First Battle of the American Volunteer Group, Better Known as the “Flying Tigers”

December 20, 2022

The first battle of the American Volunteer Group, better known as the “Flying Tigers,” took place in Kunming, China during World War II. The Flying Tigers were a group of American pilots who volunteered to fight for China against Japan in the early days of the war.

The group was formed in 1941, when the United States was not yet officially involved in the war. The pilots were recruited by Claire Chennault, a retired US Army Air Corps officer who was working as a military adviser to the Chinese government. Chennault believed that the Flying Tigers could help defend China against Japanese aggression.

The first battle involving the Flying Tigers took place on December 20, 1941, when a group of Japanese bombers attacked the city of Kunming. The Flying Tigers, flying outdated Curtiss P-40 Warhawk fighter planes, managed to shoot down several Japanese planes and successfully defend the city.

The Flying Tigers played a crucial role in the early days of the war in the Pacific, helping to defend China and tie down Japanese forces that might otherwise have been used against American forces. Although they were a small group, they made a big impact and were celebrated as heroes in both China and the United States.


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