SIGNED BY 16 FLYING TIGERS, NINE OF THEM ACES
(WORLD WAR II—FLYING TIGERS) SZUSCIKIEWICZ, Paul. Flying Tigers. New York: Gallery Books, (1990). Folio, original pictorial boards, original dust jacket. $750.
First edition of this richly illustrated history of the Flying Tigers, signed on a specially designed bookplate by 16 Flying Tigers, many of them aces.
The American Volunteer Group (AVG) of the Chinese Air Force, 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, Charlie Mott, J.R. "Dick" Rossi, Joe Rosbert, Ed Rector, Ken Jernstedt, Bob Layher, Robert T. Smith, Charlie Bond, Donald Rodewald, Robert Raine, Bob Keeton, David "Tex" Hill, Chuck Older, Duke Hedman and Eric Shilling. Of these, Rossi, Rosbert, Rector, Smith, Bond, Hill, Older, Hedman and Jernstedt were aces (more than five enemy planes shot down). Bond, an ace with 9-1/2 victories, was the first of the Flying Tigers to paint his Curtiss P-40 Warhawk with the shark mouth on the nose of his plane, an iconic decoration that would become characteristic of the Flying Tigers.