All about the American Volunteer Group "Flying Tigers," the Japanese and Chinese military during the Second World War, the Northrop Flying Wing, Poland's experience of war and exile, and other subjects that take my fancy from time to time. Enjoy! -- Dan Ford

100 Hawks for China


CAMCO airstrip on Google Earth
There must be something lacking in Chiang Mai's nightlife, because expat Hak Hakanson seems to have no end of time to suss out the airfields of the Second World War. Above is a screenshot from Google Earth, which Hak overlaid by a USAAF aerial photograph of the airfield at Loiwing, where Bill Pawley was supposed to assemble aircraft for the Chinese Air Force, and where the AVG Flying Tigers were stationed in the spring of 1942. (Go here for a larger view.) If you plug 23°53'53.39"N 97°37'20.13"E into Google Earth, you can still make out the ghost of that runway, now a busy village street. Fascinating!

Rangoon airport today
And here's another remarkable screenshot from Google Earth, annotated by Matt Poole to show the hangars built in 1941 to house the Tomahawks sent to Rangoon for assembly. Indeed, traces of the 1941 asphalt runways are clearly visible. Matt has marked was Runway 6/24, crossed on its east side by Runway 18/36. For the wartime layout of Mingaladon, go here.

Last month I updated a page about Ray Whitehead of the Chinese Air Force and the AVG, thanks to fresh information from his daughter. Now she's provided a photo from those early years, taken when Mr. Whitehead was serving with French mercenaries in the Chinese 5th Air Force at Kunming. Chennault in those years was also sent back to Kunming to head up the CAF flight school and to make room for the Russian advisors who had moved into China in a big way in 1938.

For those who share my interest in Marcel Proust and his great novel, my doppelgänger Steven Fall has been reading a new biography of Proust's trasnslator, C.K. Scott Moncrieff, and writes about it on ReadingProust dot com.

Oh, and I've expanded and updated my e-book about the Katyn Forest massacres of 1940. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford

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Question? Comment? Newsletter? Send me an email. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford