Flying Tigers

A Flying Tigers bibliography

Books shown as hyperlinks are available from Amazon, or were in June 2016. Out of print books usually available second-hand. Click on the title for more information. If a book is available for the Kindle, it is probably available for other e-readers too.

First-person accounts

Alsop, Joseph. I've Seen the Best of It. Norton, 1992. The famous columnist was Chennault's secretary in 1941 and again during the 14th AF days in China.

Bacon, Noel. "Diary of a Flying Tiger." New York Sunday News, 2 Aug 1942. His wartime diary, probably slightly edited; the nearest thing we have to a contemporaneous account.

---, and Daniel Ford. AVG Confidential: A Flying Tiger Reports to the U.S. Navy. Warbird Books, 2012 (e-book).

Baisden, Chuck. Flying Tiger to Air Commando. Schiffer 1998, 2004. Baisden was an AVG armorer.

Bishop, Lewis, & Shiela Irwin. Escape From Hell: An AVG Flying Tiger's Journey. Tigers Eye Press, 2005.

Tiger's Diary Bond, Charles. A Flying Tiger's Diary. Texas A&M Univ. Press, 1984. Excellent, though edited for publication.

Boyington, Gregory. Baa Baa Black Sheep. Putnam, 1958; Bantam, 1977. Entertaining, but take it with a grain of salt. Kindle edition.

Bright, J. Gilpin. "From a Flying Tiger." Atlantic, October 1942. Gil Bright's letters home as published soon after they were written.

[Brouk, Robert, and] Jennifer Holik-Urban, To Soar with the Tigers: The Life and War Diary of Robert Brouk. Createspace, 2011 (also for Kindle). Incorporates Brouk's AVG war diary, more or less unchanged.

Chennault, Claire. Way of a Fighter. Putnam, 1949. His autobiography, written by Robert Hotz without close supervision from Chennault.

Columbia University, Oral History Research Office. "The reminiscences of the Flying Tigers." Oral History Research Office, Columbia University, 1965 (1962?). Transcripts of interviews by Frank Rounds Jr, seen at National Air and Space Museum Library, Washington DC.

Cotton, M.C. Hurricanes Over Burma. Grub Street, 1999. "Bush" Cotton flew alongside the AVG at Rangoon.

Cross, James. "We Kept the Tigers Flying." Mechanix Illustrated, Dec 1942.

Curie, Eve. Journey Among Warriors. Doubleday, Doran 1943. French reporter in Burma.

Dumas, Jim. Longburst and the Flying Tigers. Scrub Jay Press, 2004. USAAF pilot attached to the AVG in June 1942.

Everard, Hedley. A Mouse in My Pocket: Memoirs of a Fighter Pilot. Valley Floatplane Services, 1985. Canadian pilot in RAF 17 Squadron who claimed to have sold victories to the AVG.

Frances, Neil. Ketchil: A New Zealand Pilot's War in Asia and the Pacific. Wairarapa Archive, 2005. Extensive quotes from Vic Bargh, a Buffalo pilot in 67 Squadron at Rangoon.

Frillmann, Paul. China: The Remembered Life. Houghton-Mifflin, 1968. Thoughtful memoir by the AVG chaplain.

Glover, Byron. "Assembling and Testing P-40's in Burma." Aviation, Dec 1942. Online at the Annals of the Flying Tigers

Greenlaw, Olga. The Lady and the Tigers. Dutton, 1943; Warbird Books, 2011. By Chennault's secretary and keeper of the AVG war diary; accurate as to day-to-day events. Link is to the reprint, edited and annotated by Daniel Ford (also available for Kindle).

Hemingway, Kenneth. Wings Over Burma. Quality, 1944. Interesting memoir by a Hurricane pilot who flew alongside the AVG.

Hill, David Lee, and Reagan Schaupp. Tex Hill: Flying Tiger. Honoribus Press, 2003. Tex Hill was a squadron leader and double ace in the AVG.

