Flying Tigers


I. General notes

In telling the story of the P-43 in both the C.A.F. and U.S.A.A.F. service in China as well as trying to connect the two and put both in context, the principal text became somewhat stylistically ponderous. In order to avoid too many diversions in the text some relatively important facts have been relegated to the notes below. The reader who is truly interested in details of this subject is commended to review the text notes for content as well as for citations to source material.

In referring to geographical locations in China I have consistently tried to use transliterations that were common (used in maps or communiques) during World War II. With respect to personal names I have followed whatever form was used in the source material except where different transliterations were used for the same name in more than one source. I have then used one form consistently. Chinese and Japanese names have been rendered in western order only when initials are used or if the name contains western elements.

I have used what I think are the commonly accepted translations for Chinese and Japanese organizational terms. For the C.A.F., Group (Da Dui) and Squadron (Zhong Dui) are used. For the J.A.A.F., Flying Regiment or just Regiment (Hiko Sentai) and Squadron (Chutai) are use. Abbreviations are noted at first use.

When a single source supports several facts in a paragraph or sequence of paragraphs I have generally limited repeat citations unless they seemed necessary for clarity. I have sometimes consolidated all citations in a paragraph to a single note indicating which fact is supported by which citation or source in the note.

Copies of materials cited, other than popular works or library resources, are in the possession of the author unless indicated. In some cases I have, for convenience, cited to paperback editions rather than the original work.

Photographs used in this article were assembled from a variety of sources (author's collection, U.S. National Archives, various Internet sites) in each case original photo credit should be the U.S. Army. Maps are from U.S. Army's Japanese Monograph No. 71.

II. Text Notes

1. "Estimated Strength Chinese Nationalist Air Force," (American Consulate General, Nanking), Aug. 14, 1931

2. "Canton Situation - Capture of Hengchow," memorandum of conversation (Col. Conrad Chung, Chinese Aviation Bureau/ Vice-Consul L.C. Reynolds, American Consulate General, Nanking), Sept. 3, 1931 (The K-47 was a monoplane two-seat fighter, a predecessor of the famous Ju-87)

3. Whelan, The Flying Tigers, Viking Press, New York (1942), pp.16-17; Whelan ascribes the demise of the Jouett mission to Japanese diplomatic pressure. Other sources suggest Chinese politics led to non-renewal of Jouett's contract. Whelan dates the mission 1932-34 but apparently Jouett's contract ran to 1935.

4. Hsu & Chang (compilers), History of the Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945), trans. Wen Ha-Hsuing, Wu Publishing Co., Tapei, (2nd ed., 1971), p. 172; also, same compilers, Brief History of the Sino-Japanese War, (same publisher, 1972); in August 1937 the U.S. Military Attache in China reported that the C.A.F. consisted of about 210 "combat type" aircraft, the rest may well have been trainers and obsolescent types

5. id.; Japanese Monograph No. 76, Air Operations in the China Area (July 1937-August 1945); Japanese Monograph No. 166, History of Air Operations in the First Phase of the China Incident (From July to November 1937). Partial coverage is contained in Okumiya & Hirokoshi, Zero, Dutton, New York (1956) and Chennault, Way of a Fighter, Putnam, New York (1949). Consult the bibliography in Ford, Flying Tigers, HarperCollins, New York (2007) for some other relevant works [page references hereafter are to the 1991 Smithsonian Institution Press edition of this book].

6. "During 1937 to 1940 the main supplier.was the Soviet Union, sending 563 fighters (I-15, I-15bis, I-16, and I-153), and 322 bombers (292 SB, 24 DB-3, and 6 TB-3)." Demin, "Changing From Donkeys to Mustangs," Aviamaster (6/2000), trans. George M. Mellinger

7. Memorandum, no subject, U.S. Department of State, Division of Controls (Joseph C. Green), July 27, 1940 (reference letter from A.L. Patterson, President, China Airmotive Co., and telecon from Arthur N. Young, financial adviser to Chinese Government, mentioning "cut-throat competition" and "disgraceful behavior"); Memorandum, no subject, U.S. Department of State, Division of Controls (Joseph C. Green), Dec. 5, 1940 (re telephone conversation with Mr. Guy Vaughn, Curtiss-Wright Corp. regarding C-W's use of intermediary Intercontinental Corp. to deal with the Chinese).

