List of Flying Tigers pilots

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Following is a complete list of American Volunteer Group (Flying Tigers) pilots.[1][2] The AVG was operational from December 20, 1941, to July 14, 1942. The press continued to apply the Flying Tigers name to later units, but pilots of those organizations are not included.

In most air forces, a victory is defined as the destruction of an enemy aircraft in air-to-air combat, and those shown below are the "confirmed" claims as recorded in AVG records, unearthed by aviation historian Frank Olynyk.[3] The Chinese government paid the pilots a bonus of $500 for each enemy aircraft destroyed, whether in the air or on the ground.

Aces while Flying Tigers are in bold.
Name Air-to-air victories Bonuses Notes
Adkins, Frank W. 1[4] 1[4]
Armstrong, John Dean Killed on September 8, 1941 during a practice dogfight when he collided with J. Gilpin Bright.[5]
Atkinson, Peter W. Killed in a crash when the "propeller governor failed on his P-40".[6]
Bacon, Noel 3[4] 3.5[4]
Bartelt, Percy 5[4][7] 7[4]
Bartling, William 5[4][7] 7.27[4]
Baugh, Marion F.
Bernsdorf, Donald R.
Bishop, Lewis Sherman 2.2[4] or 5.2[8] 5.2[4]
Blackburn, John Ed III 2[4] 2[4]
Bohman, Morris P.
Bolster, Harry R. 1[4] 2[4]
Bond, Charles 7[7][9] 8.77[4] He was the first Flying Tiger to paint a shark's mouth on the nose of his airplane.
Boyington, Gregory "Pappy" 2[4] 3.5[4] Boyington claimed six victories, but that number is unsubstantiated. In any case, he would be awarded the Medal of Honor for his post-Tigers achievements.
Bright, John Gilpin 3[4] 6[4]
Brouk, Robert R. 3.5[4][10] 3.5[4]
Brown, Carl K. 0[4] 0.27[4] Last surviving pilot of the Flying Tigers. [11]
Burgard, George T. 10[4][7] 10.79[4]
Cavanah, Herbert R.
Christman, Allen Bert A cartoonist before the war, he personalized the noses of the P-40s of the "Panda Bear" squadron with cartoons and caricatures. His airplane was hit and he was killed while parachuting in 1942.
Cole, Thomas J. 1[4] 1[4] Previously a Consolidated PBY Catalina pilot, Cole was killed by anti-aircraft fire on January 30, 1942, while mistakenly strafing friendly forces;[12] his plane exploded and his body was never recovered.
Conant, Edwin S.
Cook, Elmer J.
Criz, Albert
Croft, John S.
Cross, James 0[4] 0.27[4]
Dean, John J. 3[4] 3.27[4]
Donovan, John Tyler 1[4] 4[4]
Dupouy, Parker S. 3.5[4] 3.5[4]
Farrell, John W. 1[4] 1[4]
Fish, William H., Jr.
Foshee, Ben Crum Died on May 4, 1942, from injuries suffered in a raid on Paoshan in Yunnan Province, in China.[13]
Geselbracht, Henry M., Jr. 0[4] 1.5[4]
Gilbert, Henry G.
Goyette, Edgar T.
Greene, Paul J. 2[4][14] 2[4]
Groh, Clifford G. 2[4] 2[4]
Gunvordahl, Ralph N. 1[4][15] 1[4]
Hall, Lester J.
Hammer, Maax C. Killed in a training accident, circumstances unknown.[16]
Hastey, Raymond L. 1[4] 1[4]
Haywood, Thomas C., Jr. 4[4] or 4.5[17] 5.08[4]
Hedman, Robert P. 6[4][7] 4.83[4] He became an "ace in a day" around Christmas Day, 1941.[18] He later became one of the original partners in fellow Flying Tiger Robert Prescott's Flying Tiger Line.[19]
Hennessy, John J.
Hill, David Lee "Tex" 10.25,[4] 12.25[20] or 12.75[7] 11.25[4] A squadron leader, he was one of five Flying Tigers to join its successor, the United States Army Air Forces 23rd Fighter Group, where he downed an additional six Japanese airplanes.
Hodges, Fred S. 1[4] 1[4]
Hoffman, Louis 0[4] 0.27[4]
Houle, Leo J.
Howard, James H. 2.33[4] or 6[21] 6.33[4] Howard was one of six squadron leaders. He later became the only pilot in the European Theater to be awarded the Medal of Honor.
Hsiao, Robert or Xiao Zhenkun Hsiao was selected from the Chinese Air Force in 1943[22] to train in the U.S. as a bomber pilot. He joined the 14th Air Force, 2nd Squadron of the 1st Brigade, where he destroyed 1 japanese A6M2a plane, and 10 transport and war ships.
Hurst, Lynn A.
Jernstedt, Kenneth A. 3[4] 10.5[4] He and William Reed shared credit for 15 airplanes destroyed on the ground on one mission.
Jones, Thomas A. 1[4] 4[4]
Keeton, Robert B. 2[4] 2.5[4]
Kelleher, John P.
