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(1939-1945) WWII
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G David Bock
Lynden
WA USA
Posts: 185
CBI - China Burma India & the AVG
Posted on: 4/29/2020 3:39:59 PM

Often seen as an obscure and "neglected" Front, or Theater of Operations, CBI was a prime focus of sorts at the start of WW2, especially during the Japanese advances of 1941-1942. Also, some of the USA's first ventures in the war, thanks to FDR and perhaps Chennault, would be here via the AVG - (1st)American Volunteer Group more commonly known as the Flying Tigers.

Many historians claim that despite limited resources provided on the Allies part, significant Japanese resources would be engaged and "tied up" in these parts of Asia. Also, some interesting developments would come from this Theater, with impact towards the post-war world.

First use of helicopters in combat roles, mostly rescue related.
The airlift of supplies and men over the Himalayas, flying "the Hump", would be impetus for improvements in aerial navigation and weather forecasting.
Some of the earliest use of aerial insertion behind enemy lines.

On another forum, there are a couple of threads related to this which I'll link here, for reference and future material;
CBI - China-Burma-India; Theatre of Neglect
https://forums.armchairgeneral.com/forum/historical-events-eras/world-war-ii/169183-cbi-china-burma-india-theatre-of-neglect
[Read More]

Flying Tigers
https://forums.armchairgeneral.com/forum/historical-events-eras/world-war-ii/111151-flying-tigers
[Read More]

Something I found, wrote several years ago, while going through the Flying Tiger thread above;

"At the time the AVG was being put together (about a year prior to "Pearl Harbor"), the P-40 was the pinnacle of USA fighter aircraft technology. The P-39 and P-38 were just birthing out of prototype/testing and the P-47 and P-51 were yet to be "dreamed". As pointed out, the P-40 had it's advantages if used properly and is a design that found use and improvement through out the course of the war, which is hard to say of some of it's earlier advesaries.

The AVG had a short lifespan, barely seven months of combat before being 'drafted' into the CBI and eventual USAAF 14th Air Force.

One key aspect of the AVG ~ CBI venture that would have lasting and enduring impact was the role played by ATC, where "flying the Hump" would be the "spearpoint"of trans-global air supply 'networking'. Lessons learned here in adverse terrain, climate, and navigation challenges, would have profound impact in the growth and scope of post WWII commercial aviation; in forms of traffic control, radio and radar navigation, air freight efficencies, airframe type usage, etc. "
https://forums.armchairgeneral.com/forum/historical-events-eras/world-war-ii/111151-flying-tigers/page2
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TANSTAAFL - There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
G David Bock
Lynden
WA USA
Posts: 185
CBI - China Burma India & the AVG
Posted on: 4/29/2020 3:46:48 PM

I've found this to be the best single volume on the CBI and related issues/topics.

Stilwell and the American Experience in China, 1911-45
by Barbara W. Tuchman

At Good Reads.com;
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/234633.Stilwell_and_the_American_Experience_in_China_1911_45
[Read More]
See also;
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stilwell_and_the_American_Experience_in_China,_1911%E2%80%9345

And the Wiki page on CBI;
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/China_Burma_India_Theater
[Read More]
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TANSTAAFL - There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
G David Bock
Lynden
WA USA
Posts: 185
CBI - China Burma India & the AVG
Posted on: 4/29/2020 3:55:27 PM

The Flying Tigers and their saga has always been one of my more favorite episodes of WWII, slightly enhanced in that I had an uncle (sinced passed away) whom served with 14 AF in the CBI.

By far the best book, in detail and comprehensive, is Daniel Ford's; "Flying Tigers, Claire Chennault and His American Volunteers, 1941 - 1942";
https://www.abebooks.com/9780061246555/Flying-Tigers-Claire-Chennault-American-0061246557/plp
[Read More]
I highly recommend the 2007 edition which is greatly revised and updated/expanded. The volume is "controversial" because Ford has done extensive research into Japanese records of the era and his discoveries have down-scaled the quantitative impact of the Tigers. Never the less, this tome is number one on my list and among the several books I have on this subject.

