Talk:Claire Lee Chennault

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Health Problems[edit]

Were these really serious, or was this simply a way to get him to retire from the USAAC? He often butted heads with the bomber guys and they had progressively gained control of the Air Corps... 24.44.68.146 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 21:17, 6 October 2012 (UTC)

French-American[edit]

Claire Chennault should be added to the wikipedia list of famous French-Americans, unless someone can find a good reason to exclude him (such as not actually being of French ethnicity, though I believe he was).205.188.116.197 13:29, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

The family name is French. Claire Lee is a French-American by ancestry. He is in the geneology book: Decendants of Estienne Chennault who came to the states in the 1800s. 128.190.125.2 (talk) 16:10, 9 December 2008 (UTC) Stephanie Chenault

i knew it! thats why he helped the french in indochina. :) Cliché Online (talk) 19:08, 26 March 2010 (UTC)

Grounded Tigers[edit]

The article says, "(AVG) — better known as the "Flying Tigers" — began training in August 1941 and fought the Japanese for six months after the attack on Pearl Harbor." This is a common myth; Caidin's Ragged, Rugged Warriors, however, has the first Tiger pilot departing 10 Dec 1941... Trekphiler 00:13, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

This is a common myth. I have to learn to read: "six months after the attack"... Matt Murdock 00:35, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
Caidin is a very dodgy source. The AVG did begin training in August 1941. They were in combat from 20 Dec 1941 to 10 Jul 1942. (The reference to 10 Dec must refer to the 2nd AVG, a bomber group scheduled to fly out from California that day, but scrubbed because of the Pearl Harbor attack.) AVGbuff (talk) 12:43, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

Scottish Verdict[edit]

The article says, "thus proving Stilwell correct in his opposition." This isn't proven; his inability to defend airbases is not causally connected to lack of offensive operations (as British experience in Malaya proves). Trekphiler 00:35, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

The bases were easily overrun, just as Stilwell predicted they would be. Chennault's entire premise was that the bases -- located in the mountains -- would, when coupled with air-borne firepower, be too great a trouble for the Japanese to mount an offense against.

The fact that the bases were overrun clearly proves Stilwell (who said they would be) correct, and Chennault (who said they couldn't be) wrong. 125.232.192.94 14:08, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

I have shortened this section and removed the POV flag. It now seems reasonably neutral to me. There was a lot of stuff in there that really had little to do with Chennault, belonging instead to an article about the 2nd Burma campaign. AVGbuff (talk) 17:22, 12 April 2009 (UTC)

Up in the air[edit]

I've read Chennault served with First Pursuit Group in his first AAC posting; anybody know what squadron? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Trekphiler (talkcontribs) 00:39, 16 February 2007 (UTC).

Byrd's excellent biography of Chennault is vague on this point: "he filled an assortment of posts at Ellington Field [1919-1923]. There he also took advanced pursuit training with the First Pursuit Group..." So I think the answer to your question is that he was not assigned to a squadron. He graduated at the top of his class, but his commander (Tooey Spatz, as it happens) thought that with all those children he'd be too timid for fighter combat, so when the 1st PG moved bases in 1922, Chennault was posted to the 12th Observation Sqdn at Fort Bliss. It wasn't until late 1923 or early 1924 that he got back into fighters. He became commander of the 19th Pursuit Sq. AVGbuff (talk) 12:37, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

P-40[edit]

I removed a section of commentary regarding the P-40 that was written in such a way that it belongs here instead of on the page itself.

NOTE:..the P40 in the CBI was not an obsolete aircraft. It managaged to hold its own in every combat theater in WW2. The major weakness of the P40 was its slow rate of climb and poor performance above 20,000 feet. In 1941 and 1942 the P40 was the "modern" Fighter Aircraft in CBI even after the introduction of the Ki43, which met the AVG in combat April 1942.

The prime opponent of the P40 was the Ki27 with a top speed of 280mph, 60mph slower then the P40. Its successor, the Ki43 only managed to produce a top speed of 310mph. In combat the P40 B/C model had more fire power with 4-30 caliber and 2-50 caliber vs. the Japanese Ki27 and Ki43 2-30 caliber machine guns. When the E-model P40 arrived in April 1942 it was 6-50 caliber guns against 2-30 caliber. In 1943 the Japanese introduced better aircraft Ki44, Ki61 and Ki84. Below 20,000 feet the P40 remained a competitive aircraft.