8. Letter, Chennault to B.S. Wright, President Curtiss-Wright Corp., Dec. 13, 1938

9. ".the very first combat over Chengdu [Chengtu] on 14 March [1941] demonstrated that the Chinese in the Chaika [I-153] were helpless before the Japanese Zero." Demin (note 6)

10. Memorandum of Conversation, "Aid to China," (Secretary of State Hull/ Dr. T.V. Soong), Nov. 28, 1940

11. Magruder radiogram (rad.) for SecWar and Chief of Staff, Nov. 18, 1941 ("The 30th of October I had a talk with the Generalissimo who frankly stated that his Chinese.Air Corps has become a complete washout.he is afraid of its combat efficiency."). Plans were then in motion both for advanced training of Chinese pilots in the U.S. (first class started training in November 1941 and graduated Mar. 27, 1942) and the shipment of modern U.S. aircraft to China. Chennault wanted the best of the first Chinese graduates of U.S. flight training to become instructors of Chinese trainees preparing to go to the U.S. for advanced training because the training situation in China was "almost hopeless." (Letter, Chennault to Madame Chiang, May 5, 1942).

12. According to Demin (note 6) the Chinese 3rd Fighter Group was ordered to Rangoon in June 1941 to take delivery of the P-40s. This is confirmed, at least in part, by a letter from the American Consul in Rangoon to the U.S. Secretary of State (July 14, 1941) which states that 18 Chinese pilots and 19 mechanics arrived in Rangoon in June under orders to take over the P-40s delivered on May 23, 1941, and fly them to China after assembly. According to the letter, "Chungking countermanded this order."

13. Taylor, Combat Aircraft of the World, Putnam, New York (1969), p. 549 (other sources, e.g., Green, War Planes of the Second World War, Fighters, vol.4, Doubleday, New York (1961) pp.166-168, generally agree with material in Taylor). Taylor is followed in this section except as noted. This author has found no primary source evidence to support the proposition that the P-43 (or later P-44) contracts were an expedient to keep Republic solvent pending development of the P-47. Both P-43 and P-44 were ordered as modern combat aircraft. They apparently became "non-combat" aircraft when an Air Corps policy change required protected fuel tanks and (as later explained in the text) their design precluded fitting self-sealing tanks. At that point they may have played the role (place-holder for the P-47) suggested by Taylor and others.

14. Taylor, supra, states all additional 17 P-43s went to the R.A.A.F. but an Australian source indicates only eight P-43s were received by the R.A.A.F. and serial numbers indicate only four of these were P-43A-1s [web page no longer available]

100 Hawks for China

15. Ford (note 5) p. 305, says P-43s had no "armor or fuel tank membranes." ["membranes" presumably being a reference to non-metal self-sealing fuel tanks]; other sources specifically identify the P-43A-1 as having (1) "improved pilot protection and self-sealing fuel tanks." Green (note 13), p. 168), or (2) "armor and self-sealing fuel tanks" in "Republic P-43 Lancer" on Joe Baugher's website [web page no longer available]; Molesworth, Sharks Over China, Brassey's, London (1994), says the P-43A had no self-sealing tanks and "insufficient" armor (p.45).

16. Confirmation of P-43 armor is found in GHQ India, Inspectorate of Small Arms, "Penetration trials with weapons taken from Japanese aircraft firing at armor plate on 14-9-43 and 16-9-43," (Lt. Col. J.W. Harris) Sept. 23, 1943. This report records results, inter alia, on a 6mm plate described as "American: Back of Pilot's seat P-43 Aircraft" and 9.8mm armor described as "American: Side plate from a type P-43 plane." Indications suggesting these were factory installed are the source description as "American" (rather than British or Indian), the fact that both plates carried parts numbers, and, finally, it is exceedingly unlikely aircraft being scrapped for engines would be field modified by adding armor. Many aircraft produced without (or with inadequate) fuel tank and pilot protection could, of course, receive field modifications to remedy the deficiency. This was done, for example, in the case of the U.S. Navy's Grumman F4F carrier fighter that entered World War II with neither self-sealing tanks nor pilot armor. See Lundstrom, The First Team, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis (1984), pp. 12, 55. The P-43's fuel tanks could not be upgraded for reasons stated in the text (U.S.A.A.F. memorandum, "Analysis of Article `WE HAVE NO AIR POWER' By Alexander P. DeSeversky - Published in LOOK Magazine October 7, 1941", unsigned, undated; from context and related correspondence the "Analysis" was prepared to allow Army Air Force officials to counter testimony Seversky might give at a forthcoming Congressional hearing). Absence of unsatisfactory reports regarding fuel tanks (at least none was found by the author in the folder of P-43 unsatisfactory reports in RG 342 at the U.S. National Archives) show the aircraft did not have fuel tank problems in the U.S.

