American Volunteer Group (Flying Tigers) Special Collection SDASM.022
Finding aid prepared by Cindy Chen
San Diego Air and Space Museum Library and ArchivesAugust 2, 2011
2001 Pan American Plaza, Balboa Park
San Diego, CA, 92101
Box I - AVG General Series I: AVG Veteran Status Essay 1. Manuscript, “The History and Status of the First American Volunteer Group,” Toungoo, Burma, October 19, 1941 2. News clippings; Flying Tigers and veteran status 3. Copied scrapbook with photos and writing, possibly compiled by Claire Lee Chennault and Joseph Alsop Series II: Manuscript Copies 1. Manuscript, “Prelude to Pearl Harbor: the air war in China 1937-1941,” by Ray Wagner 2. Spiral-bound manuscript, “Flying Tigers: Claire Chennault and the American Volunteer Group,” by Daniel Ford Series III: Personal Correspondences 1. Various typed letters regarding Flying Tigers veteran claims. Many refutes from the Flying Tigers of the 14th Air Force Association, Inc., and museums, such as the Smithsonian Institution 2. Full transcript of interview with Japanese bomber pilot, Guichi Suzuki 3. Various telegrams to Claire Chennault, 1942 4. Various military reports 5. Map/charts, “AVG inner phone net, Unnan Province, China—1941” Series IV: AVG Roster/Inventory 1. Excerpt, AVG Roster 2. Inventory of Larry Pistole AVG collection, including: AVG silk banner, AVG dress uniform, blood-chit, brass ashtray, etc. Series V: AVG Mailing Lists 1. Mailing list, corrected 1/21/1961 2. Mailing list, April, 1977 3. “AVG Roster,” February, 1971 4. List of AVG pilots, typed and hand-written 5. Mailing list, May, 1981 6. Mailing list, July, 1982 Series VI: Bibliographies 1. List of known books and articles relating to AVG 2. New York Times index: Aeronautics, China, etc. 3. Books on Aviation in China 4. Article, “Aviation in China and Japan: A Selected Reader’s Guide.” Series VII: AVG – China 1. Small booklets: Copy of 1944 Diary, War Area Service Corps, National Military Council, China, presented to Stanley A. Strout. 2. Small booklet: Pocket Guide to China, War and Navy Departments, Washington, D.C. 3. Small personal notepad 4. Small booklet: Chinese Phrasebook, War Department, 1943, using Wade-Giles Romanization 5. Life Magazine pages, pictures of Nanking, etc. 6. Various articles and reports, including: Chinese Pilots 1927-1941?; Aircraft Factories in China; copy of map of China, with Chinese place names spelled in English system common before 1945, etc. 7. Chinese language newspaper clipping, 1950 8. Pamphlet, “Commemorative Album of the Anti-Japanese Aviators Memorial,” Chinese/English 9. Map, “Map of Shanghai: Showing Places of Interest,” Navy Y.M.C.A. 10. Map, “Shanghai in 1855 11. Letter, from Tsung Chi Lee to Ray Wagner, Archivist, SD Aerospace Museum, with notes on the Chinese Airforce before the war 12. Chinese statistics on AVG, handwritten in Chinese 13. Various Rosholt House Publishing correspondence 14. Hawks of the Eastern Skies article, Curtiss aircraft in China 15. Article, “China’s Top Flight Heroes” 16. Miscellaneous handwritten notes 17. French article excerpt, “L’aviation chinoise de 1909 a 1949” 18. Philippine Department report on Chinese Aviation 19. Various loose news clippings 20. Magazine excerpt, “Modernization of China’s Military Electronics Promises to be Slow” 21. Article, “Chinese: Paul Jackson delves into the inscrutable numbers codes of the Chinas—the People’s Republic, Taiwan, and Hong Kong” 22. Hand written response to question on the Moran Report 23. Illustrated article, “Chinese Bombers 1910-1960 24. Black and white map, China 1930 25. Article, “Chinese American Aces in the Chinese Air Force” 26. Bilingual Chinese/English Magazine, “Cultural Geography” 27. Article, “Tiger in the Sky…the Saga of the AVG” 28. Article, “Crash Course in Combat,” The Retired Officer Magazine 29. AVG-related articles, including American History Illustrated 30. AVG Bill of Rights 31. Color article, Military Insignia 32. Article, “The Lady Tigers” 33. Excerpt, “My Diary as an Ensign with the Flying Tigers” by CAPT Noel R. Bacon, USN (Ret.)
