American Flying Tigers in the World War II - The little known airwar over the China.
Latest hand-picked WWII news.
Last Flying Tiger in Southeast Asia to release memoirs
It has been 70 years since the end of the Second World War and the last surviving bomber pilot in Southeast Asia from the group known as the Flying Tigers will release his memoirs. It is the life story of a Malaysian student who fought for China during the Japanese Occupation, then settled in Singapore to train its core group of Singapore Airlines pilots. Captain Ho Weng Toh is the last surviving Flying Tiger in Southeast Asia. The term Flying Tigers refers to the American Volunteer Group pilots who helped China fight the Japanese. It also includes the fighters, freighters and bombers from China`s 14th Air Force`s Chinese-American Composite Wing which was established in 1943.
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Flying Tiger veteran Charles Breingan recalls his World War II exploits
Charles Breingan might have strafed the Japanese soldiers with the .50-caliber machine guns embedded in the wings of his P-51 Mustang. He might have dropped 500-pound bombs on them. But at the end of WW2, after flying 15 combat missions with the Flying Tigers in China and news of the atomic bomb`s use, Breingan was ordered to observe the Japanese withdrawal near Canton. Unfortunately, he ran out of fuel and was forced to land at a base held by the Japanese, who couldn`t decide whether to kill him or gas up his plane. Ultimately, they helped the American on his way: "There hadn`t been a formal surrender but they realized the war was over. It was very unusual. For me, the war was a fantastic adventure from beginning to end."
Documentary film: Lieutenant GEN. Clarie Lee Chennault and Flying Tigers
An official documentary film of Lieutenant General Claire Lee Chennault, who is remembered as leader of the famed Flying Tigers, an all volunteer air service in China that fought the Japanese during World War II, will be released in November in DVD format, according to the Academia Historica of Taiwan. The Academia Historica contracted a private firm to produce the documentary film "Lieutenant GEN. Clarie Lee Chennault and Flying Tigers," marking the first time the Taiwanese government has sought to produce a documentary about the history of the Flying Tigers.
Two lost Hump Airmen located as adventurer hunts down remains of WWII pilots who crashed in the Himalayas
Closure has been given to hundreds of American families by an adventurer who has dedicated years to tracking down WWII planes which went missing in the Himalayas. One missing pilot was James Browne, 21, who disappeared over the mountainous jungle region known as `The Hump` on November 17, 1942. His fellow pilot Captain John Dean, a veteran of the legendary Flying Tigers, and a Chinese crewman went down with him in the C-47. The search for missing planes has been undertaken by adventurer Clayton Kuhles, who has spent $100,000 making it his goal to find crash sites of the missing airmen. More that 700 planes are scattered across `The Hump`.
Flying Tiger Kirk Kirkpatrick - The last 3 months I never flew an airplane, we had no fuel
WWII veteran Kirk Kirkpatrick, wearing his bomber jacket, traced the evolution of the Flying Tigers from volunteer organization into the Army Air Corps 23rd Fighter Group. Kirkpatrick arrived in China in 1944. "I lived in a tent for a year." The military rations were awful, so he and his fellow pilots looked forward to packages from home. His grandmother had sent him some homemade pork sausage. His tentmates eagerly awaited more. When Kirkpatrick received another package, the men all gathered round: "My grandma had sent some pork tenderloin, but the jar had broken. We just about cried." But that wasn`t the most galling deprivation: "The last 3 months I was in China, I never flew an airplane. We had no fuel. ... I`ve got more time at sea than many sailors. 35 days at sea on the way to China and 47 days in the No. 5 hold of a Liberty ship on the way home."
Chinese American WWII veterans reunite to recall serving with Flying Tigers (photos)
Recently, Chinese American World War II veterans of the Flying Tigers reunited for their 68th Anniversary in New York City. Their all-Chinese American units served a special mission: to assist American Flying Tigers pilots and train Chinese Air Force ground crews to defend against Japanese invasion. They flew the "Hump", drove the legendary Burma Road, performed troop transport, repaired planes, and did crash recovery. It`s been all but forgotten that 20,000 Chinese Americans served in the Second World War.
