Mere months before the attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt sent a volunteer group of American airmen to the Far East, convinced that supporting Chinese resistance against the continuing Japanese invasion would be crucial to an eventual Allied victory in World War II. Within two weeks of that fateful Sunday in December 1941, the American Volunteer Group -- soon to become known as the legendary "Flying Tigers" -- went into action. Audaciously led by master tactician Claire Lee Chennault, daring airmen such as David Lee "Tex" Hill and George B. "Mac" McMillan fought enemy air forces and armies in dangerous aerial duels despite being outnumbered and outgunned. Aviators who fell in combat and survived the crash or bailout faced the terrifying reality of being lost and injured in unfamiliar territory.
In Fallen Tigers: The Fate of America's Missing Airmen in China during World War II, historian Daniel Jackson, himself a combat-tested pilot, sheds light on the stories of downed aviators who attempted to evade capture by the Japanese in their bid to return to Allied territory. In gripping detail, he reveals that the heroism of these airmen was equaled, and often exceeded, by the Chinese soldiers and civilians who risked their lives to return them safely to American custody. His comprehensive research shows the drive to aid these airmen transcended ideology, as both Chinese communists and nationalists realized the commonality of their struggle against a despised enemy. Fallen Tigers is an incredible story of survival that insightfully illuminates the relationship between missing aircrew and their Chinese allies who were willing to save their lives at any cost. Based on thorough archival research and filled with compelling personal narratives from memoirs, wartime diaries, and dozens of interviews with veterans, this vital work offers an important new perspective on the Flying Tigers and the history of World War II in China.
Author's NotePrologue: Missing in ActionAerial OppressionHope for ChinaDoolittle's RaidEnemy OccupationChina Air Task ForceHong KongAerial OffensiveShipping Is the KeyThanksgiving DayAmbush at JiujiangOperation Ichi-GoCollateral DamageWith the CommunistsThe Secret AirfieldThai FightersThe Final OffensiveEpilogue: MemoryAcknowledgmentsAppendix A: TimelineAppendix B: Chinese TransliterationBibliographyIndex
"This work is the new standard for analyzing the role of Chinese partisans in the rescue and repatriation of downed American flyers, and it will remain so in perpetuity. The author's ability to work in Chinese as well as English is of enormous benefit, as is his careful combing of the downed aircraft records to build a complete database of all of the aircraft losses. Fallen Tigers is a huge contribution." -- Paul J. Springer, author of America's Captives: Treatment of POWs from the Revolutionary War to the War on Terror
"Using extensive primary materials, Jackson chronicles the fate of the Flying Tigers in China and offers wonderful personal narratives from the flyers in wartime. The author's apparent Chinese language skills make this an important addition to the field." -- Dr. S. Mike Pavelec, author of Airpower Over Gallipoli, 1915-1916