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American Volunteer Group (Flying Tigers) Special Collection SDASM.022
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Collection Details
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  • Conditions Governing Access note
  • Conditions Governing Use note
  • Biographical/Historical note
  • Scope and Contents note
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition note

  • Title: American Volunteer Group (Flying Tigers) Special Collection
    Identifier/Call Number: SDASM.022
    Contributing Institution: San Diego Air and Space Museum Library and Archives
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 3.6 Linear feet 9 archival boxes.
    Date: 1927-1996
    Abstract: This series contains various correspondences, articles, documents, reunion yearbooks, etc. relating to the American Volunteer Group (AVG), known as the “Flying Tigers.”

    Conditions Governing Access note

    The collection is open to researchers by appointment.

    Conditions Governing Use note

    Some copyright may be reserved. Consult with the library director for more information.

    Biographical/Historical note

    The 1st American Volunteer Group, also known as AVG, and more famously as the Flying Tigers—was a group of volunteer American pilots from various branches of the military, led by Lieutenant General Claire Lee Chennault. Answering a call from Madame Chiang Kai Shek, Chennault initially gathered together the AVG to perform a survey of the Chinese Air Force. The AVG was comprised of 3 squadrons: 1st Adam and Eves, 2nd Panda Bears, and 3rd Hell’s Angels. The group saw combat after Pearl Harbor in 1941, and went on to produce multiple victories against the Japanese, and emerged with multiple Flying Aces. Chennault employed his fighter doctrine, which was based on careful study of the enemy’s tactics, while employing their strengths in altitude. The Flying Tigers were famous too for their successes in the air battle over Rangoon. In addition to their combat victories, the Flying Tiger members and Chennault were highly celebrated, and in 1992, AVG veterans were finally recognized as members of the military services, and all members were awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. The ground crew were rewarded the Bronze Star. In popular culture, the Flying Tigers are readily recognizable in their iconic shark face nose art. They have also been featured in various movies, books and documentaries.

    Scope and Contents note

    Box I - AVG General Series I: AVG Veteran Status Essay Series II: Manuscript Copies Series III: Personal Correspondences Series IV: AVG Roster/Inventory Series V: AVG Mailing Lists Series VI: Bibliographies Series VII: AVG – China
    Box 2 - AVG General
    Series I: Flying Tigers Artifacts/Miscellany Series II: Magazine Articles Series III: News Clippings Series IV: Reunion Brochures/Yearbooks Series V: Papers of Ed McKellar, Executive Director, San Diego Air & Space Museum
    Box 3 – Walter Pentecost 1 of 2
    Series I: Books (Autographed) Series II: Interviews Series III: Ferry Pilot Forms/Aircraft Record of Reception Series IV: Aircraft Service Logs/Maintenance & Operational Procedures Series V: Letters of Recommendation, Military Forms for Service Series VI: Correspondence: AVG Family Letters Series VII: Maps and Blueprints Series VIII: News Clippings: Pentecost, AVG Series IX: Personal Daily Calendar Series X: Vultee Aircraft, Inc. Employment Agreement Series XI: Correspondence regarding AAHS Journal Article, AVG Series XII: Correspondence: Chennault, Employment in China Series XIII: Correspondence: Miscellaneous and other Papers Series XIV: Outline/Notes, AVG book
    Box 4 – Walter Pentecost 2 of 2
    Series I: Walter Pentecost Publications, AVG Series II: Souvenirs Series III: Thiokol Trip Log, 1959-1961 Series IV: Museum Correspondence
    Box 5 – Book, Pictorial History of the Flying Tigers
    Series I: Books
    Box 6 – 14th Squadron AVG
    Series I: Pictorial Magazine and Other Publications Series II: Miscellaneous Articles Series III: Operations and Graphs Series IV: Research Correspondence Documents Series V: Military and Other Documents
    Box 7 – AVG Association Papers 1
    Series I: AVG Reunion Newsletters Series II: AVG Association Application for Exemption Series III: AVG Association Documents Series IV: Time Magazine Excerpts Series V: Personal Correspondence Series VI: Bill of Rights Requesting Veterans’ Recognition Series VII: Documents – AVG T-Shirt Production Series VIII: Military Documents Series IX: Letter From President George Bush Series X: Robert S. Schreibman Correspondence
    Box 8 – AVG Association Papers 2
    Series I: AVG T-Shirt Contract, Merchandising, etc. Series II: AVG Media Relations—Daniel Ford Book Series III: AVG Images/Design/Bulletins 1994-5 Series IV: John R. Rossi Honorable Discharge Papers Series V: Claire Chennault Stamp
    Box 9 - AVG Association Papers 3
    Series I: AVG Miscellaneous Articles Series II: AVG Flying Tigers Incorporation, 1989 Legal Documents 1 Series III: AVG Flying Tigers Incorporation, 1989 Legal Documents 2 Series IV: AVG Application for Veteran’s Status Series V: AVG Trademark/Military Decorations/Design

    Immediate Source of Acquisition note

    This collection was donated to the San Diego Air and Space Museum in 2007.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    American Volunteer Group, "Flying Tigers" -- Archives
    American Volunteer Group (AVG)
    Flying Tigers