Flying Tigers: Claire Chennault and His American Volunteers, 1941-1942

by Daniel Ford

Book cover for Flying Tigers: Claire Chennault and His American Volunteers, 1941-1942

During World War II, in the skies over Rangoon, Burma, a handful of American pilots met and bloodied the "Imperial Wild Eagles" of Japan and in turn won immortality as the Flying Tigers. One of America's most famous combat forces, the Tigers were recruited to defend beleaguered China for $600 a month and a bounty of $500 for each Japanese plane they shot down—fantastic money in an era when a Manhattan hotel room cost three dollars a night.

To bring his prize-winning history of the American Volunteer Group up to date, Daniel Ford has completely rewritten his 1991 text, drawing on the most recent U.S., British, and Japanese scholarship. New material from AVG veterans—including Erik Shilling and Tex Hill—help fill out the story, along with newfound recollections from Japanese and New Zealand airmen. Ford also takes up the rumors that Royal Air Force pilots "sold" combat victories to the Flying Tigers in order to share in the bounties paid by the Chinese government.

"Admirable," wrote Chennault biographer Martha Byrd of Ford's original text. "A readable book based on sound sources. Expect some surprises." Even more could that be said of this new and more complete edition.

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  • On Oct 29 2013 Tom Copeland (USCG) read this book and commented:

    This was a story I had never heard of; I asked a couple USAF guys in my church about it and they were all familiar with it though. Good stuff.

  • On Oct 19 2013 kcholbert (USAF) read this book