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Who were the "Flying Tigers"?

Learn about the volunteer Flying Tiger pilots.

Flying Tiger pilots flew P-40 Warhawks during World War II.
Flying Tiger pilots flew P-40 Warhawks during World War II.

They were members of the American Volunteer Group who were recruited early in 1941 by Major General Claire Lee Chennault (1890-1958) to serve in China as mercenaries. Some 90 veteran United States pilots and 150 support personnel served from December 1941 until June 1942 during World War II.

The airplanes they flew were P-40 Warhawks, which had the mouths of tiger sharks painted on the planes' noses. These painted-on images gave the group nickname the "Flying Tigers."

 

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