Flying Tigers Diary (Centennial Series of the Association of Former Students of T) Paperback – 31 Jul 1998
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"His diary is an intimate record of the war in the air above China and Burma. It is probably unique in the literature of World War II."--Rod Gragg
About the Author
CHARLES R. BOND is a major general retired from the U.S. Air Force and living in Dallas. TERRY H. ANDERSON is a professor in the history department at Texas A&M University.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I found the book to be interesting and quite factual; particularly since the entries in the diary were made at the time the events actually took place and in many instances detailed the actions of the man making the entries. I had hoped, however, that this book would tell the broader story of the AVG, based on the diary entries, rather than simply restating the actual records. But it didn't. As a result, I found the book to be somewhat narrow in scope. I say that since the author of the diary was in the First Squadron of the AVG which was generally remote from the other two squadrons. As a consequence, virtually all of the diary entries relate to the exploits of the Adam and Eve Squadron and the personnel in that squadron. The missions and actions of those in the Second and Third Squadrons (the "Pandas" and "Hell's Angels"), such as Tex Hill and Ed Rector were touched upon lightly, but much was left out. Of note, however, the cumulative entries in the diary did present a somewhat different picture of Gregory "Pappy" Boyington than I have seen in other venues.
Since the book is in diary form with many missing dates, it is somewhat difficult to read and, as you might expect in this form, there is some lack of continuity. One diary entry doesn't necessarily relate to the one before or the one after. Nevertheless, this book includes some valuable and noteworthy information and should be of interest to anyone seeking to learn more about the Flying Tigers.
His descriptions of the somewhat lively air combat, his thoughts on Claire Chennault, Greg Boyington, and his feelings about China make for a fine read. Bond had a long and distinguished military career and he retired from the Air Force as a Major General.
Claire Chennault, and the AVG, went against the grain. Army Air Corps doctrine was that the bomber will always get through. Chennault thought differently, and showed that doctrine was incorrect during interwar maneuvers, and was allowed to retire for his efforts. He was hired by the Chinese to rebuild the Chinese air force, and was a confidant of Chiang Kai-Chek, and also the very powerful Madame Chiang. He taught his tactics to the AVG pilots, and they set records that were embarrassing to the Army Air Corps hierarchy.
Bond explains some of the higher-level activities, but stays mainly with his own experiences as a pilot flying Curtiss P-40's This book really shows the nitty-gritty of life in a war-torn third-world country, and is a must-read for anyone interested in the AVG history, and a should-read for everyone else.
RT Smith's diary is also highly recommended!
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