Box 2 - AVG General
Series I: Flying Tigers Artifacts/Miscellany 1. Brochure, Certificate of Authenticity “Flying Tigers” by Stan Stokes, Business card, Colonel Gordon L. Johnson 2. Map, Kunming (with hostels), 425th Bomb Squadron 308th Group 3. Miscellaneous documents, AVG Roster, 1942 4. Copy of AVG staff photos 5. AVG Table of Organization (Chinese) 6. Handwritten Record Book, from Walter Pentecost, cataloging photos? 7. Message to the AVG in China by Madame Chiang Kai-Shek 8. Patches in WWII, including China theater, Flying Tigers of 14th Air Force 9. 4 Chinese currency; 1 Yuan 10. Handwritten letter, from Peping, China, 1945 11. English Translation of letter from a Chinese Schoolboy to American Air Force Personnel 12. Paraphrased letter from President Franklin D. Roosevelt to AVG members, 1942 13. Handwritten Chinese report, including downed pilots, 1 American 14. Portrait, Flying Tiger, Johnny Inman?
Series II: Magazine Articles 1. Pamphlet, 2 copies; Americans Valiant and Glorious, brief history of the Flying Tigers 2. Reader’s Digest, June 1942, including: “Chennault and His Flying Tigers” 3. Pamphlet, Flying Tigers: A Brief History with Recollections and Comments by General Claire Lee Chennault 4. Pamphlet, Chinese Air Force American Volunteer Group, Taipei, Taiwan 5. Bilingual edition, Cultural Geography magazine, with “Saving Flying Tigers with Broken Wings” article 6. Pamphlet, The Memory of History, by the State Council Information Office, P.R. China 7. Article excerpt, “The Sino-Japanese Air War” 8. Article, “Japs are their Specialty,” Flying Tigers discuss themselves 9. Article, “American Hawks for China,” by Daniel Ford 10. Copy of plaque for Flying Tigers 11. Color article photos, Flying Tiger aircraft 12. Full edition, Flying magazine, “The Story of the Flying Tigers” 13. Other miscellaneous articles
Series III: News Clippings 1. Various news clippings regarding AVG and pilots, 1938, 1986-1999
Series IV: Reunion Brochures/Yearbooks 1. AVG Flying Tigers Reunion brochures: 1975-2000
Series V: Papers of Ed McKellar, Executive Director, San Diego Air & Space Museum 1. Pamphlet, Index of Public Relations—Film—Flying Tigers 2. Pamphlet, Flying Tigers Historical Reference 3. Pamphlet, Thumbnail sketch of Flying Tigers, by John M. Williams 4. Pamphlet, Table of the Flying Tigers, Initial Formation of AVG 5. Pamphlet, Flying Tiger Exhibit Record
Box 3 – Walter Pentecost 1 of 1
Series I: Interviews 1. 2 Small black and white pictures of Walter Pentecost 2. Typed Interview of Walter Pentecost, 1969, “The American Volunteer Group in Burma and China, 1941-1942” 3. Typed Interview with Walter Pentecost, 1942, with background in personal involvement, and mention of Claire Chennault
Series II: Ferry Pilot Forms/Aircraft Record of Reception 1. Multiple Records of Reception, The Intercontinent Corporation, 9/4/1941-11/28/1941
Series III: Aircraft Service Logs/Maintenance & Operational Procedures 1. 2 small blue notebooks, handwritten notes, Walter Pentecost, Line Supervisor, Intercontinent Corp., 1941 2. 1 small handbook, “Aeronautical Vest-Pocket Handbook, with graphs and conversion factors, presented to Walter Pentecost 3. Various typewritten operational procedures/Aircraft Service Logs, First American Volunteer Group Office of the Engineering Officer, etc.