Ford points out the the name/identity of "Flying Tigers" appears to reside with David Corcoran, one of the AVG "Washington Squadron" whom had approached Disney to design a unit emblem. A flying dragon had originally been considered, but Corcoran reported suggested a tiger instead. After the Tiger's first combat engagement, Dec. 20, 1941 (local date), Henry Luce of Time magazine played the popular journalism card with his story; "Blood for the Tigers", and a legend was born.

That "legend" has the Tigers 'credited' with nearly 300 confirmed enemy aircraft kills, in air and on ground, and nearly the same number 'unconfirmed', with some researchers claiming the real number may have been nearly double of those to figures. Ford, after researching Japanese records, finds the REAL number was more like 115, give or take a handful. As he points out, all sides in all theatres had a tendency to inflate claims of damage done to the enemy, not so much "lying", as more the nature of confusion inherent to aerial combat of those times where often more than one pilot was laying claim to the same "shoot down" aircraft, said kill oft being actually damaged and later able to make it back to a base.

The Tigers did often engage at vastly out-numbered odds and against an opponent whom had more combat experience, so the real numbers don't slight the valor and tenacity displayed by the Tigers. They remain real heroes when the Allies needed such to bolster morale. Considering many of the destroyed aircraft were bombers with large crews, we than can realize that while nearly one out of four AVG pilots were lost (killed, captured, missing) Japanese aircrew losses were close to 28 to one versus those of the AVG!

Ford points out that during their brief existence, the AVG inventory totaled about 116 Tomahawks and Kittyhawks, of which about 86 were lost to combat, accident, and abandonment. Latter two causes being the majority factor.

Quantitative adjustments aside, the qualitative impact and legacy of the Flying Tigers remains intact as one of the most accomplished, inspiring, and impressive units to operate in WWII
----------------------------------
TANSTAAFL - There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
G David Bock
Lynden
WA USA
Posts: 185
CBI - China Burma India & the AVG
Posted on: 4/29/2020 4:00:58 PM

Another tidbit of Flying Tiger trivia, the famous 'Shark's mouth nose art'.

Seen by one of the AVG pilots in an issue of Life magazine in an article on British flyers in North Africa, flying Tomahawks (@ equal to USAAF P-40Bs), whom had the "shark's mouth and eyes" painted on their aircraft as a unit emblem of sorts, the idea of copying this was kicked around and readily accepted by the AVG personnel. Would go into history as their 'signature emblem', even though they were neither the first nor the last to paint such an image on the nose of their aircraft.




----------------------------------
TANSTAAFL - There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
Brian Grafton
Victoria
BC Canada
Posts: 3007
CBI - China Burma India & the AVG
Posted on: 5/2/2020 11:19:23 PM

Quote:
Often seen as an obscure and "neglected" Front, or Theater of Operations, CBI was a prime focus of sorts at the start of WW2, especially during the Japanese advances of 1941-1942. Also, some of the USA's first ventures in the war, thanks to FDR and perhaps Chennault, would be here via the AVG - (1st)American Volunteer Group more commonly known as the Flying Tigers.

I think you are right in saying CBI is a neglected theatre. But I feel compelled to state that 1941-42 was not the start of WW2. In Asia, it could be argued WW2 began in 1937 or even 1932. And in the ETO, 1939 seems to date the opening of hostilities, though I have heard some suggest the Spanish Civil War was really round one.

If that is accepted, then probably the first US volunteers were those making up the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. Canada mucked in as well, with the MacKenzie-Papineau Brigade and with some ground-breaking field medicine. The Brits sent men as well, as I believe did France. And we all know Italian, German and Soviet involvement.