Knapp, Donald R.
Kuykendall, Mathew or Matthew W. 1[4][23] 1[4]
Laughlin, C. H. 2[4] or 5+[24] 5.2[4]
Lawlor, Frank L. 7[4][7] 8.5[4]
Layher, Robert F. 0.33[4] or 2 shared[25] 0.83[4]
Leibolt or Liebolt, Edward J. 0[4] 0.27[4]
Little, Robert L. 10[4][7] 10.55[4] Shot down and killed on May 22, 1942, during a bombing mission.
Loane, Ernest W. He later went to work for Robert Prescott (see below) and what eventually became the Flying Tiger Line.
McGarry, William D. 8[7][16] 10.29[16] He was shot down in Thailand by Japanese anti-aircraft fire on March 24, 1942, and taken prisoner.[26] He escaped after nearly three years and lived to be 74.[26]
McGuire, Maurice G.
McMillan, George B. 4.5[16] 4.08[16] Vice Commander of the 3d Squadron ("Hells Angels"). He was recommissioned in the United States Army Air Forces as a major in 1943 and served as a test pilot at Eglin Army Airfield, Florida. He returned to China that same year serving as a P-38 pilot and commander of the 449th Fighter Squadron/51st Fighter Group, scoring four additional kills to become an ace. He was shot down and killed near Pingxiang, China on June 24, 1944, on his 53rd combat mission.
Mangleburg, Lacy F.
Martin, Neil G.
Merritt, Kenneth T. 1[16] 1[16] Died when a landing aircraft crashed into a parked car in which he was sleeping on the night of January 7-8, 1942.[27] Peter Wright was splashed with hydraulic fluid and landed awkwardly, resulting in the landing gear collapsing.[28] His plane then skidded into a parked Chevrolet sedan; Wright survived, but Merritt was killed instantly.[28]
Mickelson, Einar I. 1[16] 0.27[16]
Moss, Robert C. 2[16] 4[16]
Mott, Charles D. 0[16] or 2[29] 2[16]
Neale, Robert H. 13[7][16] 15.55[16] Top Flying Tigers ace and a squadron leader.
Newkirk, John 7[7][16] 10.5[16] A squadron leader.
Older, Charles H. 10[7][16][30] 10.08[16] After the war, he was eventually appointed a Los Angeles Superior Court judge and presided over the Charles Manson murder trial.
Olson, Arvid E., Jr. 1[16] 1[16] A squadron leader.
Overend, Edmund F. 5[7][16] 5.83[16]
Paxton, George L.
Petach, John E., Jr. 3.98[16] 3.98[16] On the ocean voyage to China, Petach became acquainted with Emma Jane Foster, one of the two nurses who sailed with and were members of the Flying Tigers; they married in China.[18] With the Tigers were being absorbed by the US military, Petach was set to return home when he learned that volunteers were needed to help out for two weeks. He stayed. Though Tex Hill tried to give him safe missions, he was shot down and killed.[18]
Power, Robert H.
Prescott, Robert William 5.5[7][16] or 6[31] 5.29[16] He founded the Flying Tiger Line, the first scheduled cargo airline in the United States.
Probst, Albert E.
Raine, Robert James 3+[32] or 3.2[16] 3.2[16]
Rector, Edward F. 4.75[16] 6.52[16] He was responsible for the first and the last Flying Tigers victory.
Reed, William Norman 3[16] 10.5[16] He and Kenneth Jernstedt shared credit for 15 airplanes destroyed on the ground on one mission. He subsequently became an ace with six victories with the US Army Air Forces.
Ricketts, Freeman I. 1.2[16] 1.2[16]
Rosbert, Camile Joseph 6[7][16] 4.55[16] Like several other Flying Tigers, he was one of the original partners in Robert Prescott's Flying Tiger Line.[19]
Rossi, John Richard 6[7][16] or 6.25[33] 6.29[16]
Rushton, Edwin H.
Sandell, Robert J. 5[7][16] 5.27[16] A squadron leader.
Sawyer, Charles W. 2[16] 2.27[16]
Schiel, Frank, Jr. 4[16] 7[16]
Shamblin, Arnold W.
Shapard, Van, Jr. 1[16] 1[16]
Shilling, Eriksen E. 0[16] 0.75[16]
Smith, Robert H. 5[7][16] or 5.25[34] 5.5[16]
Smith, Robert T. 8.7,[35] 8.9[16] or 9[7][36] 8.73[16]
Smith, William C.
Swindle, Estes T., Jr.
Wallace, Stanley H.
Walroth, Robert H.
Watson, Eugene A.
White, Richard
Wolf, Fritz E. 4[16][37] 2.27[16]
Wright, Allen M.
Wright, Peter 2.65[16] 3.65[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Complete Roster of the American Volunteer Group, 1941-'42 the Flying Tigers". Archived from the original on January 23, 2013. Retrieved October 18, 2012.