Series IV: Letters of Recommendation, Military Forms for Service 1. Various Typed Letters of Recommendation, Military Forms and Service Records, 3/18/1942-11/27/1942
Series V: Correspondence: AVG Family Letters 1. Collection of handwritten and typed correspondence from family members to Walter Pentecost, with information about whereabouts and status of service members, 4/3/1942-9/11/1942
Series VI: Maps and Blueprints 1. Foldout color map of India and Adjacent Countries, 1932 2. Black and white map on board, Burma 3. Black and white foldout map of Burma, 1941 4. Comprehensive sketch of Loiwing and Pangkham 5. Blueprint, Building Progress Map of 1940
Series VII: News Clippings: Pentecost, AVG 1. Miscellaneous news clippings regarding Walter Pentecost, aeronautical engineer
Series VIII: Personal Daily Calendar 1. Handwritten daily calendar mounted on board, 5/11/1941-12/3/1941, pilot and ship notes
Series IX: Vultee Aircraft, Inc. Employment Agreement 1. Employment agreement with Vultee Aircraft Inc., 1943, 12 pages
Series X: Correspondence regarding AAHS Journal Article, AVG 1. Handwritten/typed correspondence to/from James J. Sloan, George L. Paxton Jr., William Wagner regarding AAHS Journal article on AVG; 1970-1973
Series XI: Correspondence: Chennault, Employment in China 1. Typed “Tentative Outline of Book on General Chennault and AVG” 2. Correspondence to/from General Chennault and others, regarding employment in China; May 1948-October 1948
Series XII: Correspondence: Miscellaneous and other Papers 1. Handwritten letter to Pentecost regarding former Flying Tiger Charles W. Sawyer, and Pentecost response 2. Letter regarding use of photos for a book by Robert M. Smith on the Flying Tigers 3. List of Flying Tiger members and deceased or prisoner of war 4. Pamphlet for book, A Flying Tiger’s Diary, by Charles R. Bond, JR., and Terry H. Anderson 5. Other miscellaneous correspondence/documents
Series XIII: Outline/Notes, AVG book 1. Page-by-page outline and notes for Flying Tigers book
Box 4 – Walter Pentecost 2 of 2
Series I: Walter Pentecost Publications, AVG 1. Miscellaneous letters 2. “Here Come the Flying Tigers!” article, by Walter Pentecost 3. Booklet, “Americans Valiant and Glorious,” history of Flying Tigers and pilot profiles 4. Handwritten flight log 5. Air Forces News Letter, February, 1942, with article: “U.S. Tigers Claw Japs” 6. Air Enthusiast Quarterly, number 4, 1970 and correspondence regarding article, “Tiger in the Sky” 7. Type-written Service School Broadcast, regarding Flying Tigers, 1942 8. Flying Tigers manuscript draft, by Walter Pentecost in collaboration with Alan Hynd
Series II: Souvenirs 1. Currency, French Indochina, Brasil, Hong Kong, India 2. Assortment of Hotel and luggage tags, Singapore, Rangoon, Brasil, Manila, etc. 3. Stickers, Convair, 498th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, Geiger Tigers 4. Motor vehicle license, Burma, to Walter Pentecost, 1941 5. Greeting card, Bombay 6. Airline ticket, Pan American Airways, Khartoum to Lagos 7. Pass, Intercontinent Corporation Engineer pass, Walter Pentecost 8. Race program, Rangoon Turf Club. Governor’s Cup Day, season 1941-42 9. Steamship ticket, Matson Line, one-way 1st class, Los Angeles to Honolulu, 1941 10. Souvenir passenger list, Matson Line, S.S. Matsonia, 1941 11. Undated/signed flight route, on colored map of the world 12. Form BX, “for passengers disembarking at Indian Ports bringing in Currency Notes other than Bank of England Notes the Import of which is restricted” in the amount of U.S. 500 13. Anderson Public Schools Vocational Department, Pattern Making course, to Walter Pentecost, 1931 14. Silver Wings Fraternity, “Aviation Pathfinders” Life Member, Walter Pentecost, 1927 15. 14th Air Force Association member in good standing certificate, 1956 16. Colored chart, “Insignia of the U.S. Navy and related Services” Series III: Thiokol Trip Log, 1959-1961 1. Handwritten Thiokol Trip log, showing locations and people
Series IV: Museum Correspondence 1. National Air and Space Museum letters 2. San Diego Air & Space Museum letters, loan of negatives/objects received, etc. 3. Certificate, The Air Force Museum Foundation, Inc. Friends of the United States Air Force Museum
