SIGNED BY 15 FLYING TIGERS, SIX OF THEM ACES
CORNELIUS, Wanda and SHORT, Thayne. Ding Hao. America's Air War in China, 1937-1945. Gretna, Louisiana: Pelican Publishing, (1980). Octavo, original navy and yellow boards, original dust jacket. $700.
Book Club edition of this history of the American Volunteer Group, better known as the Flying Tigers, who fought against Japan in the skies over China and southeast Asia before the United States had officially declared war. Signed on a specially designed bookplate by 15 Flying Tigers, including aces “Tex” Hill, Charlie Bond, Ed Rector, Robert T. Smith, Dick Rossi, and Ken Jernstedt.
The American Volunteer Group (AVG), famously nicknamed the Flying Tigers, was composed of U.S. pilots recruited in 1941 under presidential authority and commanded by Claire Lee Chennault, to counter Japanese aggression in China before the U.S. had officially entered the war. This copy signed on a bookplate by Tigers Paul Greene (Flight Leader), Robert T. Smith (Flight Leader, and an ace with 9 victories), Dick Rossi (Flight Leader, 6 victories), Ken Jernstedt (Flight Leader, 5 victories), Ed Rector (Vice Squadron Leader, 10-1/2 victories), Erik Shilling (Flight Leader), Bob Layher (Flight Leader), David "Tex" Hill (Squadron Leader with 10-1/4 victories with the Flying Tigers; 18-1/4 total), Charlie Bond (Vice Squadron Leader, 7 victories with the Tigers, 9-1/2 total), Al Kaelin (clerk), Robert M. Smith (communications), Edward Gallagher (crew chief), Frank Losonsky (crew chief), Rich Richardson (communications), Carl Quick (crew chief). Six of these men were aces (more than five enemy planes shot down). Bond and Shilling are variously credited with being the first of the Flying Tigers to paint their Curtiss P-40 Warhawks with the shark mouth on the nose, an iconic decoration that would become characteristic of the Flying Tigers. Contemporary date on flyleaf.
Book near-fine with only slight edge-wear, dust jacket about-fine.