Howard, James. Roar of the Tiger. Orion, 1991. Nicely written, an AVG ace who won the Medal of Honor as a Mustang pilot in Europe.

Kato Tateo. "Diary of Major-General Kato." Japan Times & Advertiser, 25 Jul 1942. Kato commanded the 64th Sentai. Edited for publication to celebrate his elevation to "war god."

Laughlin, C. H ("Link"). "China Tiger." Foundation, Spring 1983.
---. "The Transition." Air Classics, March 1989.

Leonard, Royal. I Flew for China. Doubleday, Doran, 1942; Kindle edition, Uncommon Valor Press, 2015. Leonard was Chiang's pilot and scheduled to lead the 2nd AVG to Asia.

Losonsky, Frank, & Terry Losonsky. Flying Tiger: A Crew Chief's Story. Schiffer, 1996.

Remains - A Story of the Flying Tigers

McDonald, William III. The Shadow Tiger. Ghost Tiger Press, 2016. Photos, letters, and documents by and about Billy McDonald, Chennault's wingman in the 1930s.

Moore, Larry, & Ken Sanger. "We Fight With the Flying Tigers." Cosmopolitan, Aug-Sep 1942. These guys were partly responsible for the John Wayne epic about the Flying Tigers.

Neumann, Gerhard. Herman the German. Morrow, 1984; AuthorHouse, 2004. Memoir by the enemy alien who became an AVG mechanic.

Pentecost, Walter. "Advance of the Flying Tigers." American Aviation Historical Society Journal, Summer 1970. Good detail of the assembly of the AVG Tomahawks.
-- and Alan Hynd. "Here Come The Flying Tigers!" Liberty, 25 Jul 1942; 1 Aug 1942; 8 Aug 1942. Mostly ghost-written.

Rangoon Times. Various issues, 1941-42

Rodewald, Don. Tiger Tenacity. Golden State Press, 2000. AVG crewman to jet pilot to first paraplegic to fly around the world.

Rosbert, C. Joseph. Flying Tiger Joe's Adventure Story Cookbook. Franklin: Poplar, 1985.

Scott, Robert Lee. Flying Tiger: Chennault of China. Doubleday, 1959. General Scott is an undoubted hero, but his books are self-serving and often contradict one another--and the record--on details.
---. God Is My Co-Pilot. Ballentine, 1956; Scholars Choice Press, 2015.
---. The Day I Owned the Sky. Bantam, 1988.

Seagrave, Gordon. Burma Surgeon. Norton, 1943.

Schramm, Leo. Leo the Tiger: True Stories About the Flying Tigers From World War II. Green Shields, 1998.

Shilling, Erik. Destiny: A Flying Tiger's Rendezvous With Fate. Alta Loma: privately printed, 1993. First-hand recollections. Reviewed on Annals of the Flying Tigers.
---. Commentary on the Tomahawk pilot's manual (I sent Erik a copy of the British manual for the Tomahawk, which he annotated to point out differences between the versions supplied to the RAF and to the AVG.)
---. Postings, Usenet newsgroup rec.aviation.military, 1992-2002. Erik was contentious, sometimes wrong (in my judgment), and always interesting. He also had a remarkable memory for detail. I've posted some of his recollections, with his permission, on the Annals of the Flying Tigers:
    * "AVG Flying Tigers combat tactics"
    * "Curtiss P-40 spin characteristics vs. P-36"

Smith, Robert M. With Chennault in China: A Flying Tiger's Story. Tab, 1988; Schiffer, 1997. Diary of an AVG radioman. Many good photos.

Tale of a TigerSmith, Robert T. Tale of a Tiger. Tiger Originals, Facsimile of an AVG pilot's diary--great stuff! Many photos.

Stowe, Leland. They Shall Not Sleep. Knopf, 1944. American reporter who covered the fall of Burma.

Sutton, Barry. Jungle Pilot. Macmillan 1946. Short but well-written account by the 135 Squadron RAF commander in Burma, flying alongside the AVG.