17. Kung rad. to Jouett, May 7, 1939 (the guarantee in question related to a maximum speed of 320 mph. using 87 octane fuel)

18. Letter, Willys R. Peck, U.S. Embassy, to Dr. Kung, May 29, 1939 (Peck received a memorandum advising him of the information he passed on to Dr. Kung but in fact the P-35A/EP-1 was not the original P-35 ordered by the Air Corps in 1936)

19. Data compiled from figures in Department of State, Division of Controls, memorandum, no subject, (J.E. Peurifoy to Mr. Green), Feb. 2, 1940

20. Department of State, memorandum, no subject (Joseph C. Green), Dec. 5, 1940

21. Dod, The Corps of Engineers in the War Against Japan, O.C.M.H., U.S. Army, Washington, D.C. (1966), p. 389

22. See generally Bailey & Ryan, Hitler vs. Roosevelt: The Undeclared Naval War, Free Press, New York (1979), especially pp. 170-233; George (chapter author), "United States-Japan Relations Leading to Pearl Harbor" in Forceful Persuasion: Coercive Diplomacy as an Alternative, U.S. Institute for Peace Press, Washington, D.C. (1991), pp. 12, 19-23

23. "Chinese Aircraft and Programs," memorandum for President Roosevelt's Liaison Commission (Hines), Feb. 3, 1941 cited in Romanus, Stillwell's Mission to China, O.C.M.H., U.S. Army, Washington, D.C. (1953), p. 12

24. "Status of Planes Allotted to China," Apr. 1, 1942, chart in President Roosevelt's Map Room files; this totals 108 P-43s the number cited in many sources as delivered to the Chinese, however, "History of the Chinese Air Force" (preliminary draft, 16 May 1946, project #2863, M.I.D., U.S. Army, table 1) lists only 102 P-43s factory delivered to the C.A.F. in 1941-2 with eight returned, netting 94 to China). War Dept. rad. No. 413 to AMMISCA (April 7, 1942) records 94 P-43s then at Karachi or at sea. Another source (Office of Strategic Services, Research and Analysis Branch, "American Cooperation with China During the First Year of the War", June 11, 1943, p.48) says of 125 P-43s originally allocated to the Chinese 17 were permanently diverted to the U.S. Army but it mentions only 57 accepted by the Chinese and 47 not turned over to the Chinese in India. This totals 104. It accounts for the 47 not turned over to the Chinese as 12 assigned to the U.S. Army and 35 crashed or stripped for spares (presumably some of the 35 had indeed been "accepted" by the Chinese but were later reclaimed by the Americans while still in India). It thus appears that not only did the C.A.F. not receive the full 125 P-43s produced under the lend-lease contract but that it received less than the 108 cited in many sources, possibly as few as 94. As will be noted below four additional P-43s (probably ex-14th Air Force were provided to the C.A.F. in 1943 per table 1 of "History.")

25. Memorandum No. 26 for His Excellency, The Generalissimo, subject: "P-43 Fighter Airplanes" (B/G Clayton Bissell), Jul. 2, 1942 (regarding responsibility of C.A.F.); Ground crews from the 51st Pursuit Group were involved in assembling, servicing and repairing the C.A.F. aircraft at least from May 1942. The group also provided a pilot to assist in flight tests (HQ 51st Fighter Group, "History of Group from January 1, 1942 to March 25, 1943")

26. "Donkeys" (note 6); Another source places the first loss at Jabalpur, India on April 22nd, stating that Deputy Leader of the 4th Group Chang Shiaoyu died when his P-43 had an engine fire and crashed ("Notes on CAF P-43", translated from official CAF combat records by D.Y. Louie, provided by James Sawruk) [The author has no reason to doubt these "Notes" are an accurate rendition of CAF records. That does not mean they, or other sources, are necessarily 100% correct. In particular "Notes" and Demin's articles differ in a number of specifics]

27. Chinese responsible, no U.S. records - Memo No. 26 (note 25); 50% losses - "History.(note 24), p. 47, citing interview with A.V.G. flight leader George Paxton.