If one sticks with Poland, 1939, as the beginning of hostilities, I would still suggest that the large number of US citizens who broke the law to join British/Commonwealth forces from late 1939 would be earlier volunteers than Chennault's Flying Tigers. And, IIUC, Chennault’s volunteers were drawn from SU Naval pilots and cadets. That may be unfair, I admit; I don’t know if USAAC personnel were also involved. But I do believe that those who volunteered were guaranteed their ranks and commission dates should they volunteer.

And … I feel from my scant reading about the CBI that Chennault’s “Flying Tigers” performed more a political/propaganda role than any meaningful military function. I will admit to a bias. I don’t see Chiang Kai-Shek as anything but the last corrupt and somewhat inept warlord. Despite at least recognizing the commitments Christian organizations had made, and the power of the Chinese Christian lobby in Washington, I think “Vinegar Joe” Stilwell was badly assigned as liaison to Chiang’s government. That he was unsuited to toadying to Chiang and his “Hollywood” wife played itself out in a rather ugly fashion.
Quote:
Many historians claim that despite limited resources provided on the Allies part, significant Japanese resources would be engaged and "tied up" in these parts of Asia.

I think that’s arrogant and hindward looking and ultimately bad historical argument.

Points:
• Where were the Japanese fighting?
• Who were their primary target countries?
• What were their war aims?
• Where were their best opportunities?

Just to put these “many historians’” views in perspective, I sense that Japan recognized that for relatively little output they could take control of vast areas with little real challenge. I think of the loss of the Dutch navy, and the fact that the RN was in effect driven from Singapore to Aden, and say the Japanese were pretty much on their game. I wouldn’t be too surprised were Japanese ambitions based on the realization that the Western nations it was challenging had too much invested in the European conflict to protect their assets in Asia.

I don’t believe that the Malay States, and French Indochina, and Burma, and Singapore, and the entire holdings of the Dutch East Indies fell simply because there were insufficient troops to defend them. I think they fell because European controls over the various principalities in the region was not agreeable to the residents. That doesn’t apply quite so fully to Hong Kong or Singapore, perhaps, but I ask you to consider India.

India was the jewel in the Imperial crown. But there were movements by Indians to join forces with the Japanese and reclaim their nationhood. So the CBI was not just a small group of US a/c and a huge no. of C-46’s flying into south China with US aid. It was a bloody, vicious, ugly campaign under men like Ord Wingate and the Chindits to first stalemate and then undermine Japanese strength and influence in the CBI. They were successful, but at tremendous cost.

It’s more than possible that US commitments supported China while the British were more interested in the Burma/India cause, for all kinds of obvious reasons.

Just some thoughts that come to mind from your posts.

Cheers
Brian G
----------------------------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly. "The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.
G David Bock
Lynden
WA USA
Posts: 185
CBI - China Burma India & the AVG
Posted on: 5/6/2020 6:45:21 PM

Quote:
Quote:
Often seen as an obscure and "neglected" Front, or Theater of Operations, CBI was a prime focus of sorts at the start of WW2, especially during the Japanese advances of 1941-1942. Also, some of the USA's first ventures in the war, thanks to FDR and perhaps Chennault, would be here via the AVG - (1st)American Volunteer Group more commonly known as the Flying Tigers.

I think you are right in saying CBI is a neglected theatre. But I feel compelled to state that 1941-42 was not the start of WW2. In Asia, it could be argued WW2 began in 1937 or even 1932. And in the ETO, 1939 seems to date the opening of hostilities, though I have heard some suggest the Spanish Civil War was really round one.


My baad for not being clear or precise enough. Note I said "Japanese advances of 1941-1942" meaning as reference to attacks on Dec.7/8 and onward against the USA, UK, and other Allies, from Pearl Harbor through to west and SW Asia/Pacific. I'm well aware of dates relating to WW2, having persons with my family name involved in key actions at start(1939) and finish(1945). In context of this thread, perhaps should clarify that the "C" China part is oft seen as the Second Sino-Japan War; extensive Wiki article link to follow, will be referencing this much in this post;
Second Sino-Japanese War
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Sino-Japanese_War
[Read More]

Quote:
If that is accepted, then probably the first US volunteers were those making up the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. Canada mucked in as well, with the MacKenzie-Papineau Brigade and with some ground-breaking field medicine. The Brits sent men as well, as I believe did France. And we all know Italian, German and Soviet involvement.

If one sticks with Poland, 1939, as the beginning of hostilities, I would still suggest that the large number of US citizens who broke the law to join British/Commonwealth forces from late 1939 would be earlier volunteers than Chennault's Flying Tigers. And, IIUC, Chennault’s volunteers were drawn from SU Naval pilots and cadets. That may be unfair, I admit; I don’t know if USAAC personnel were also involved. But I do believe that those who volunteered were guaranteed their ranks and commission dates should they volunteer.


Well aware of the early volunteer of USA persons to Spanish Civil War and allied causes/forces prior to Dec. 7,1941 events. Again, my failure to be precise enough and expecting understanding of what was inferred, I meant "OFFICIAL" USA government actions/involvement, especially with regards to China KMT/Chiang. In forms of substantial loan$ and Lend-Lease. It would be USA dollars loaned to China which in turn would be used to purchase aircraft and equipment as well as pilots and staff for the AVG. Prior to FDR signing off to authorize the AVG, China had already acquired aircraft stocks from USA factories and hired some USA pilots to train the China Air Force. This followed efforts from Italy, Germany, and then Russia to also train and equip the CAF.

Chennault recruited from the Navy, Marines, and USAAF; experienced pilots though most were not fighter pilots and few had every flown the P-40. Along with about 100 pilots (mostly from USN as it played out), he and his people also hired close to 200 mechanics, armorers, techs, and essential base staff. All US military hired, resigned their commissions/enlistments and most were looking at similar if not higher rank equivalents in the AVG plus at least 2-3 times the pay they had received in US military. For the pilots, they started at equal to a 1st lieutenant.

Quote:
And … I feel from my scant reading about the CBI that Chennault’s “Flying Tigers” performed more a political/propaganda role than any meaningful military function. I will admit to a bias. I don’t see Chiang Kai-Shek as anything but the last corrupt and somewhat inept warlord. Despite at least recognizing the commitments Christian organizations had made, and the power of the Chinese Christian lobby in Washington, I think “Vinegar Joe” Stilwell was badly assigned as liaison to Chiang’s government. That he was unsuited to toadying to Chiang and his “Hollywood” wife played itself out in a rather ugly fashion.


Chennault had been hired as an advisory to CAF back about mid 1937, and based on what he saw regards the CAF and effects of the Italy/German/Russian aerial aid, felt that US pilots and aircraft would provide needed stiffening. (BTW, the Russian aid included about half the aircraft being flown by Russian pilots, all which was withdrawn in 1941 - Barbarossa catalyst) By the time the AVG went into combat (Dec.22,1941) they were basically the majority of any sort of airpower in China(or CBI) going against the Japanese. Usually at most a few dozen aircraft flying between the three squadrons at any time, most historians and sources show them having a significant combat function and effect for the seven months they were operational. (if one reads through the links I've provided so far this will become more clear)

China was full of corrupt warlords, whom along with Chiang formed a black hole down which much aid would "vanish". Chiang was the one on top and head of KMT, and only Mao and the smaller Communist forces would be next contenders. Madame Chiang was educated in the West and served ably as diplomat and effective PR to the West. Not many other good contenders at the time and politics in China much to muddled and "byzantine" to get into for now.

Stilwell had spent decades in and knew the land, people, and culture better than any other choice in USA command resources. Granted, a bit abrassive and lacked in "diplomacy" for dealing with Chiang, but he was effective leader for the resources he had and well suited to prod Chiang as much as Chiang could be prodded and also look out for USA interests.


Quote:
Quote:
Many historians claim that despite limited resources provided on the Allies part, significant Japanese resources would be engaged and "tied up" in these parts of Asia.

I think that’s arrogant and hindward looking and ultimately bad historical argument.

Points:
• Where were the Japanese fighting?
• Who were their primary target countries?
• What were their war aims?
• Where were their best opportunities?


This would be with regard to mostly the Japanese Army/Air Force which usually had a million plus 'troops' in China, plus more in SE Asia and would experience that or more in casualties during the war. IJN involvement in China(& CBI) mostly faded after Dec. 1941. As for that question list, part of the answers in the linked article(s)/websites. It was Japans war against China, and seizing of Indo-China that resulted in the sanctions and embargoes that helped motivate the attack strategy implemented in Dec. 1941.

Quote:
Just to put these “many historians’” views in perspective, I sense that Japan recognized that for relatively little output they could take control of vast areas with little real challenge. I think of the loss of the Dutch navy, and the fact that the RN was in effect driven from Singapore to Aden, and say the Japanese were pretty much on their game. I wouldn’t be too surprised were Japanese ambitions based on the realization that the Western nations it was challenging had too much invested in the European conflict to protect their assets in Asia.


Partly so, but you are going into the events post Dec. 7/8, 1941 when the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere could only happen through military force. Diplomacy mostly having failed.

Quote:
I don’t believe that the Malay States, and French Indochina, and Burma, and Singapore, and the entire holdings of the Dutch East Indies fell simply because there were insufficient troops to defend them. I think they fell because European controls over the various principalities in the region was not agreeable to the residents. That doesn’t apply quite so fully to Hong Kong or Singapore, perhaps, but I ask you to consider India.


Poorly trained, poorly equip, and poor leadership combined with ineffective command and control co-ordination would be major factors as my take. Significant animosity on part of many of the local populace also a factor initially. Regretted by most after they had a taste of Japanese administration.

Quote:
India was the jewel in the Imperial crown. But there were movements by Indians to join forces with the Japanese and reclaim their nationhood. So the CBI was not just a small group of US a/c and a huge no. of C-46’s flying into south China with US aid. It was a bloody, vicious, ugly campaign under men like Ord Wingate and the Chindits to first stalemate and then undermine Japanese strength and influence in the CBI. They were successful, but at tremendous cost.


I wasn't suggesting: "So the CBI was not just a small group of US a/c and a huge no. of C-46’s flying into south China with US aid" and one would notice this if they read more than just the first couple of paragraphs or posts in the links/articles provided so far. Don't forget Lord Mountbatten, Merrill's Muraders, 1st Air Commando, among others - again, read the sources/links provided. BTW, it was a while before the Allies could start offensive ops in Burma.

Also, consider;
" On April 14, 1942, William Donovan, as Coordinator of Information (forerunner of the Office of Strategic Services), activated Detachment 101 for action behind enemy lines in Burma. The first unit of its kind, the Detachment was charged with gathering intelligence, harassing the Japanese through guerrilla actions, identifying targets for the Army Air Force to bomb, and rescuing downed Allied airmen. Because Detachment 101 was never larger than a few hundred Americans, it relied on support from various tribal groups in Burma. In particular, the vigorously anti-Japanese Kachin people were vital to the unit's success.[7]

Detachment 101's efforts opened the way for Stilwell's Chinese forces, Wingate's Raiders, Merrill's Marauders, and the counter-attack against the Japanese Imperial life-line.[8] "

Quote:
It’s more than possible that US commitments supported China while the British were more interested in the Burma/India cause, for all kinds of obvious reasons.


Duh!

Another item of interest is that there were plans for a 2nd AVG-Bombardment & a 3rd AVG-Pursuit in the making before Dec. 7th. In fact personnel for the 2nd were in route already and the A-20s and A-29s about to ship also. Back in 1940-41 when the AVG was being planned for, part of the strategy was to conduct bombing(incendiary) out of China and into Japan. Doolittle's B-25s were intend to be some of the first bomber reinforcements to China (eventual 14th Air Force) and some of the first combat missions by B-29s were flown out of China.

Quote:
Just some thoughts that come to mind from your posts.

