100 Hawks for China

THE WARBIRD'S FORUM

P-40 mockups in China
Bob Bergin is in China again, and he keeps finding traces of the American Volunteer Group in the most amazing places. Here's a shot of an airfield "hidden among Yunnan's hills and deep valleys." It's an old movie set with rather realistic mock-ups of the P-40 Tomahawk fighters of the American Volunteer Group, though no one seems to remember anything about the movie it was supposed to support. There's also a Douglas C-47 transport and a paratroop training tower. Even more fascinating, it evidently first served the KMT (Nationalist) government of China before the forces of Chiang Kai-shek fled to the offshore island of Taiwan. Bob's email and photos are here.

John Armstrong was the first Flying Tiger to die in line of duty, in the crash of his P-40 in September 1941. His relatives have now made a formal request for one of the bodies buried at the Punchbowl Cemetery in Hawaii to be exhumed and subjected to a DNA test in hopes of positively identifying his remains.

I've just now added a list of the Ten Best Books about the Vietnam War. (Two were written by me. Am I biased? You bet. But they're worth reading nevertheless.)

Some good reads this month: Go to the Warbird's Bookshelf for my thoughts on Barbara Tuchman's wonderful and politically incorrect The Guns of August, reissued in advance of the centenary of the First World War; on Ford Madox Ford's Parade's End, which I have read for the first time and only now recognize as perhaps the greatest novel of the 20th Century; and also on American Prometheus, a fascinating and irritating biography of the man who more than any other was reponsible for developing the first atomic bombs. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford

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