28. Quotation and section based on Scott, God is My Co-pilot, (1943), Ballentine Books ed. (1970), p. 66; the leaks occurred primarily along the inboard seam of the tank adjacent to the fuselage (Stillwell rad. to AGWAR, no. 698, May 18, 1942) the same radiogram requested a factory representative be sent to correct the problem.

29. Note 26, id.; Rossi, "A Flying Tiger's Story, chapter 2" [web page no longer available]

30. Memorandum No. 20 for His Excellency, The Generalissimo, subject: "Aircraft Status Report" (Bissell), June 5, 1942

31. Note 26, id., Demin renders Cheng's name Zheng Shaoyu; Ford (note 5), p. 350, records two P-43s bursting into flames in flight at Kunming and witnessed by A.V.G. personnel. For a profile of Cheng, click here.

32. Note 25, id.

33. "Re General Bissell's Memorandum No.26 to the Generalissimo," (Madame Chiang), undated

34. Chungking (Gauss) rad. to Secretary of State, Jul. 7, 1942 (the words "reflection on wings" in this message are not self evident; possibly "flexion" or "deflection" on wings is meant implying that the wings were deformed in high stress maneuvers; the other causes are clear enough). The "5th Air Force" was undoubtedly a reference to the Chinese 5th Route Air Force (commanded by Col. Wang Su-Ming), the C.A.F. regional command at Kunming. 35. Note 4, p.280; see note 26 (Demin and "Notes." agree)

36. Note 26, id.; aircraft number identified in "Fighting Colors of the Chinese Air Force," Chung-ho, Taipei (1995). This publication is almost entirely in Chinese but the author has extracted a limited amount of information as indicated (copy provided by Osamu Tagaya)

37. Stillwell, (note 23), p.114; "American Cooperation." (note 24) p. 48 notes 12 P-43s turned over to the U.S. Army, most likely the two used by Scott and Chennault's ten.

John Boyd's Aerial Attack Study

38. Demin, "Soviet Fighters in the Sky of China (Pt. V)," Aviatsiia Kosmonavtika (1/2000), trans. George M. Mellinger

39. Note 4, p. 284; Hata, Izawa & Shores, Japanese Army Air Force Fighter Units and Their Aces, Grub Street, London (2002), p.61; SB-3 was apparently a misnomer used by the Chinese and others for the Tupolev SB-2bis (Jane's, All the World's Aircraft, 1943-1944, MacMillam, New York (1945) p. 145c)

40. Note 4, p.284

41. Note 26. It is quite possible that the I-153s mentioned by Demin and the I-15s mentioned by Ford (note 5), p.344 (I-15s in the Salween operations), refer to the same actions, namely the I-153s of the 17th Squadron (particularly since "elderly" I-15s were very unlikely to be in action at this late date and the Chinese seem to have referred to I-153s as I-15 IIIs). Demin (note 38) also mentions a couple I-153s of the 26th Squadron engaged in anti-drug operations.

42. Note 26, id.

43. For terms "combat efficiency" and "washout" see note 11; "glory" see, generally, Whelan (note 3), and Ford (note 5).

44. Memorandum for General Stillwell, "Resume of Aviation Situation China, Burma, India Theater," (Bissell), Jul. 26, 1942

45. Memorandum for Commanding General, "Air Force Units required to support offensive operations in Burma and maintain defensive operations in central, eastern, and northern China," (Chennault), Aug. 6, 1942

46. Mono. No. 76 (note 5), p. 110

47. Operational numbers from U.S.A.F. Historical Study No. 109, The Fourteenth Air Force to 1 October 1943, App. 7, ("Aircraft Strength.31 July 1942-31 October 1943")

48. Note 38, id.; Gen. Chow Chih-Juu, Chinese Commission on Aeronautical Affairs, "Results of Missions Performed since July 1, 1942 to January 28, 1943" (table IV attached to "Information requested from General Chow at a meeting with him on Jan. 26, 1943", report requested by 10th Air Force)

49. AMMISCA rad. No. 39 to A.G. War Dept., Aug. 13, 1942

50. Cornelius & Short, Ding Hao - America's Air War in China, Pelican, Gretna, La. (1980), p. 212. Unless otherwise noted, details of U.S.A.A.F. P-43 combats can be found in intelligence summaries, histories, and mission reports of the units concerned or Cornelius & Short, or Molesworth (note 15).

