Tag Archives: 14th Air Force

Chuck Older “Aced” In P-51s After The Flying Tigers

18 Feb

Charles H. Older: P-51 Ace

Joining the Marine Corps for flight training, Charles Herman (Chuck) Older received his wings and commission at Pensacola on 1 April 1940 and was assigned to VMF-I. In July 1941 he resigned his reserve commission to join Chennault’s American Volunteer Group (AVG), then forming in Burma.

Assigned to the 3rd Pursuit Squadron (“Hell’s Angels”), Older participated in the first massive air battles over Rangoon, Burma and became one of the first two AVG aces on Christmas Day, 1941 when he added three Japanese aircraft to two destroyed on 23 December.

Credited with five more victories by the time the “Flying Tigers” were disbanded on 4 July 1942, he returned to the States and joined the USAAF.

Returning to China as a major in 1944, Older became group operations officer and deputy commander of the 23rd Fighter Group flying P-51 s. Continue reading

Aces High – The Last Of The Flying Tiger Raiders

13 Aug

Charlie Bond, "Tex" Hill and Ed Rector

Charlie Bond, one of the last pilots of a covert World War Two fighter squadron, died recently, but the heroics of the US servicemen who took on the might of the Japanese air force in Burma will never be forgotten

Originally published: Bangkok Newspaper
October 25, 2009
Spectrum Section

Charlie Bond, one of the last surviving pilots of the legendary World War Two 1st American Volunteer Group (AVG), dubbed the “Flying Tigers”, died in Dallas, Texas, on Aug 18, at the age of 94. Major General Charles R Bond, Jr, served 30 years in the US Air Force, retiring in 1968.

His life was intertwined with Thailand for a period spanning more than 60 years.

In the early days of World War Two, when the Japanese were invading Burma from bases in Thailand, Bond was part of a force of 10 Flying Tigers that made a surprise dawn attack, on March 24, 1942, against the Japanese 64th Hayabusa Sentai (Falcon Group) based at Chiang Mai airfield. Continue reading

Military Channel Documentary Of The Flying Tigers In “Worlds Deadliest Aircraft” Series

17 Sep

The Military Channel pulled together some of the best documentary footage of the AVG Flying Tiger’s P-40 Warhawk history I’ve ever seen, in it’s recent series entitled: World’s Deadliest Aircraft. It’s a 2 part video, but I’ve only included the link to Part 2, which is roughly 11 minutes long and I think it’s clearly the better of the two. However, you can easily look up Part 1 on their website if you want to see that one as well. Continue reading

Cliff Notes Review & Summary: Daniel Ford, Flying Tigers: Claire Chennault and His American Volunteers, 1941-42

4 Sep


Dan Ford’s book about the exploits of the legendary American Volunteer Group (AVG) nicknamed the Flying Tigers, is a dry documentary and not for the faint of heart, or non-serious war historian. However, the material in his book is without question the most comprehensive treatment of the brief, but amazing history of the most successful American combat fight group in our nation’s history. I have enclosed this cliff note version of Dan’s book for people who want to know about that history, but haven’t the time or dedication to wade through Dan’s book. I hope you will enjoy this summary of that history starting with a brief quote that lays some groundwork for the original motivation behind the secret inception of the Flying Tigers.

“The American Volunteer Group (AVG), popularly known as the Flying Tigers, was the creation of Claire Lee Chennault (1893–1958). Both enjoyed a legendary reputation in China for heroic deeds and contributions during its war of resistance against Japan. World War II began in Asia when Japan attacked China on 7 July 1937 in the Marco Polo Bridge or Lukouchiao Incident. For four years, China fought alone, with only the Soviet Union providing aid between 1937 and the end of 1939, in the form of loans of $250 million (with which China purchased equipment and supplies from the USSR), 1,000 planes, and 2,500 pilots and military advisors. Fearful of Japan’s ambitions to control the vast territories of Soviet Asia and its Axis partner Adolf Hitler’s imperial designs in Europe, Soviet leader Josef Stalin offered China a non-aggression pact (August 1937) that included an aid package. Stalin reasoned that Japan’s preoccupation with Chinese resistance would make it less likely to attack the Soviet Union. However, after the outbreak of war in Europe in September 1939, he reduced and then ended aid to China…”

Read the whole article at: michiganwarstudiesreview.com/2009/downloads/20090201.pdf

A David “Tex” Lee Hill War Story – By Sir Ernie Hamilton Boyette

14 Feb

David “Tex” Lee Hill

By Sir Ernie Hamilton Boyette

David Lee Hill was born on July 13, 1915 in Kwangju, Korea. David’s father was a Missionary in Korea and came back to American to become the Chaplin for the Texas Rangers. He picked up the nickname “Tex” while attending Mc Callie High School in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

His father encouraged David to further his education in collage and later when he became a Naval aviator. David attended Texas A&M for two years and graduated from Austin Collage in Sherman, Texas. He then joined the Navy and entered flight training. The year was 1938 and world war was still several years away. However the Japanese were in South East Asia occupying Korea, some of Viet Nam and the eastern part of China. There was war in Asia and Japan was building up its Army, Navy, and Air Force beyond the limits it was restrained by with the treaties signed after the first World War.

David and his family were more aware of this going on since they spent so many years in Korea. Many in American were not yet alarmed by the Japanese expansion but the American Government and military were keeping a keen eye in the situation. Continue reading

From Volunteers To Regulars

29 Jul

The 14th Air Force in China:
From Volunteers to Regulars

Story Courtesy of The United States Air Force Museum

Claire Chennault’s AVG volunteers began training in Burma in July 1941. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in December, the small American group had few supplies and little hope of reinforcement. Starting with 43 serviceable P-40B fighters and 84 former military pilots, their first combat was on Dec. 20, 1941.

The name “Flying Tigers” came from news reports of the group’s exploits, and the AVG was flashy, informal, and very effective. In its brief combat life – December 1941 to July 1942 – the AVG destroyed 296 Japanese aircraft in China and Burma.

When the U.S. Army Air Forces arrived in July 1942, Chennault’s AVG was disbanded and a few of its members joined him in a regular army unit called the China Air Task Force. In March 1943, the Task Force became the nucleus of the new Fourteenth Air Force. Their supplies came over “the Hump,” a dangerous 500-mile air route from India to China over the Himalayas. Continue reading

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