Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Remembering the history of the Flying Tigers

by Airman 1st Class Nicholas Benroth
23rd Wing Public Affairs

11/1/2010 - MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- Members from the Flying Tiger Association, including family members and friends, gathered at Moody from Oct. 28 to 30 to attend the 68th annual Flying Tigers Reunion. The association is made up of flying tigers of the past and present.

During the reunion, Flying Tigers learned about the wing's current mission and capabilities through events hosted by various units around base.

The events included briefings, displays at the 820th Base Defense Group, static displays of the A-10C Thunderbolt II, HC-130P Combat King and HH-60G Pave Hawk, combat search and rescue demonstrations and the opportunity to see an aircraft from the original flying tiger days.

"This reunion is to remember those who are fallen and can't join us," said retired Col. Steve Bonner a member of the Flying Tigers. "It's important to remember the history and the sacrifices that all these members made."

Mr. Bonner was a pilot during World War II and flew the P-40 over China from 1943 to 1944.

The history of the Flying Tigers dates back to 1939 when the American Volunteer Group, commanded by U.S. Army Air Corps Lt. Gen. Claire Lee Chennault, the AVG disbanded and passed on their legacy and continued to fly as the 23rd Fighter Group.

The group was nicknamed the "Flying Tigers" and became famous for the shark teeth painted on the P-40, which were thought to intimidate enemies.

After World War II, the Flying Tigers were inactivated and reactivated several times, flying different fighter aircraft at different locations before being reactivated as the 23rd Wing.

"It's great to see the Flying Tigers are still active to this day," said retired Gen. Jimmie Adams, a former 347th Tactical Fighter Wing commander. "They have achieved a lot to keep themselves on top."

The Flying Tigers have been a strong force throughout history and continue to be on the front lines of combat in Afghanistan today.

"We have more than 1,000 Flying Tigers that are deployed right now," said Col. Gary Henderson, 23rd Wing commander. "They are out there protecting our freedom and our country, just as these members did."

"MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- When an aircraft has lived through its operational life, it is usually either used for scrap metal or taken to the “Boneyard” near Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. However, a squadron here will keep a retired A-10A Thunderbolt II as a ground instructional training aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Benjamin Wiseman)(RELEASED) Hi-res

No comments:

Post a Comment