Thomas, J Helsdon. Wings Over Burma. Merlin, 1984, 1996. By a "fitter" with RAF 67 Squadron in Burma.

Upfill, Muriel Sue. An American in Burma, 1930 to 1942. Arizona State Univ., 1999. She was in Rangoon until February 1942, and then worked for the AVG supply office in India.

Wolf, Fritz, & Douglas Ingells. "It's Hell Over China!" Air Trails Pictorial, Oct 1942.
---. "The Truth About the Zero." Air Progress, Jan 1943. Wolf notes that "The Zeros we were fighting over China didn't have any cannon. This led us to believe that they were army fighters, and not navy planes." This during WWII! It was another 45 years until an AVG vet would let go of the
Zero myth.

Woodward, Melvin. " Flying Tiger Memories." Online.

Wright, Peter. "I Learned About Flying From That." Flying, May 1944.
---. "A Fighter Pilot Learns a Lesson." Sportsman Pilot, Mid-May 1943.

Flying Tigers

Secondary sources

Anonymous. "Chinese Mushrooms: Hunter's Seven-year Crop Poison to Japs." Curtiss Flyleaf, Sep-Oct 1942. CAMCO factory at Loiwing.

Armstrong, Alan. Preemptive Strike: The Secret Plan That Would Have Prevented the Attack on Pearl Harbor A "what if?" book that takes off from the 2nd AVG bomber group, which, the author argues, might have headed off the Pearl Harbor attack.

Bergin, Bob. "The Lady and the Tigers." World War II, May 2002. Interview with Red Foster Petach, AVG nurse.

----. Account of the two-man raid on Moulmein, based on an interview with Ken Jernstedt. Air Classics, March 2009.

Britain. Air Ministry. Wings of the Phoenix. London: HMSO, 1949. A British view.

Brooke-Popham, Robert. "Operations in the Far East." Supp. London Gazette 20 Jan 1948.

Byrd, Martha. Chennault: Giving Wings to the Tiger. Univ. of Alabama Press, 1987. The definitive biography of Chennault.

Buchan, Eugenie. A Few Planes for China: The Birth of the Flying Tigers. Good stuff on Bill Pawley's CAMCO factory from her family papers, but absurd in her conclusion that Winston Churchill rather than Chennault was the force behind the AVG.

Chennault, Anna. The Education of Anna. New York Times Books, 1980.

----. A Thousand Springs. Eriksson, 1962.

Clements, Terrill. American Volunteer Group Colours & Markings. London: Osprey, 2001. The last word (maybe) on how those "sharks" were decorated, in another of those handsome paperbacks from Osprey. Available at Amazon.

Dunn, Richard. "Double Lucky? The Campaigns of the 77th Hiko Sentai" in the Annals of the Flying Tigers. Detailed combat history based mostly on Japanese sources. The 77th was the AVG's most frequent adversary in Burma.

----. "Nakajima Type 1 Model 1 Army Fighter (Ki 43-I) Armament--A Reassessment" in the Annals of the Flying Tigers.

Fei Hu: Story of the Flying Tigers. Video. Santa Barbara: Fei-Hu Films, 1999. The best yet. Available at Amazon.

Fischer, John. "The Easy Chair: War as Theater of the Absurd" in Harper's Magazine, March 1970, pp. 18+. Argues (without evidence) that the AVG acquired victories from the RAF.

Flying TigersFord, Daniel. Flying Tigers: Claire Chennault and His American Volunteers,1941-1942. 3rd Edition, Warbird Books, 2016. The definitive history, revised and updated.

---. Tales of the Flying Tigers: Five Books About the American Volunteer Group. Warbird Books, 2016. Pilot's manual for the Curtiss Tomahawk (P-40B), the Japanese view of the Battle for Burma, biographies of 110 pilots recruited in 1941, and other background information.

---. "Annals of the Flying Tigers". AVG files and images online.

14th Air Force Assoc. Chennault's Flying Tigers. 14th Air Force Assoc., 1982.