Chennault was an astute judge of air combat using well tested tactics and rolling logistics which allowed the AVG to rack up an impressive score with minimal losses. The AVG and its later counterparts were rated among the best air combat organizations in the world. Dan Fahey - Way of a Fighter, General Performance Data

Removed the description "obsolescent" from the P-40 in the article. There seem to be a number of people who see it as an effective aircraft. Blotto adrift 01:50, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

The P-40 was indeed obsolescent, which of course is not the same thing as saying it was obsolete. It was effective enough in the circumstances, which may say more about Chennault's leadership and the weaknesses of JAAF aircraft than it does about the strengths of the P-40. AVGbuff (talk) 17:25, 12 April 2009 (UTC)

Rugged, Ragged Warriors[edit]

Martin Caidin wrote at white heat, inventing stuff where it suited him. Of all his books (well, I haven't read ALL of them--who has?), Rugged Ragged Warriors is one of the least factual. It doesn't bode well for this article that the book was a source. Suggest he be written out. Byrd's biography is by all odds the most reliable on the subject of Chennault's life, if not about the airplanes that were a part of it. AVGbuff (talk) 21:22, 22 March 2008 (UTC)


Chenault a provocation to Japan?[edit]

I just finished Jack Sampson's recent book on Chenault. I found Chenault admirable, but idly wondered if having Chenault and the AVG in China attacking Japanese assets was ever considered by Japan at the time or historians since as a provocation or one of the reasons for Japan to attack Pearl Harbor. No discussion of this here or in Sampson's book. Is it a case of history as written by the victors? I haven't tried to enter a wiki discussion before. I'm sorry if I'm doing this wrong. --MajorGeek (talk) 18:30, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

No, you're not doing it wrong, and your point is well taken. The Japanese did take note of the AVGs moving to Asia, and indeed the American airmen were mentioned in the Imperial Conference of September 1941 that decided upon war as a solution to Japan's problems, but that is far from saying its existence was a reason, even a minor one, for the outbreak of war in December. AVGbuff (talk) 17:29, 12 April 2009 (UTC)
Agreed. The oil embargo was the main provocation. Nor was Chennault the first foreign advisor to the Kuomintang, or the AVG the first foreigners to fight under Chinese colors. The Germans and Russians both sent advisors to China, and the Russians a significant number of pilots, before becoming more preoccupied with each other. Yaush (talk) 22:49, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

Japanese Provacation[edit]

Historians seem to pass over the fact of increased US militay build up in the Phillipeens during 1940/41.

The Philipeans point directly to Japan's shipping routes.

By Dec 8th 41, the Army Air Corp had a Bomber group of B17D's and a fighter group of P-40E's In fact, the B17's that landed during the Pearl harbor attack were being routed to the Philipeans.

This Bomber force alone would be capable of attacking Formaosa and Japanese shipping lanes. Early B17s had caused a sensation by intercepting an Italian seam ship in mid Atlantic.

Chenault's forty odd fighters while able to put off bombing attacks,would not have the range or ordinace to affect japanese shipping or air bases. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 208.15.90.2 (talk) 23:44, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Recent edits[edit]

A host of rubbishy changes have been made recently, including some stuff that's just plain wrong. (The P-40B was not 'redesignated' P-40C. They are different models of the Curtiss H-81 fighter.) If someone choose to revert the lot of them, that would be just fine with me. Otherwise some major revisions must be made, if anyone has the time and inclination. AVGbuff (talk) 15:52, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

I have accordingly added a verification flag. That was the politest option I could find. AVGbuff (talk) 12:11, 6 February 2010 (UTC)

Civil Air Transport[edit]

Was the Civil Air Transport covertly supported by the CIA, or some other US Government program, right from the first?

Chennault Way, Gaithersburg, MD[edit]

Chennault Way in Gaithersburg, Maryland, off Airpark Rd may be named after this person. Hongthay (talk) 15:43, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

P-40 inferior?[edit]

Britain's primary fighter at the time was the Hawker Hurricane: a bit slower in level flight 330 miles per hour speed and about as well armed. P-40 had better survivability and would have been adequate for defense of British skies. The more limited Bf-109 with DB601 engine was contemporary. The Hurricane was also limited above 15,000 feet (many human beings have problems above 10,000 ft altitude even if Oxygen is provided) like the P-40. The best performing US fighter then was the P38 Lighting which the British also didn't want. At the time, there were limited aircraft choices: we exported P-36s and Brewster Buffalos!

Chenault may have been aware of performance of the lone P-40s that managed to take off at Pearl Harbor, on Dec 7th, 1941. Noted that he flew Curtiss Hawks at the Japanese in 1938(?). In the histories of the Flying Tigers (and books like "God is my Copilot" by General Scott), he had several opportunities to test captured Japanese aircraft. The "formidable" Zero was an inferior aircraft: it was slower than the P-40, unarmored (easily destroyed), and poor armament. IThe Zero's low stall speed, low speed (<150 mph) maneuvering, rate of climb were its strengths (US aircraft were never able to dogfight at Biplane speeds). It was the best choice he had at the time, worked well with his tactics, and considering the successes of the Flying Tigers he proved to correct. Shjacks45 (talk) 02:21, 15 February 2012 (UTC)