51. Barnum chased his opponent close to Canton where three aircraft of the 18th Squadron were based (note 46). Type 100 performance (604 k.p.h. at 5,800 meters) from Airview, General View of Japanese Military Aircraft in the Pacific War, Kanto-sha, Tokyo (Eng. ed. 1956)

52. Hata et al. (note 39), p. 62

53. Memorandum for Lt. Gen. Stillwell, "Decisions taken at September meeting at Chungking," (Chennault), Sept. 11, 1942

54. Aerial demonstration - "Twenty Fighter Planes Presented to Government Before Crowd of 50,000 at Chungking Airport," Chinese News Service (dateline Chungking; Eng. version, New York) October 13, 1942 (hereafter CNS); Mission results - "Results of Missions Performed." (note 48)

55. "Results of Missions Performed." (note 48)

56. id.; Although Chow's data shows no loss on the escort mission, Demin (note 38) says the 21st Squadron lost one aircraft (piloted by Dexiang He) in combat with a reconnaissance plane (if correct, this was likely the first combat loss of a P-43)

57. "Results of Missions Performed." (note 48); "History.", (note 24), p. 48 gives C.A.F. strength in U.S. aircraft in November 1942 as 9 P-40s, 36 P-43s, 37 P-66s and 15 A-29s.

58. id.

59. id.; "Chinese Destroy 8 Jap Planes, Cause Heavy Damage in Air-raid Over Hupeh" CNS, Jan. 12, 1943; "Notes." (note 26), states eight P-43s were involved and three Japanese aircraft destroyed on the ground. It identifies one P-40 pilot killed by Japanese AA fire, Mo Tongzhe of the 23rd Squadron.

60. "Two Jap Planes Downed in Raid Over Itu," CNS, Jan. 15, 1943; Chow's data (note 48) agrees. It is not clear what Japanese aircraft were encountered but they certainly were not navy Type Zero fighters

61. "Present Condition of Operational Units of the Chinese Air Force (a/o Jan. 29, 1943)" another attachment (table III) in Chow's report (note 48)

62. "Summary Report of Activities in China," (Kenneth M. Warder, Vultee Service Representative), Feb. 1, 1943. Warder's report cites many instances of Chinese misuse of U.S.-supplied equipment and poor maintenance practices. Chinese figures for serviceable aircraft as of Feb. 19, 1943 are close to Warder's figures: 8 A-29s, 39 P-66s, 14 P-40Es and 16 P-43s; also 6 SB-3s (letter, Chow to Chennault, dtd. Feb. 26, 1943, attached table 1).

63. Note 47, id.

64. Mono. No. 76 (note 5), p. 119

65. id.

Remains - A Story of the Flying Tigers

66. ibid., p. 123; The P-43s engaged bore the C.A.F. serial numbers 2104, 2105 and 2113 ("Fighting Colors." note 36); "Notes." (note 26) says ten Japanese fighters escorted eighteen bombers and that Xu Xiaomin was mortally wounded when shot down in P-43 No. 2104.

67. id.; Hata et al. (note 39), p. 62 (Japanese accounts); Demin (note 6) mentions the loss of five P-43s of the 21st Squadron without a date although he says it was during a joint mission with P-40s

68. Stillwell (note 23), pp. 274-275. Romanus suggests this situation was pregnant with implication: "Only a reinforced China Air Task Force could assume the mission. This meant an end to the China Air War Plan. Again the demands on Hump tonnage that would be made by protecting Chungking with U.S. resources could not fail to affect plans to develop the Y-Force." p.275 (Y-Force was the 100,000 man Chinese contribution to the invasion of Burma on the Yunnan front). Romanus seems to overstate the importance of the Chinese request for air support for Chungking. The C.A.T.F. had performed that mission previously and, as will be seen, the C.A.F. resumed the mission by summer 1943. Despite this request C.A.T.F. fighters deployed eastward to advanced bases at the end of March. It is quite possible General Chow's request for support was merely a dramatic gesture to emphasize that "gas and material" were "urgently required" by the C.A.F. (Chow letter to Chennault, note 62). The Chinese had previously complained about poor treatment in that aviation fuel loaned to the Americans had not been replaced (U.S.A.F. Historical Study No. 104, The Tenth Air Force, 1 January -10 March 1943, p. 65).