  2. ^ Bond, Charles R.; Terry H. Anderson (1988). A Flying Tiger's Diary. Texas A&M University Press. pp. 228–231. ISBN 0890964084. Retrieved October 21, 2012. Appendix B. Roster of the AVG (preview only goes up to James H. Howard)
  3. ^ Ford, Daniel (2007). Flying Tigers. HarperCollins. pp. 359–361.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo bp bq br bs bt bu bv bw bx by Olynyk, Frank J. AVG & USAAF (China-Burma-India Theater) Credits for Destruction of Enemy Aircraft in Air to Air Combat, World War 2. Aurora, Ohio: Privately published, 1986. Figures obtained from
  5. ^ Ford, Daniel (2007). Flying Tigers: Claire Chennault and His American Volunteers, 1941-1942. HarperCollins. p. 73. ISBN 0061246557. Retrieved October 17, 2012.
  6. ^ Samson, Jack (2005). The Flying Tiger: The True Story of General Claire Chennault and the U.S. 14th Air Force in China. Globe Pequot. p. 73. ISBN 1592287115. Retrieved October 17, 2012.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s "American Volunteer Group Aces, World War II, 1939-1945". American Fighter Aces Association ( Retrieved October 12, 2012.
  8. ^ "Lewis Bishop". (official Flying Tigers site). Retrieved October 12, 2012.
  9. ^ "Charles Bond". Retrieved October 12, 2012.
  10. ^ "Robert Brouk". Archived from the original on July 22, 2010. Retrieved October 12, 2012.
  11. ^ "Death of last remaining Flying Tiger pilot stirs fond memories". China Daily. Retrieved June 5, 2019.
  12. ^ Ford, Daniel (March 14, 2016). Tales of the Flying Tigers: Five Books About the American Volunteer Group, Mercenary Heroes of Burma and China. Daniel Ford. p. 89. Retrieved August 31, 2017.
  13. ^ "Alumni News: Ben Crum Foshee Was "Flying Tiger"" (PDF). The Emerald of Sigma Pi. Vol. 29 no. 3. November 1942. p. 139.
  14. ^ "Paul Greene". Retrieved October 12, 2012.
  15. ^ Ford, Daniel (2007). Flying Tigers: Claire Chennault and His American Volunteers, 1941-1942. HarperCollins. p. 176. ISBN 0061246557. Retrieved October 17, 2012.
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be Ford, Daniel (2007). Flying Tigers: Claire Chennault and His American Volunteers, 1941-1942. HarperCollins. p. 361. ISBN 0061246557. Retrieved October 20, 2012. Includes aerial victories calculated by Frank J. Olynk.
  17. ^ "Thomas Haywood". Retrieved October 12, 2012.
  18. ^ a b c Mike Barber (May 25, 2001). "Before the U.S. entered WWII, the Flying Tigers were already in the fight". Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
  19. ^ a b "Aviation: Gravy for the Flying Tigers". Time magazine. May 5, 1945.
  20. ^ "David Lee Hill". Retrieved October 12, 2012.
  21. ^ Wolfgang Saxon (March 22, 1985). "Gen. James Howard, 81, Dies; Medal Winner in Aerial Combat". The New York Times. In 13 months of action over Burma and China, beginning in December 1941, he flew 56 missions and was credited with shooting down six Japanese planes.
  22. ^ Xiao, Zhenkun (December 31, 2016). "Xiao Zhenkun papers". Online Archive of California (OAC). Retrieved December 31, 2016.
  23. ^ "Matthew Kuykendall". Retrieved October 12, 2012.
  24. ^ "C. H. Link Laughlin". Retrieved October 12, 2012.
  25. ^ "Robert Layher". Retrieved October 12, 2012.
  26. ^ a b Myrna Oliver (April 13, 1990). "William McGarry, 74, of World War II Flying Tigers Fame". Los Angeles Times.
  27. ^ Clements, Terrill J (January 20, 2013). American Volunteer Group ‘Flying Tigers’ Aces. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 165. ISBN 9781472800596. Retrieved April 23, 2017.
  28. ^ a b Eisel, Braxton. The Flying Tigers: Chennault's American Volunteer Group in China. p. 26. ISBN 978-0-16-081729-8.
  29. ^ "Charles Mott". Retrieved October 12, 2012.
  30. ^ "Charles Older". Retrieved October 12, 2012.
  31. ^ "Robert Prescott". Retrieved October 12, 2012.
  32. ^ "Robert Raine". Retrieved October 12, 2012.
  33. ^ "J. Richard Rossi". Retrieved October 12, 2012.
  34. ^ "Robert H. Smith". Retrieved October 12, 2012.
  35. ^ "Robert T. Smith". Retrieved October 12, 2012.
  36. ^ Brett A. Collins (August 24, 1995). "Obituaries : * Robert T. Smith; Author, Flying Tigers Ace". Los Angeles Times.
  37. ^ "Fritz Wolf". Retrieved October 12, 2012.
  • Koskodian, Kenneth. K. (2009) No Greater Ally: the Untold Story of Poland's Forces in World War II. New York City: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 9781846033650

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