungoo and mysteriously dug up after the war, reburied in India, and then dug up and reburied again at the Punchbowl Cemetery in Hawaii, where they lay unknown for more than sixty years while their relatives searched for them. For the story, see Three Tigers Come Home and Looking for the graves of St. Luke's. Blue skies! — Daniel Ford

Flying Tigers
3rd edition

A 'Special Air Unit' for China:

The Tigers forge a legend:

Half price and postpaid! I still have some copies of the iUniverse edition of Remains: A Story of the Flying Tigers. (The cover was different and the price was higher.) While they last, you can get one for $7.98 postpaid, sent by Media Mail to your U.S. postal address. PayPal rolls your credit card; I sign the book and put it in the mailbox, usually the same day.

The P-40 files:

The Bill Pawley files:

Books etc.:

A good myth never dies: