American Volunteer Group (Flying Tigers) Special Collection SDASM.022

Finding aid prepared by Cindy Chen
San Diego Air and Space Museum Library and Archives
2001 Pan American Plaza, Balboa Park
San Diego, CA, 92101
(619) 234-8291
August 2, 2011


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: 4.47 Cubic feet Ten (10) 10” tall flip-top standing boxes
Date (inclusive): 1927-2000
Abstract: This series contains various correspondences, articles, documents, reunion yearbooks, etc. relating to the American Volunteer Group (AVG), known as the “Flying Tigers.”
creator: McKellar, Ed
creator: Pistole, Larry M.

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

This collection contains various correspondences, articles, documents, reunion yearbooks, artifacts, etc. relating to the American Volunteer Group (AVG), known as the “Flying Tigers.” Much of the material is from post-war activities of AVG veterans associations. Primarily composed of paper materials, with some photographs and leather and plastic artifacts.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

The bulk of this collection was donated to the San Diego Air and Space Museum prior to 2007, when it was compiled from existing holdings. The contents of Box 03 and Box 04 were previously known as the Papers of Walter W. Pentecost as of August 2006. The contents of Box 05 and Box 10 were donated in 1997 by Robert Schriebman.

Preferred Citation note

[Item], [Filing Unit], [Series Title], [Subgroups], [Record Group Title and Number], [Repository “San Diego Air & Space Museum Library & Archives”]

Other Finding Aids note

A more detailed, item level finding aid is available at http://www.sandiegoairandspace.org/collections/collection_item.php?id=139

Related Archival Materials note

Digital images from this collection are available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/sdasmarchives/sets/72157624587561232/

Arrangement note

Materials are arranged in an imposed order according to subject and material type.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

China National Aviation Corporation.
China. Kong jun. American Volunteer Group.
Claire Lee, Chennault, , 1893-1958
Flying Tigers (AVG), Inc..
United States. Army Air Forces. Air Force, 14th.
United States. Army Air Forces.
China Burma India Theater (CBI)
Curtiss P-40 Warhawk
World War, 1939-1945

 

Box 01 - AVG General 1

 

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 02 - AVG General 2

 

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 03 – Walter Pentecost 1

 

Series I: Interviews

 

Series II: Ferry Pilot Forms/Aircraft Record of Reception

 

Series III: Aircraft Service Logs/Maintenance & Operational Procedures

 

Series IV: Letters of Recommendation, Military Forms for Service

 

Series V: Correspondence: AVG Family Letters

 

Series VI: Maps and Blueprints

 

Series VII: News Clippings: Pentecost, AVG

 

Series VIII: Personal Daily Calendar

 

Series IX: Vultee Aircraft, Inc. Employment Agreement

 

Series X: Correspondence regarding AAHS Journal Article, AVG

 

Series XI: Correspondence: Chennault, Employment in China

 

Series XII: Correspondence: Miscellaneous and other Papers

 

Series XIII: Outline/Notes, AVG book

 

Box 04 – Walter Pentecost 2

 

Series I: Walter Pentecost Publications, AVG

 

Series II: Souvenirs

 

Series III: Thiokol Trip Log, 1959-1961

 

Series IV: Museum Correspondence

 

Box 05 – Book, Pictorial History of the Flying Tigers

 

Series I: Books

 

The Pictorial History of the Flying Tigers. D 790 .C46 1983 c.3

creator: Pistole, Larry M.

General note

Autographed by 35 Flying Tiger members.
 

The Pictorial History of the Flying Tigers. D 790 .C46 1983 c.4

creator: Pistole, Larry M.

General note

Autographed by 35 Flying Tiger members.
 

The Pictorial History of the Flying Tigers. D 790 .C46 1983 c.5

creator: Pistole, Larry M.

General note

Autographed by 35 Flying Tiger members.
 

The Pictorial History of the Flying Tigers. D 790 .C46 1983 c.6

creator: Pistole, Larry M.

General note

Autographed by 35 Flying Tiger members.
 

Box 06 – 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 07 – 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 H. W. Bush

 

Series X: Robert S. Schreibman Correspondence

 

Box 08 – 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 09 - 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

 

Box 10 – AVG Association Papers 4

 

Series I: Bound Legal Documents

 

Series II: AVG Reunion Programs

 

Series III: 14th Air Force Association Publications