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

Flying Tigers: Claire Chennault and His American Volunteers, 1941-1942 [Kindle Edition]

Daniel Ford
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Product Description


In this second edition of his 'revisionist' history masterpiece, Daniel Ford tightens up the tale ... and adds dramatic new details -- SeacoastNH, August 19, 2007

Product Description

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.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2797 KB
  • Print Length: 402 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0061246557
  • Publisher: HarperCollins e-books; Revised and updated edition (5 Oct 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003V1WV7U
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #301,481 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent study of a contentious legend 3 Dec 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As the responses by reviewers indicate it is always brave foe a historian to take on a legend, you are bound to be accused either of hagiography or libel by people who are more comfortable with a received version.

Ford has clearly researched this deeply and, most importantly, consulted Japanese Records and in doing so he has discovered that, surprise surprise, victory claims may have been inflated. The RAF has undergone similar questioning of its claims during the Battle of Britain and it is important to remember that an attempt to back up a "truth" about such emotive events with hard evidence in the archives is not to insult the memory of some very brave and skilled pilots. It is actually to do them the credit that their story is historically important worth investigating in the context of its time and the need for heroes and myths.

I came to the book looking for background about the experiences of the AVG in Burma and it stands up both as good history and a gripping narrative. That is one of the problems of stories like this. You could not make it up, yet Hollywood was almost from the start with the John Wayne film "Flying Tigers" made in 1942.

Daniel Ford goes back to the core story and does it justice.
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5.0 out of 5 stars History that reads like a novel 28 Feb 1999
By A Customer
Having exchanged some emails with one of the Flying Tigers, I decided to check out this "History of American Aviation" book from the Smithsonian. (Maybe you know that the Tigers didn't like the book.) What a great read. Mr. Ford gives us the real men behind the legend. Combat reports, diaries, military radiograms. He used them all. The result is a history book that reads like a novel. Don't miss it -- Paddy O
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5.0 out of 5 stars Get! This! Book! 24 Nov 1998
By A Customer
The American Volunteer Group was one of the few bright shining moments for Americans at the outset of WW2. American volunteer airmen and aircrew were off in the exotic Orient fighting the Japanese invaders. Claire Chennault, an Air Corps officer who's radical ideas about pursuit fighters got him thrown out of the army, took a band of Navy and Army pilots with little combat experience, flying obsolete aircraft, outfitted with whatever supplies they could get shipped through Rangoon or over the Burma Hump, and turned them into the only fighting force that could use the P-40 effectively against the more-maneuverable Japanese Nates and Oscars. For 7 months the AVG fought Imperial Japan, retreating only when invading ground troops threatened their airfields.
Pearl Harbor was bombed, the US Navy was in shambles, the Phillipines were captured, Guadalcanal was lost, Australia was looking down the barrels of Japanese battleships' cannons, and Europe was pretty much under Hitler's thumb. America's heroes in 1941 were the Flying Tigers.
The book does justice to this band of men and women as well as their opponents in the sky. Easy to read, easy to get caught up in, and a good historical reference as well. I recommend it to all readers of air combat, history, and also those who love tales of adventure.
I'm using this book as a reference source for drafting up missions for the flight simulator "Air Warrior". You can visit my "Air Warrior" homepage for more information on this.
Reading level: high school and up. Pictures are in black and white. Knowledge of history is not important - everything you need to know is explained in the book.
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Popular Highlights

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Luftwaffe 76th Group on their Messerschmitt Bf-110s in the spring of 1941. &quote;
Highlighted by 4 Kindle users
the AVG gave the JAAF better than it got: perhaps two-to-one in aircraft and twelve-to-one in personnel. &quote;
Highlighted by 3 Kindle users
AVG veterans headed by Bob Prescott created the Flying Tiger Line, which in time became the country’s largest air-freight carrier (eventually merged to create the FedEx empire). &quote;
Highlighted by 3 Kindle users

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