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

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  196 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
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 mon ...more
ebook, 400 pages
Published October 5th 2010 by HarperCollins e-books (first published September 1991)
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Aug 26, 2012 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, it would be pretty hard to go below 4 stars on this one because I like me some fighter pilot stories. This revised edition is a fine way to spend a few hours learning about an iconic war story. My preconceived notions on the unit were set straight. First of all, they did most of their fighting in Burma, not China. That was news to me. They met the same Japanese units time and again through the year they were actively engaged in combat. I'd say they were poorly treated by the "Big Army" in ...more
Jan 16, 2008 Stephen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For all its detail and focus on purely factual data, FLYING TIGERS is an exhilarating ride. Its clinical tone is tempered by an impressive amount of insight into the multitudes of personalities involved with the AVG--often including the Japanese perspective. It's a sprawling book, with mountains of information on every page. This could easily have been a ponderous, heavy-handed account by a detached historian; instead, Ford uses effective language to turn the individual stipples of the story int ...more
Mar 06, 2013 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I could tell you to see the movie starring John Wayne, but then you wouldn't really know anything about the "Flying Tigers". The AVG (American Volunteer Group, fighting for the Chaings of China) now commonly known as "The Flying Tigers", had a rich history in their fight against the Japanese over Burma and Southern China. From humble beginnings, contracts signed in hotel rooms over a bottle of whiskey, along with rumors of great flying jobs with good pay, and little to no danger, a group of hero ...more
Terry Cornell
Apr 28, 2015 Terry Cornell rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Extremely well researched book on the American Volunteer Group in China. Mr. Ford conducted research from Japanese, Chinese, and American sources. The presentation is a little dry, which is why I don't rate it with four stars. Three and half would be more accurate. Mr. Ford points out the discrepancies when comparing after battle reports of the Japanese with the AVG--and the exaggerations of both sides when claiming the number of planes destroyed during missions. You do get a glimpse of the pers ...more
Jack Hwang
Jan 09, 2016 Jack Hwang rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very well researched and readable history about AVG. Especially the author's detailed comparison of AVG and JAAF records on the real losses in their battles.

It's very clear that AVG is a mercenary troop from the beginning. More amazingly they had been able to hold out in an adverse environment for months against a redoubtable enemy.

However, one point I disagree with Daniel Ford is how AVG achieved their victories over JAAF (~20 : ~100). Instead of espirit de corps, I believe the equipment was th
Jeff Jellets

High flying history of the highest caliber.

Daniel Ford’s Flying Tigers is the high-flying history of a group of American aviators who took to the skies over southeast Asia in 1941 to challenge the seemingly unstoppable military might of the Japanese empire, which had begun its juggernaut –like march across much of Asia and the Pacific. Lured by promises of high pay and bounties by the beleaguered Chinese government, the rough-and-tumble Americans flew with guts and bravado and, though nearly alw
Paul Haspel
Feb 19, 2015 Paul Haspel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: china
The Flying Tigers are still on patrol. Seventy years ago, the heroic pilots of the American Volunteer Group (AVG) provided a glimmer of hope to the people of the United States, China, and other Allied nations during the grim early days of the Second World War. They were daredevil U.S. pilots; they flew P-40 Tomahawks adorned with the twelve-pointed star of the Chinese Air Force, and decorated with a ferocious shark-mouth emblem painted on each plane’s air scoop. They guarded "the Burma Road” and ...more
Apr 25, 2015 Jim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A pretty objective history of Claire Chennault and the American Volunteer Group (better known as the Flying Tigers) that he & others recruited to fly for Nationalist China against Japan prior to Pearl Harbor in both China & Burma (most of the aerial combat actually happened in Burma). The author reviewed American, British, Chinese & Japanese records to try to sort out fact from myths & exaggerated claims on both sides.

Chennault was an early advocate of developing fighters to inte
Jan 30, 2013 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first love in History non-fiction is World War II and I enjoy nothing more than books which put the historical record straight. There is a lot of mythology to the story of the Flying Tigers, those American mercenary pilots who, as the American Volunteer Group, volunteered to fight the Japanese before it became fashionable. I always thought that the Flying Tigers fought before the attack on Pearl Harbor, that they shot down up to a thousand enemy planes and that they stopped a major drive by a ...more
Dustin Gaughran
I liked this book, but not as much as I had hoped I would starting. I wanted a more thorough knowledge of the AVG, and their leader, and I absolutely got it after reading this book. It was unbelievably well researched. But to me, that was the problem, in a way. This book read more like a text book. It was tedious more times than it wasn't, and on more occasions than was really necessary included details about things that were just completely pointless. The story of the AVG, and the personalities ...more
May 07, 2013 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This excellent book by Dan Ford (author of the estimable Incident at Muc Wa) was a fine companion read to Martha Byrd's biography of Claire Lee Chennault, guiding force of the renowned Flying Tigers of World War II. Ford gives incredible detail of the daily experiences of the pilots and crews of the American Volunteer Group in China and augments it with spectacular insights gathered through in-depth research of Japanese records. The magnificent record of the Flying Tigers is thus tempered a bit ...more
Nov 02, 2009 Beth/Chuck rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was the revised additon written 16 years after the original addition was published. A different perspective. Really details how often the Flying Tigers had to abandon airfields and move to other ones as the Japanese ground forces advanced in China. More thoroughly documents the difference between victories claimed by both sides and how many planes were really shot down. Both side's claims were optimistic.
Jul 23, 2016 Brett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Better than most historical books. It wasn't just centered on the top generals and such. Actually included information on the junior members of the story. Very refreshing.
Dec 13, 2007 Daniel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Chennault told them, "If five of you see one Jap Zero then you are out numbered."

The only thing that those early American fighters could do well was dive.

So they would get well above Jap bombers and dive through them and their speed would take them well away from the protecting Jap fighters.
Nathan Kitzke
Jun 27, 2015 Nathan Kitzke rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some of the facts are Claire Chennault are just incredible. He was well ahead of his time. What I didn't know was that he actually had to get out of the Army to make all the things he did happen. He was recommissioned later jumping ranks all the way to General. Great book.
May 01, 2011 Josh rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Meh. More of a unit history than any connection to the strategic importance of the unit (if there was any). Blow by blow accounts of dogfights ad nauseum to the point you feel like you're reading a grocery list.
Nov 08, 2012 Blake rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This was a great read. Gave a well rounded picture of the group from top to bottom. It never ceases to amaze me what men were able to do with so little at the beginning of the war.
Jan 15, 2009 Keith rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, biographical
There is a political slant to which Claire Chennault would not agree. With that being said, it could have told more, but because the author picked such an amazing topic, it is still a good read.
May 09, 2012 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1history, box6
Good history of a period and a group I've always been curious about. Kind of a dry analytical read, but gets the point across.
Aug 24, 2012 Elizabeth marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wwii
I'll be interested in this especially because my uncle served as special attaché to Claire Chennault.
Just got back from an underway so this will be short...very good book.
Alex Buchalter
Dec 21, 2011 Alex Buchalter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this is a good book about the planes from war
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Sep 19, 2016
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Tristan Anderson rated it it was amazing
Sep 07, 2016
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