Box 5 – Book, Pictorial History of the Flying Tigers
Series I: Books 1. 5 Copies of book, The Pictorial History of the Flying Tigers, by Larry M. Pistole. 1 signed by author, 4 signed by 35 Flying Tiger members
Box 6 – 14th Squadron AVG
Series I: Pictorial Magazine and Other Publications 1. Color Brochure, 2002 Operation Hump Exhibition 2. Annual Pictorial Magazine of the Flying Tigers of the 14th Air Force Association, 1985 3. Color print, 14th Air Force insignia 4. Color pictorial excerpt, CBI Hump Pilots Association Logo Series II: Miscellaneous Articles 1. Article, “Liberator Men in China” 2. Typed report, 1935, “Flight of the Tin Goose” 3. Article excerpt, 1944, Lt. Jack Clifford lost in China 4. Photocopied insignia of 58th Bomb Wing Chengtu, 1944-5 5. Article, “Mission Symbols,” nose art 6. Photocopy of Personal Notebook of Robert Kennedy, 27th? TC 7. Army certificate, promotion to Sergeant, Frederick M. Ifft 8. General Article, “Chinese Air Force American Volunteer Group” 9. Black and White drawing, Fourteenth Air Force, with Flying Tiger plane 10. Chinese/English Bilingual Color Pamphlet, “The Memory of History”
Series III: Operations and Graphs 1. Illustrated map, “G.I. Vagabond Journey Across India: The Rail Trip from Ledo to Karachi was made by the First CBlers Going Home After the War,” with railway timings 2. “Scientific Diagram for Parking of Aircraft for Maximum Operation” 3. Brochures, “Quiz for Operation Hump” 4. Graphs, base and targets, China
Series IV: Research Correspondence Documents 1. Handwritten letter, questions on aircraft, photo of Bill Hill, etc. 2. Typewritten response to question, with copies of photos 3. Typewritten query/response regarding name-tag on (Air-Corp) A-2 leather jacket, with photos and original envelope 4. Copy of black and white photo of 308th Bomb Group
Series V: Military and Other Documents 1. Miscellaneous military documents, operational constants, staff planning, allied air forces operations instructions, etc. 2. Individual flight records, Charlton W. Doyle, Lester J. Van Winkle 3. Graph, 68th Composite Wing 4. Reproduction copy of 1984 Transport Section 322nd, regarding time in China, with photos and typed commentary 5. Copy, handwritten Chinese, Chinese Headquarter’s report on finding Lt. Mace 6. Color photo paper graph of “Organization Chart, Flying Tigers 14th Air Force” 7. Small booklet, “Yank’s Magic Carpet” with pictures of people and life in China 8. Copy, “Major Accidents and Losses From April 1942 to September 1945” 9. Excerpt, “A Fighter Pilot’s Ordeal” 10. Miscellaneous military documents: Requirements for Air-Drop Operations, Memorandum, etc. 11. Actual tape from decoding machine, “109” sent to several fighter squadrons and to Rosholt, the author, serving as liaison officer with the 9th War Area Headquarters in Changsha
Box 7 – AVG Association Papers 1
Series I: AVG Reunion Newsletters 1. “The Tiger Rag,” reunion newsletters, 1964-1989
Series II: AVG Association Application for Exemption 1. Booklet, Application for Exemption Under R&T Code 23701w, FTB form 3500, with: A Brief history of the Flying Tigers with exhibit; corporate formation documents; proforma financial statements; list of similar United States organizations; sample reunion literature
Series III: AVG Association Documents 1. Letter to Flying Tigers, from George L. Paxton, Secretary-Treasurer, informing of acceptance of incorporation
Series IV: Time Magazine Excerpts 1. Photocopy excerpts of following Time and Life magazines: May-July, 1942; August, 1942 (Life). Includes article, “Chennault Fights to Hold the China Front”
Series V: Personal Correspondence 1. Correspondence involving Robert Schriebman, and “secret documents” about the Flying Tigers, and other miscellaneous correspondence
Series VI: Bill of Rights Requesting Veterans’ Recognition by Congress 1. Copy of Bill of Rights, 1945, including: employment charts, combat, personnel and other data, excerpts of letters between representatives, etc.
