Flying Tigers

Roster of the 2nd AVG

The 2nd AVG was a bomber group, authorized by President Roosevelt and recruited by Bill Pawley's Central Aircraft Manufacturing Company in the fall of 1941. CAMCO hired 82 pilots and 359 ground crew (almost certainly including air crew) who were duly discharged from the U.S. Army in November. Lockheed outfitted 33 Hudson bombers--really little more than a militarized version of the Lockheed Super Electra transport, complete with the passenger windows--with long-range fuel tanks so they could fly across the Pacific; they were to have been used for "occasional incendiary bombing of Japan". The same number of Douglas Boston light bombers (A-20s in U.S. service) would travel by sea to Africa, and there be assembled for the flight overland through India to China.

A considerable group sailed from California on November 21 aboard Bloemfontein and possibly Noordam, which had earlier carried men of the 1st AVG to Burma. Lieutenant Hagenbuch and Sergeants Charland, Zimmerman, and Brogden, plus the adaptible "Jimmy" Stewart, must have been among them, and perhaps Sgt? Ireland as well.

Following the Japanese breakout on December 7/8, the ships were diverted to Australia, where Bloemfontein docked on December 22, and where the army men were eventually taken back into U.S. service. Their Douglas and Lockheed bombers were likewise re-inducted, as were the men who hadn't yet sailed for Asia. I'm seeking the names of those with a connection with the 2nd AVG. If you know of any such, please send email. And click here for more about the 2nd AVG.

Name (joined from) recruited as what we know about him later WWII service
John Brogden (USAAF) aircraft gunner?supposedly sailed to Australia,"flew with the Flying Tigers until they disbanded," then rejoined the AAF sergeant, 381st Bomb Group, Europe, KIA 11 Jan 1944
Alfred Charland (USAAF)armament instructor sailed to Australia, where he worked for CAMCO until Feb 1942, when he rejoined the AAFsergeant, 35th Fighter Group, Pacific
Glenn Hagenbuch (USAAF) bomber pilot scheduled to fly out 10 Dec 1941; returned to USAAF B-17 pilot in Europe, died 1943
Robert Klemann (USAAF) bomber pilot Recruited September; scheduled to fly out 10 Dec 1941; flew to Sacramento 4 Dec; orders canceled after 7 Dec; returned to USAAF B-25 pilot in China
James Louis Lawler (USAAF) navigator Apparently scheduled to fly out 10 Dec 1941; reported at Los Angeles; orders canceled after 7 Dec; returned to USAAFcareer Air Force officer
Royal Leonard (civilian) flight leader Suggested as candidate to bring AVG bombers to Asia; returned to US by sea, but arrived after Pearl Harbor attack; evidently returned to ChinaCNAC pilot?
Jimmy Stewart (civilian) morale officer? sailed to Australia Nov-Dec 1941 Red Cross Field Director, New Guinea
William Zimmerman (USAAF) aircraft mechanic "Honorably Discharged to enter Amer Vol. Gp." 13 Nov 1941. Sailed to Australia, where he worked until Jun 1942 assembling P-40s & Beauforts Taught AAF mechanics in Philadelphia; flight training; B-24 pilot 15th AF; earned DFC
John L. Ireland (USAAF?) mechanic? radioman? Signed CAMCO contract 10 Nov 1941 at Westover Field MA. Salary $350 a month. To report at port of departure 19 Nov 1941. Richard Aldworth signed for CAMCO. unknown

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