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American Volunteer Group (U.S.)

Flying Tigers

Last modified: 2015-04-04 by rick wyatt
Keywords: united states | american volunteer group | flying tigers |
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[American Volunteer Group flag] image by Eugene Ipavec, 24 July 2007

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Flag Description

The flag of the American Volunteer Group (AVG) a United States World War II military unit usually known as "The Flying Tigers", a group of USAAF, USN and USMC pilots recruited under a secret Presidential sanction by Claire Chennault (a retired U.S. Army Air Corps captain who had become military aviation advisor to Chinese Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek in the Sino-Japanese War), that formed a fighter group with three squadrons that trained in China and defended the Burma supply line to China prior to the American entry into World War II to fight against Japanese forces. Although sometimes referred to as a mercenary unit, the AVG is unique in that it had government funding and approval to recruit from active duty units in the United States. The pilots were either currently serving in American armed services or reserve officers. The pilots who volunteered were discharged from the American armed services, to fly and fight as mercenaries for the Republic of China Air Force. They were officially employees of a private military contractor, the Central Aircraft Manufacturing Company, which employed them for "training and instruction". The success of the AVG led to negotiations in the spring of 1942 to induct the unit into the USAAF with Chennault as the commander. Chennault was reinstated into the USAAF as a colonel and immediately promoted to brigadier general as commander of tactical U.S. Army Air Forces units in China, (initially designated the "China Air Task Force" and later redesignated the 14th Air Force), while continuing to command the AVG by virtue of his position in the Chinese Air Force. On July 4, 1942, the AVG was replaced by the 23rd Fighter Group. Not all of the AVG pilots decided to remain with the unit as a result of the strong arm tactics by the USAAF general sent to negotiate with them. Just before their 50th reunion in 1992, the AVG veterans were retroactively recognized as members of the U.S. military services during the seven months the group was in combat against the Japanese. Survivors were made eligible for veterans' benefits on the basis of that service, and were awarded medals for their participation.

For more info please refer to:
You can see the logo on the AVG official website for further reference.
Esteban Rivera, 24 July 2007