A Vision So Noble

FDR's 'secret order'

The Flying Tiger romances all speak of a "secret executive order" supposedly signed by President Roosevelt to create the American Volunteer Group. No such order has ever surfaced, and Roosevelt historians agree that it wouldn't have been his style: he preferred to give a wink and a nod, and to leave the details to his subordinates--Lauchlin Currie, in this case.

This is the closest I could come: notes written at Currie's request to direct the armed forces to release men for the 2nd and 3rd AVG, a bomber group and a fighter group, respectively. Since the navy was particularly reluctant to release men in 1941, Currie worked out a plan whereby the 2nd AVG would be recruited entirely from the U.S. Army in the fall of 1941, and the 3rd--a fighter group equipped with P-43 Lancers and P-66 Vanguards--from the navy starting in January. Below is FDR's directive to the Secretary of the Navy with respect to the 3rd AVG:

FDR's directive to the

[Supplied by Alan Armstrong. Another copy is in the Roosevelt Library at Hyde Park, New York.]

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