Series VII: Documents – AVG T-Shirt Production 1. Correspondence regarding contract for: AVG T-shirt production, proposal, 50th Anniversary signature project, etc.
Series VIII: Military Documents 1. Various military documents, 1941-2: honorable discharge document; military aviation requirements of China; airplanes for China; volunteers for employment in the Chinese Air Force; spare parts for AVG in China
Series IX: Letter From President George Bush 1. Copy, President George Bush’s letter regarding Flying Tigers and stamp ceremony for Chennault, 1990
Series X: Robert S. Schreibman Correspondence 1. Various typed correspondence , Robert S. Schreibman, law corporation: recommendations for citations, with sample citation documents; honorable discharge applications
Box 8 – AVG Association Papers 2
Series I: AVG T-Shirt Contract, Merchandising, etc. 1. Various letters/correspondence regarding John Copeland/Netter Digital Entertainment contract and production of AVG jackets, etc. 2. Proposal for Two-Hour Documentary by John Copeland: “The Tigers Who Ruled the Winds: The Story of Claire Lee Chennault and the Flying Tigers,” 1996
Series II: AVG Media Relations—Daniel Ford Book 1. Various Flying Tigers related correspondence/media inquiries: Daniel Ford; Flying Tigers sculpture; movie proposal; logo, etc.
Series III: AVG Images/Design/Bulletins 1994-5 1. Various documents, AVG: business/merchandise documents; artwork proposal; copies of AVG image designs; tax documents, etc.
Series IV: John R. Rossi Honorable Discharge Papers 1. Copy of discharge paper, John R. Rossi, July 1942 2. Discharge packet shipment papers
Series V: Claire Chennault Stamp 1. Copy, Black and White photo, pilots and planes 2. Copy, first day of issue, Chennault stamp 3. Copy, article, “Flying Tigers land in Illesheim,” 1989 Box 9 - AVG Association Papers 3
Series I: AVG Miscellaneous Articles 1. R.T. Smith diary excerpt, mention of Chennault, with handwritten notes, 1942 2. Miscellaneous correspondence regarding use of Flying Tiger logo 3. Letter, welcoming Flying Tigers to “Flying Tiger Week” in Germany, 1989 4. Typed manuscript, “Historical Overview” of Flying Tigers 5. Black and White photocopy of city of Chungking in the midst of Japanese bombing 6. Typed manuscript, “Submission to the U.S. Armed Forces for Protection” 7. Excerpt, Bond Diary, 1942, with hand-written notes 8. Typed manuscript, “Integration into the Military Organization,” with mention of AVG uniforms 9. Typed manuscript, “The Uniqueness of Service,” with list of AVG missions/accomplishments
Series II: AVG Flying Tigers Incorporation, 1989 Legal Documents 1 1. Robert S. Schriebman legal documents: tax forms, correspondence, regarding AVG Association
Series III: AVG Flying Tigers Incorporation, 1989 Legal Documents 2 1. Robert S. Schriebman legal documents: tax forms/exemptions, “Articles of Incorporation,” etc.
Series IV: AVG Application for Veteran’s Status 1. Handwritten and typed letters, regarding AVG Veteran’s status 2. AVG application for discharge 3. AVG Historical Report 4. Copy of Civil Air Transport “The Bulletin,” with mention of new book by Daniel Ford, on Claire Chennault and Flying Tigers 5. Color ad, Sophos T-Shirts, with AVG design 6. Various correspondence with Secretary of Defense, et al, regarding Veteran’s Status
Series V: AVG Trademark/Military Decorations/Design 1. Letter and copy of original “Certificate of Registration” for patent and trademark for AVG logo 2. Copy, military document, “Army Air Forces Historical Studies, no. 12: The Tenth Air Force, 1942” 3. Marketing blurb for Daniel Ford book, Flying Tigers: Claire Chennault and the American Volunteer Group 4. “The Tiger Rag: American Volunteer Group” newsletter, 1991 5. AVG Bulletin, 1989, AVG/CNAC Reunion
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.
Abstract: This series contains various correspondences, articles, documents, reunion yearbooks, etc. relating to the American Volunteer Group (AVG), known as the “Flying Tigers.”
The collection is open to researchers by appointment.
Some copyright may be reserved. Consult with the library director for more information.
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.
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
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)