John Alison: A highly decorated American WWII ace and the father of Air Force Special Operations
John "Johnny" R. Alison - a highly decorated American WWII ace who saw action with the Flying Tigers, veteran of the Korean War, the father of Air Force Special Operations - has passed away at 98.
WWII Chinese translator, who worked with the Flying Tigers, denied U.S. veterans status
John Yee was just 19 when the Japanese attacked his hometown of Kunming, China. Soon Japanese forces had advanced through much of China, and the Chinese military seemed unable to stop them. But half a world away, President Franklin D. Roosevelt had authorized a secret unit that would change the course of the war in Asia. As a result, Yee found himself working as a translator to Claire Lee Chennault and the American Volunteer Group, the aviation legends known as the Flying Tigers. His unique spot in history - a member of the Chinese air force who served with a secret American unit, then traveled to the U.S. and was allowed to stay for fear of reprisals in Communist China - means he has never been officially recognized as a veteran by the country he served and has called home for 65 years.
WWII Flying Tiger Hobert Jones recalls: Our life expectancy was about 30 days
After studying all aspects B-25, B-26 and B-24 bombers, Hobert Jones -- assigned to The Flying Tigers` 375th Bomb Squadron, 308th Bomb Group -- travelled to Chengkung, near Kunming, China. "When we landed at Cheng-kung the old experienced crew came to meet us. They ... were really glad to see us because they had lost two (B-24s and crews) on their last mission. That was half of what they left with. It didn`t take us long to figure out that our life expectancy was about 30 days."
The Flying Tigers & math: World War II veteran fought with his mind, not with a weapon
Barnard H. Bissinger is a World War Two veteran, but the weapon he used was not a rifle but a sliderule and his mind. He was part of Claire Chennault`s Flying Tigers, which operated in China with 100 P-40 fighter planes - while Bissinger was one of a band of 9 academics working behind the scenes. He spent a lot of his time calculating how best to get supplies over the Himalaya from India to their tiny base of Hunming in China. A 1948 U.S. government published "Operations Analysis In WWII, United States Army Air Forces," which describes the role that the small team played.
Flying Tiger Charles R. Bond Jr. downed 9 Japanese planes early in World War II
Charles R. Bond Jr., an Air Force major general and one of the last Flying Tigers, was credited with shooting down 9 Japanese planes during air combat over China and Burma early in the Second World War. In September 1941, he left the Army Air Forces to volunteer for service in China as part of a secret program, the American Volunteer Group, called the Flying Tigers. The group`s feats became legend. Flying the P-40 aircraft, their fuselages painted with a toothsome tiger, the Flying Tigers were credited with shooting down 299 enemy planes and ruining 200 on the ground, even though the Japanese at times outnumbered the group 15 planes to 1.
Surviving veterans of World War II Flying Tigers gather for possibly last time
Veterans of the Flying Tigers, the volunteer force of U.S. pilots who fought in China at the start of World War II, gathered for what could be one of their last reunions. There were 300 Flying Tigers who made up U.S. Army General Claire Chennault`s group of pilots. Only 19 are still alive, and just 8 of them made it to a reunion in San Antonio. "We`re the last of the Mohicans," said Chuck Baisden. The unit (officially called the American Volunteer Group) was formed with the backing of the Chinese government to defend Chinese cities from Japanese attack. The unit downed 296 Japanese aircraft in 7 months 1941-1942.
Flying Tigers pilot Dick Rossi shot down 6 Japanese planes
John Richard Rossi, the Flying Tigers pilot who downed 6 Japanese planes during World War II and aided to preserve the history of the volunteers, has died aged 92. In 1939 he enlisted in the Navy, and by 1940 he got his wings, but not the adventure, as he was sent to be a flight instructor. Then Rossi find out about a secret volunteer group being formed by Claire Chennault. The volunteers would travel to China to battle against the Japanese. Pilots with the American Volunteer Group would get $600 a month, plus $500 for each plane shot down. Rossi resigned his Navy commission and signed up.
Donald Lopez; World War II Fighter Ace, Museum Official
Donald S. Lopez, a World War II fighter ace who became a test pilot and spacecraft engineer and had a substantial role in planning the National Air and Space Museum, died aged 84. Lopez was based in China with the 23rd Fighter Group during WWII and flew 101 combat missions. He had 5 aerial victories, the requirement for an ace. Lopez`s first downing of an enemy aircraft was nearly his last: He was flying a Curtiss P-40 when he shot down a Japanese Oscar fighter on Dec. 12, 1943. He nearly smashed into the enemy plane during a head-on pass, and 2 feet of his plane`s wing were shaved off.
