About those AVG victory creditsAVG pilots were paid $500 for each Japanese plane they destroyed--a substantial sum, equivalent to perhaps $10,000 in our much-depreciated greenbacks. Unlike the practice in most air forces, a plane burned on the ground was given the same weight as one shot down in aerial combat. The record was further muddled by that face that pilots sometimes shared bonus payments among everyone taking part in a mission. (This was especially likely to happen when a pilot was lost.)
In 1986, aviation enthusiast Frank Olynyk worked through the AVG records, tossing out claims against aircraft on the ground and restoring air-to-air credits to the pilots who actually scored the kills, as shown by their combat reports and other documents. I have not checked his work, but it looks looks good to me, and I have used it in my profiles of the 15 AVG aces and in the table that appears below.