69. Note 47, pp. 58-59 gives the Chinese analysis of Japanese intentions; the Japanese also intended to capture about 20,000 tons of shipping idle near Ichang to replenish their shipping losses (Mono. No. 71, Army Operations in China December 1941 - December 1943, p. 148)

70. Note 64; The P-43 apparently belonged to the 16th FS and needed repairs (Molesworth, note 5, p. 113)

71. Demin (note 6)

72. ibid.; A Japanese source credits the loss to a combination of ground and air action: "Nippon Wild Eagles in collaboration with ground forces, this afternoon shot down a P-40.on the foremost front." ("Foe Raider Downed,": dateline May 19, Domei, Mainichi, May 21, 1943) All references to Mainichi are to the International edition in English

73. "Wild Eagles Make Widespread Raid on Liangshan," (Domei, May 20), Mainichi May 21, 1943; According to the Chinese 25 aircraft were involved in the attack and they took off from Itu, CNS, May 21, 1943

74. Demin (note 5); Hsu & Chang (note 4), p. 285, gives slightly different figures, to wit: 326 fighter sorties, 80 bomber sorties, and 41 aerial victories. The victories seem to include the results of joint U.S.-Chinese missions including the B-24 escort mission on the 31st of May when B-24 gunners claimed 20 victories. Other than the missions mentioned in the text P-43s were involved in at least one other escort mission. This took place on June 5th and involved four A-29s, three SB-3s, five P-43s and eleven P-40s. Itu was bombed but no additional details are given (14th Air Force Weekly Intelligence Summary). Japanese figures for the "latest operations up to and including June 6" were 17 shot down, 22 destroyed on the ground for 4 lost ("Army Eagles In China and Burma Down 80 Foe Planes, Destroy 62," Mainichi, June 9, 1943).

75. 14th A.F. Daily Intelligence Extract (May 31, 1943)

76. 14th A.F. Daily Intelligence Extract (June 2, 1943) reference P-43s; "Two Chinese Aces," China Newsweek (London) Nov. 18, 1943; Hata et al. (note 39), pp. 138, 295; e-mails from H. Ichimura Feb. 22 & 26, 2002; "Gen. Chiang Awards Highest Honor to 2 Fliers, One For Saving Life of U.S. Air Ace," CNS, June 15, 1943. Molesworth (note 15) ignores this incident. Cornelius & Short (note 50), pp. 271-272 discuss Alison's last mission without mentioning Tsang.

77. Mono. 76 (note 5), p. 126

78. Note 4, p. 285; Actually only 12 P-40s returned. Thirteen were on the mission but one was shot down (cable report to 14th A.F.); Japanese sources admit the three losses, "Liangshan and Enshih Heavily Raided," (Domei, June 8), Mainichi, June 9, 1943

79. "Two Chinese Aces." and "Gen. Chiang Honors." (note 76); 14th A.F. Daily Intelligence Extract (June 8, 1943) cites the C.A.F. as the source that a P-66 shot down three Japanese bombers. Losses on ground, same Extract.

80. "Liangshan." (note 78)

81. 14th A.F. (note 79); Demin (note 6) states that Chen Zhaoji of the 41st Squadron claimed a victory on June 6, 1943, without giving specifics. Likely these two reports relate to the same encounter. The pilot of the Japanese bomber was a Lt. Iwamura ("Lieut. Iwamura Meets Heroic Death," Mainichi, June 9, 1943)

82. Kunming rad. to AGWAR, (June 17, 1943), beginning at this point the 14th Air Force began reporting on C.A.F. strength to Washington

83. Kunming rad. to AGWAR (June 15, 1943)

84. Note 47, pp. 59-60 (new fighters in May); 14th A.F. Weekly Intelligence Summary, Jul. 21, 1943 (weather scrubbed missions); Note 47, app. 6 (P-43s off 14th A.F. strength reports). Kunming rad. to CG AAF, 1 August 43, 1347Z, (31 July msg); P-43s from the 14th A.F. may have been turned over to the C.A.F., "History.table 1" (note 24) shows four P-43s delivered to the C.A.F. in 1943.

85. Mono. No. 76 (note 4), p. 127; the Japanese may have sighted the reported number of fighters but their figures do not reflect C.A.F. operational strength. The C.A.F. reported to the 14th Air Force that in mid-June it had 5 P-40Es, 9 P-43s and 46 P-66s (note 82). These figures obviously do not reflect aircraft in factory repair and returned to service later as well as 15 P-40Ms received by the C.A.F. soon afterwards.

