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


Chuck Baisden Shantih (peace) to Chuck Baisden, who died in his sleep on February 21. He was 96 years old. Chuck was an armorer in the 3rd Squadron of the American Volunteer Group, the "Flying Tigers" of Burma and China, who from December 1941 to July 1942 were the only effective American fighting force on the mainland of Asia. After the AVG was disbanded, he returned to the U.S. and volunteered as a Tech Sergeant in the USAAF, where he was trained as a ball-turret gunner, then assigned to the 1st Air Commando where he flew 58 combat missions in Burma in Barbie II, piloted by R.T. Smith, also an AVG veteran. Postwar, he served in the new US Air Force, retiring in 1964. He wrote one of the better memoirs of his wartime service, which Schiffer published in 2004 as From Flying Tiger to Air Commando. His death leaves only two known survivors of the roughly 300 men and women recruited for the AVG in 1941.

Henry Olson, flight cadet Speaking of AVG veterans, I've always been entranced by the career of Henry Olson, also of the 3rd Squadron, who was called "Little Olson" to distinguish him from the squadron leader. Like so many men back from the war, he wildly exaggerated his feats, only to get so caught up in the pretense that he was persuaded to run for Congress. Fortunately he didn't make it, whereupon he joined the air force, became the pilot he had pretended to be, and by golly became a certified hero in the European theater, flying a P-47 Thunderbolt. Here he is as a flight cadet in 1943, again boasting of his Flying Tiger heroics. (At least he no longer claimed to have flown in combat!) A tip of the virtual hat to Chris Davis, who found this article online at Army Air Forces Collection. Read more about the talented Mr Olson here. 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: