By Earle Rice
Profiles Claire Lee Chennault who, after retiring from the USA military Air Corps, volunteered as an consultant to Chiang Kai-Shek and led either chinese language and American air troops opposed to Japan in the course of international warfare II.
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Additional resources for Claire Chennault: Flying Tiger (Famous Flyers)
Before completing their training at Toungoo, the volunteers suffered the deaths of three pilots. q 11/21/02 1:39 PM Page 51 Birth of a Legend pilot Gil Bright while practicing tactics. Bright parachuted to safety, but Armstrong did not. Two weeks later, ex-army pilot Maax Hammer missed the Kyedaw runway and plunged to his death. On October 25, Peter Atkinson became the second army pilot to die when a runaway propeller caused his Tomahawk to break apart during a power dive. Low spirits among the AVG pilots received a lift when a few of them came across a photograph of a British P-40 while thumbing through an aviation magazine.
En route to China, the President Garfield put into port at Kobe, Japan, for a brief layover. Billy McDonald, Chennault’s old pal from their “Flying Trapeze” days, met him at the dock. McDonald was traveling on a passport that listed his occupation as assistant manager of a troupe of acrobats. The two friends spent the next few days touring Japan, viewing its sights “through the eyes of experienced airmen gauging Chiang Kai-shek (in uniform) met with Japan’s ambassador to China, Shigero Kawagoye (right) and members of their staffs in Nanking, China, in late 1936.
He took full advantage of his position as flight instructor to test his theories and to check out every new fighter plane that appeared on the scene — Curtiss P-6s and Boeing P-12s and P-26s. Chennault stressed teamwork and the importance of surprise and aggressive flying. He taught his pilots to keep control of the fight by maintaining superior airspeed and altitude — dive and climb. A good pilot must learn to recognize when textbook solutions do not apply and to trust his own gut feelings. And he must respect the value of running and living to fight again when outnumbered or otherwise disadvantaged.