Gamble, Bruce. Black Sheep One: The Life of Gregory "Pappy" Boyington. Presidio, 2000. A superlative biography of a pilot who was a Flying Tiger before he became a Black Sheep.

Hata, Ikuhiko, et al. Japanese Army Air Force Fighter Units and Their Aces, 1931 to 1945. London: Grub Street, 2002. A short history of the JAAF campaigns, details of each JAAF fighter squadron, biographies of the aces, and a list of fighter pilots lost in the war. The basis of much work that has been done in this field, from Shores's Bloody Shambles to my own Flying Tigers.

Hotz, Robert. With General Chennault. Coward McCann, 1943; Kessinger Publishing, 2008. This is where most of the Flying Tiger legends began--the book we read as kids.

Irwin, George, and Shiela Bishop Irwin. "Traces of a Second American Volunteer Group: The Glenn Hagenbuch Story," in American Aviation Historical Society Journal, Spring 2008. Just about the only published article about the aborted 2nd AVG bomber group.

Izawa, Yasuho. "64th Flying Sentai." Aero Album, Summer 1970, Fall 1971. Also published in Air Classics July, August, and September? 1972. The 64th was the Japanese army's most famous fighter group and met the AVG on several occasions. Good English-language account from the Japanese side. Also see Hata, above.

Jimison, Susan Clotfelter. Through the Eyes of a Tiger: The John Donovan Story. Deeds Publishing, 2015. Donovan was killed in a raid on the Hanoi airfield; this account of his life includes his letters home.

Kleiner, Sam. The Flying Tigers: The Untold Story of the American Pilots Who Waged a Secret War Against Japan. Untold story? The Library of Congress has 3,007 books about the Tigers in its collection. Secret war? They were the darlings of the American media.

Klinkowitz, Jerome. With the Tigers Over China, 1941-1942. University Press of Kentucky, 1999. A historian reviews the AVG literature. Amazing that nobody ever thought to do this before! Available at Amazon.

Leary, William. "Assessing the Japanese Threat." Aerospace Historian, Winter 1987. Sets the record straight on what the American services knew about Japanese aircraft in 1941, and who provided the information.

Remains - A Story of the Flying Tigers

Lee, Keith. A Chinese in the A.V.G. Privately printed, 2010. Story of Pak On Lee and the other Chinese-American "engineering helpers" recruited in the U.S. to service the P-40's liquid-cooled Allison engine.

Mikesh, Robert. Schiffer Military History, 2004. All about guns, radios, sights, etc.

Nalty, Bernard. Tigers Over Asia. Elsevier-Dutton, 1978. The best of the Flying Tiger romances.

Olynyk, Frank. AVG and USAAF (China-Burma-India Theater) Credits for the Destruction of Enemy Aircraft in Air-to-Air Combat, World War 2. Aurora, Ohio: privately printed, 1986.

Peissel, Michel. Tiger for Breakfast: The Story of Boris of Kathmandu. Dutton 1966. Early published reference to the Tigers'supposed purchase of victory credits from the RAF.

Pistole, Larry. Pictorial History of the Flying Tigers. Orange VA: Moss Publications, 1981; Publisher's Press, 1995. Great collection of photos and reproductions.

Preston-Hough, Peter. Commanding Far Eastern Skies: A Critical Analysis of the Royal Air Force Air Superiority Campaign in India, Burma and Malaya 1941-1945. Helion, 2015. Academic study from the British perspective.

Rosholt, Malcolm. Days of the Ching Pao: A Photographic Record of the Flying Tigers. U.S. air units in China, 1941-1945. Many photos. Large format, 192 pp.

Sakaida, Henry. Japanese Army Air Force Aces, 1937-45. Osprey (distributed in U.S. by Specialty Book Marketing), 1997. The best thing available in English on the JAAF.

Samson, Jack. Chennault. Doubleday, 1987. Republished as The Flying Tiger: The True Story of General Claire Chennault and the U.S. 14th Air Force in China.