Cheers
Brian G


Thanks.
As pointed out my posts are more than just the couple I've presented here.
It's the AVG/Flying tigers that often gets persons interested in the CBI, a "lure" of sorts.
----------------------------------
TANSTAAFL - There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
G David Bock
Lynden
WA USA
Posts: 185
CBI - China Burma India & the AVG
Posted on: 5/6/2020 7:06:26 PM

Another interesting item out of CBI;

Chinese-American Composite Wing (Provisional)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese-American_Composite_Wing_(Provisional)
[Read More]





14th Air Force Units (list)
http://www.cbi-history.com/part_ib.html#301
[Read More]


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TANSTAAFL - There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
G David Bock
Lynden
WA USA
Posts: 185
CBI - China Burma India & the AVG
Posted on: 5/6/2020 7:10:35 PM

One more before I go;
War Prize: The Capture Of The First Japanese Zero Fighter In 1941
http://www.j-aircraft.com/research/WarPrizes.htm
[Read More]
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TANSTAAFL - There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
Brian Grafton
Victoria
BC Canada
Posts: 3007
CBI - China Burma India & the AVG
Posted on: 5/6/2020 10:43:35 PM

David, please understand that my initial comments were not an attack on your post but only a personal statement and filter from a reading your post.

When I try to think back to the pre-war 30s, I have trouble imagining how folks got information about what was happening. Yes, I recognize that it was the age of radio, and that those Rockwell-familiar images of the family around the family radio were probably at least somewhat accurate. And yes, I realize there were news 'correspondents' living in foreign places I would have relied on to bring me the news, even if it were a few days late.

With the beginning of the Spanish Civil War, European and North American volunteers made commitments and sacrifices to the Socialist government of Spain. For the most part, members of the "International Brigades" were not just unrecognized for their commitment (they were deemed socialists or commies) but were typically punished, rejected or mistreated by their home governments for having challenged European fascism – and the Falangists of General Franco were, to a man, fascist.

Given the fact that the anti-fascist men (and no, I recognize the women who were often part of the International groups supporting the Spanish government, but think they were seen differently) were vilified because they acted against their nation's official policy, what drove anybody to link up with the AGW (Flying Tigers) without some kind of government assurance?

Damn! Gotta go for now. I recognize my comments might suggest I'm talking different issues, but I don't think I am.

Cheers
Brian G

----------------------------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly. "The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.
G David Bock
Lynden
WA USA
Posts: 185
CBI - China Burma India & the AVG
Posted on: 5/7/2020 12:29:34 AM

Quote:
David, please understand that my initial comments were not an attack on your post but only a personal statement and filter from a reading your post.

When I try to think back to the pre-war 30s, I have trouble imagining how folks got information about what was happening. Yes, I recognize that it was the age of radio, and that those Rockwell-familiar images of the family around the family radio were probably at least somewhat accurate. And yes, I realize there were news 'correspondents' living in foreign places I would have relied on to bring me the news, even if it were a few days late.

With the beginning of the Spanish Civil War, European and North American volunteers made commitments and sacrifices to the Socialist government of Spain. For the most part, members of the "International Brigades" were not just unrecognized for their commitment (they were deemed socialists or commies) but were typically punished, rejected or mistreated by their home governments for having challenged European fascism – and the Falangists of General Franco were, to a man, fascist.

Given the fact that the anti-fascist men (and no, I recognize the women who were often part of the International groups supporting the Spanish government, but think they were seen differently) were vilified because they acted against their nation's official policy, what drove anybody to link up with the AGW (Flying Tigers) without some kind of government assurance?

Damn! Gotta go for now. I recognize my comments might suggest I'm talking different issues, but I don't think I am.

Cheers
Brian G


Brain, totally understand. After years spent on many forums, part of my "style" in using a "quote" function and response to a poster's post is to reply to questions and issues that likely occur in the minds of the other readers. My replies aren't always as "personal" as they might seem.

