Flying Tigers

Flying Tigers.jpg (76 KB)

From the era when men fought against men, not computers.

[“Copyrighted photograph by R.T. Smith used by permission of Brad Smith”]

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    4 Responses to Flying Tigers

    1. The photograph was taken by R. T. Smith of the 3rd Squadron, American Volunteer Group, aka Flying Tigers. They were on patrol over Baoshan, China, in May of 1942. That’s Charlie Bond in No. 68 nearest to R.T.’s aircraft. For more about the AVG and the photo, see and

      Blue skies! — Dan Ford


    2. They look more like flying sharks. Have they ever seen a tiger?


    3. Of course they look like flying sharks. The cowling was painted to resemble a tiger shark in order to taunt the Japanese. The Japanese economy was largely based on fishing, and the tiger shark was an omen of very bad luck, thus the AVG began painting the shark faces on their aircraft. A reporter truncated the name “Tiger-Sharks” to “Tigers”, and thus the name of the Flying Tigers was born. It was a good fit too, since their C.O., Claire Lee Chennault had attended LSU, whose mascot is . . . the tiger.

      Wonderful photo!


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