Sandilands, Roger. The Life and Political Economy of Lauchlin Currie: New Dealer, Presidential Advisor, and Development Economist Duke University Press, 1990.

Schaller, Michael. "American Air Strategy in China, 1939-1941: The Origins of Clandestine Air Warfare," American Quarterly, Vol. 28, No. 1. (Spring, 1976). Preliminary argument for the book below.

-----. The U.S. Crusade in China. Columbia Univ. Press, 1979. How the AVG came to be.

Schrader, Richard. "The Strange Case of the Missing Tiger," Air Classics, October 1994. Haphazard account of the loss and probable capture of Arnold Shamblin.

Schultz, Duane. The Maverick War. St. Martin's, 1987. Another of the Flying Tiger romances.

Seagrave, Sterling. Soldiers of Fortune. Time-Life, 1981. Son of "Burma surgeon," he loathes Chiang, Chennault, and the AVG.

----. The Soong Dynasty. Harper & Row, 1985.

Shores, Christopher, et al. Bloody Shambles. Grub Street, 1992, 1993 (two volumes). A meticulous reconstruction of air combat in the western Pacific in 1941-42. Describes many of the battles in which the AVG was engaged, from a British perspective. Available at Amazon.

----. Japanese Army Air Force Fighter Units and Their Aces: see Hata, above.

Stevenson, Donald. "Air Operations in Burma." Supp. London Gazette 11 Mar 1948.

Strauss, Ulrich. The Anguish of Surrender: Japanese POWs of World War II. University of Washington Press, 2003.

Taylor, Jay. The Generalissimo: Chiang Kai-shek and the Struggle for Modern China. Belknap Press, 2009. A scholarly, sober, and surprisingly friendly biography of the Gissimo.

Tuchman, Barbara. Stilwell and the American Experience in China. Macmillan, 1977.

Tullis, Thomas. Tigers Over China: Camouflage, Markings, and Squadron Insignia of the American Volunteer Group's Aircraft in China, 1941-42. Eagle Files No. 4. Hamilton MT: Eagle Editions, 2000. Color and black-white photos, splendid color three-views and sides views of AVG aircraft. The text is thin and out of date.

Urbanowicz, Witold. Ogien nad Chinami ("Fire Over China"). In Polish. Wydawnictwo: Spoleczny Instytut Wydawniczy Znak, 2007. (Hat tip: Wojtek Gorski.)

Wagner, Ray. Prelude to Pearl Harbor: The Air War in China, 1937-1941 San Diego Aerospace Museum, 1991.

War Illustrated, The. "Their Tomahawks 'Scalped' the Japs Over Burma." Vol 5 No 122, 28 Feb 1942. Photo page.

----. "What Odds They Faced in Burma's Sky!" Vol 5 No 128, 15 May 1942. Photo page including an IAF pilot with a painting of the "Tiger of Konkan" on his Lysander.

Wavell, Archibald (also Harold Alexander and T. J. Hutton). "Operations in Burma." Supp. London Gazette 5 Mar 1948.

Whelan, Russell. The Flying Tigers. Viking, 1942. The first of the Flying Tiger romances. Many quotes (some edited) from George Burgard's diary.

White, Theodore. In Search of History. Harper, 1978.

---- & Anna Lee Jacoby. Thunder Out of China Sloane, 1946.

Whitney, Daniel. Vee's for Victory!: The Story of the Allison V-1710 Aircraft engine, 1929-1948. Schiffer, 1998.

Xu, Guangqiu. War Wings: The United States and Chinese Military Aviation, 1929-1949. Greenwood Press, 2001. Valuable study of American aid to China before and during the Sino-Japanese War.

Yasuda, Yoshita, 'Zero Versus Hurricane', in Kazuo Tamayama and John Nunneley. Tales by Japanese Soldiers of the Burma Campaign 1942-1945. Cassell, 2000.

Yenne, Bill. When Tigers Ruled the Sky: The Flying Tigers: American Outlaw Pilots over China in World War II Berkley, 2016. Outlaws, OMG! Need I say more?

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