86. Mono. 76 (note 5), pp. 130-137

87. ibid., p. 132

Cowboy: interpreter, warlord, one more casualty

88. Kunming rad. to AGWAR (Aug. 9, 1943) giving C.A.F. aircraft status as of July 28, 1943

89. The Japanese perspective comes from Monograph No. 76 (note 5); an abstract of information from China Area Army Air Operations, p. 363 (vol. 74, Boeicho Kenshujo Senshishitsu, Senshi Sosho, Tokyo) provided by Osamu Tagaya; and, additional sources in notes below.

90. Kunming rad. to AGWAR (Aug. 25, 1943) re number of C.A.F. interceptors and U.S. interception attempt; Aircraft types from C.A.F. August status report (Kunming rad. to AGWAR Sep. 1, 1943); Specific numbers of aircraft from "Notes.", note 26.

91. "Nippon Planes Bomb Chungking," (dateline Tokyo, Aug. 25, 1943), Greater Asia (Rangoon), Aug. 29, 1943

92. Hata et al. (note 39), p. 64 indicates seven claims (4 certain, 3 probable) were made by the 25th FR; Monograph 76 agrees as to the number of claims and BKS vol. 74 agrees both as to the number and 25th FR making the claims (note 89). Elsewhere in Hata (p. 285) total claims are given as five certain and three probables and (p. 271) Sgt. Major Mitsuo Yamato of 33rd FR is credited with a victory over Chungking.

93. "Fighting Colors." (note 36), names translated by `Christine,' East Asia Room, McKeldin Library, Univ. of Maryland (who confirmed that the text indicated these pilots were killed); Hata et al. (note 39), p. 249 (re Seino): "Notes." (note 26) mentions the name of only one pilot lost Yan Guihua, squadron leader of the 42nd Squadron.

94. Chinese Aeronautical Commission communique, Chungking, Aug. 23, 1943

95. August status report (note 90)

96. "History." (note 24), p. 53

97. ibid., p. 48 (re numbers of aircraft; according to Dan Ford in an Oct. 1. 2001 message posted on Warbird's Forum,, the P-66s were listed as "obsolescent" in a strength return in November 1943 but P-43s were not); Details of November combat from "Notes." (note 26) which states Gao Yuxin, squadron leader of the 21st Squadron, led the P-43s and Yang Xu was missing in action; and, Hata et al. (note 39) p. 65. "Notes." also states P-43s were withdrawn from C.A.F. service in December 1943, presumably a reference to combat service.

98. "History." id.

99. A couple examples will suffice to make the point that pilots thought well of the P-43: "The A.V.G. pilots were enthralled by the P-43." Ford (note 5), p. 305; ".P-43As. These were good, fast-climbing little fighter ships." Scott (note 28), p. 66; British ace Robert Stanford Tuck flew P-43s with the 1st Pursuit Group during a visit to the U.S. in October 1941. He found that the American pilots "just didn't appreciate how important an advantage height was in modern air fighting." Forrester, Fly For Your Life, Frederick Muller, Great Britain (1956), Bantam ed. (1973), p. 286. This suggests U.S.A.A.F. pilots and brass may have under-valued the P-43's strong points.

100. Quotes from "The Fourteenth Air Force." (note 47), pp. 131-132; The Type 2 fighter was used in small numbers beginning in the Spring of 1943 but first made a big impact in July 1943 with the arrival of a fully equipped Regiment (85th FR). In their first combat on July 24th eight Type 2 fighters of 2/85th FR took on a dozen U.S. fighters near Hengyang including P-40s of the 74th FS and a couple P-38s. This combat mainly took place at low and medium altitude and two of the Japanese fighters were shot down, as was one P-38. The Type 2 fighter was not immediately recognized as a new and superior fighter in this combat. The high altitude tactics were apparently initiated on August 20th. The change in tactics thus appears to play an important role in the call for improved fighters as all the quotations date from late August and September.

101. "The Fourteenth Air Force." (note 47), p. 132. This was not the first time high-altitude performance was an issue. As early as January 8, 1943, General Bissell "expressed a need for at least 12 high-altitude fighters to deal with Japanese reconnaissance planes." ("Tenth Air Force." note 68, p. 20). Bissell's plea was rejected based on other priorities. Bissell probably had P-38s in mind as high-altitude fighters but the situation is still ironic since it was Bissell who recommended the scrapping of a few dozen P-43s just six months earlier.

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