As for the Spanish Civil War, there likely we "volunteers" for the "fascist" side/cause as well. I'd expect some for either side got in trouble more for breaking laws and possibly embarrassing their home nation than which side they chose. That war was such where fodder was needed and not much training in that context to be part of a "mob" and use a rifle. The emphasis is on the "volunteer" aspect and often their own dime to get over there and join the fighting.

In the case of the AVG, ideology was a part of why some guys joined, but other reasons, more commonly mentioned, were to have adventure, see some action, get some real training, and as many expressed, expecting that the USA would be in the war eventually, they saw a chance to get an earlier start. There was also the pay, about $600/month and rank promotion a notch or two above where they were. The pilots usually had 1-2 years experience, or more, some were instructors, many of the USN sort flew scout/dive-bomber aircraft and had been engaged in "Neutrality Patrol" work. Basically professionals already and enticed by the recruitment and opportunity. Similar applied to the non-flying base and support types recruited. They were "contractors", signed on to a one year contract, and aware of the implied approval at higher levels, sort of an early version of mercenary, somewhat like forerunners of "Air America" a couple decades later.

While there wasn't "government assurance" "in writing", the USA was involved in build up of personnel and material for future war use, and current Lend Lease, and an implication they would be valued and desired for their experience when their contracts we up. There was also strong public sentiments in the USA at the time for the people of China and their treatment by the Japanese, perhaps aided by newsreel footage, some books and movies, and also the press and magazines, such as "Life".








https://www.google.com/search?sxsrf=ALeKk03Fe1927QKNh3ErFWNzZoBPR0yfAQ:1588825463922&source=univ&tbm=isch&q=american+volunteer+group&client=firefox-b-1-d&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiE_4uL9KDpAhVSsZ4KHXGMDr8QiR56BAgLEBA&biw=1280&bih=910#imgrc=8W22eEFPX8dYnM
Images/pics page:
[Read More]

And, gotta have the Wiki page;
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Volunteer_Group
[Read More]
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TANSTAAFL - There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
G David Bock
Lynden
WA USA
Posts: 185
CBI - China Burma India & the AVG
Posted on: 5/17/2020 11:49:19 AM

How the Curtiss P-40 Got That Wicked Shark Grin
The Tomahawk was not the first airplane to wear its trademark nose art.
....
The archetypal shark mouth, as we know it today, first appeared on the noses of the Tomahawks of Royal Air Force No. 112 Squadron, fighting in North Africa. “The Shark Squadron” had received its Curtiss fighters in July 1941. Squadron nose art underwent many iterations before the British airmen settled on the definitive design. The ultimate shark appeared while 112 Squadron was serving in Egypt.

That year, in another part of the world—a Baptist missionary’s house in Toungoo, Burma, to be exact—AVG pilot Charles Bond had grown bored with the after-dinner conversation. He picked up the November 2, 1941 copy of The Illustrated Weekly of India and saw, on its cover, a photo of a pair of 112 Squadron’s Tomahawks. In the photo, South African Flight Lieutenant Neville “Bowks” Bowker stood on the wing of a British Tomahawk Mk. 1 named “Menace.” But what struck Bond most was the fighter’s eyes and fearsome teeth.

“Gee!” he wrote in his diary, “I want my P-40 to look like that! I discussed it with the others and they thought it was a good idea.” Bond hoped to mark all the fighters of the First Pursuit Squadron with the design, however, AVG commander Claire Chennault said, “No.” Instead, he wanted every airplane in the entire group to carry the markings. On the following day, Bond wrote in his diary, “November 16, 1941. Quite sore today. I suppose it was from pedaling into town for the paint to jazz up the planes.”
...

....
https://www.airspacemag.com/military-aviation/when-shark-bites-180974484/
[Read More]
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TANSTAAFL - There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
Brian Grafton
Victoria
BC Canada
Posts: 3007
CBI - China Burma India & the AVG
Posted on: 5/17/2020 7:23:23 PM

Great tale, David! Thanks for sharing it!

Stay safe
Brian G
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"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly. "The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.

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