Uniformed Chinese everywhere, but nationalists or Communists? (Article no longer available from the original source)
Nazi Germany and Japan got the headlines, but America also had other World War II foes, as James Warren discovered. He was sent to China to service fighter planes of the Flying Tigers. Uniformed Chinese soldiers were everywhere, but it was difficult to tell nationalist Chinese allies from the Chinese Communists loyal to Mao Tse Tung. One day Warren was going to the flight line when his jeep passed an ammo dump guarded by a Chinese soldier in uniform. Seconds after his jeep passed, the dump exploded. "Those Commies didn`t like us. I guess the guard that blew that stuff up was one of the bad guys."
American "Flying Tigers" to have 167 hectare memorial park in China
A park to commemorate the Chinese soldiers and the US "Flying Tigers" air squadron who fought in World War II is to be set up in southwest China`s Yunnan Province. The wooded park will cover 167 hectares and have a peace gate, a friendship monument, a memorial wall and memorials to wartime figures. The park would be near an abandoned military airport that hosted American planes during WWII, 20km from downtown Kunming. The American Volunteer Group, nicknamed the Flying Tigers by Chinese for their courage, was formed in 1941 under the leadership of U.S. General Claire Lee Chenaults to help China drive out invading Japanese troops.
WWII fighter pilot David Hill dies, shot down 18 1/4 enemy aircraft
David Lee "Tex" Hill, a WWII fighter pilot who was the youngest brigadier general in the history of the Texas Air National Guard, died at 92. He graduated as a naval aviator in 1939, and in 1941 he joined the Flying Tigers, an American volunteer group in China. He shot down 18 1/4 enemy aircraft - The "quarter" came when 4 planes shoot down an enemy plane and each pilot was credited. Hill emerged from WWII a national hero. John Wayne based his character on him in the 1942 film "The Flying Tigers" and Hill earned numerous medals: the Silver Star, Legion of Merit, 4 Distinguished Flying Crosses, the British Flying Cross and 6 Chinese combat decorations.
World War II Cemetery of 300 US "Flying Tigers" found in China
Researchers have found in Southwest China a cemetery where 300 air warriors of the US squadron "Flying Tigers" and 500 Chinese airmen were buried. The cemetery lies in the woods in Puzhao village in Kunming, Yunnan Province, said Sun Guansheng. Airmen were buried in the cemetery when it was first built in 1943. The cemetery was moved to the current site in 1949. "Many people came to pay their respect to the air warriors before it was moved. However, few people are coming at present." On August 1,1941, the American Volunteer Group, Flying Tigers, was formed under the leadership of US General Claire Lee Chennaults to help China drive out the invading Japanese troops.
Rita Wong - World War Two Flying Tigers nurse
A legendary Chinese nurse who cared for injured U.S. Flying Tigers airmen and suffered beatings during the Cultural Revolution has died at 95. Rita Wong, who escaped the Japanese in Hong Kong to join the Flying Tigers in China, had lived in anonymity in Kunming for the past six decades. "The story of Rita Wong, the only Chinese nurse at the hospital for the Flying Tigers, could be one of the most touching tales of World War II." The Flying Tigers was the nickname for the American Volunteer Group that formed a fighter group that defended the Burma supply line to China over the Himalayas known as the “Hump” before the US entered the war.
Founder of top-secret fighter unit Flying Tiger honored
The American Volunteer Group (AVG), better known as the "Flying Tigers," was a top-secret fighter unit that picked dogfights with Japanese planes over China in 1941 and 1942. "The experts said the AVG wouldn`t last 3 weeks against the Japanese, as its Air Force enjoyed numerical superiority in the Pacific theater," said Jon Pensyl. "Well, we smashed the Japanese Air Force over China for over 7 months, keeping their bombers away from strategic points in that country." Pensyl, Director of the 5th Fighter Group, was back in the Pacific theater, along with his comrades in arms, to attend a ceremony honoring General Claire Chennault, the founder of the AVG.