On 20 December 1941, just days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the first American pilots tangled with Japanese bombers over the skies of Kunming, China. Under the leadership of then-Colonel Claire Chennault and Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, three squadrons of flyers and maintainers served in the American Volunteer Group (AVG) as a mercenary component of the Chinese Air Force. The famed “Flying Tigers,” originally comprising 100 P-40 Warhawks and 100 pilots, flew combat missions against the Japanese invasion forces in China and Burma from late 1941 to mid-1942 and are credited with 296 enemy aircraft destroyed in slightly more than six months of combat.
Let the Tigers Fly Again
Resurrect the American Volunteer Group in Ukraine.
By Lieutenant Taylor Buck, U.S. Navy