Flying Tigers Association
American Volunteer Group • Chinese Air Force
We are pleased to announce that the AVG (American Volunteer Group) will be celebrating their 77th anniversary this year. In order to properly recognize and celebrate the magnitude of this occasion, the Flying Tigers Association will again be offering a scholarship in their dedication.
This year’s scholarship will be in the amount of $1000 given to the most deserving student. The students must meet the following requirements:
- Full-time student and U.S. Citizen
- Sophmore level or above
- Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above
- Pursuing a degree in an aviation-related field of study (e.g. Aeronautical Engineering, Aviation Management, Professional Pilot, etc.) at an accredited university
In order to apply, students are expected to submit the following information:
- Brief statement outlining how they fulfill the above requirements (stating Major and GPA)
- A short 500-1000 word essay on the history and legacy of the AVG/Flying Tigers
- A letter of recommendation
Completed submissions can be emailed to AVGscholarship@bellsouth.net or can be mailed to:
Dr. Michael D. Richardson
326 Julia Street
Bay St Louis MS 39520
To assure consideration, submissions should be received no later than September 15, 2018. The Scholarship committee will review the applications immediately thereafter. Successful students will be notified by the end of October, 2018.
Brief History of the Tigers
In early 1941, Claire Chennault received authorization from President Roosevelt to recruite 100 pilots and 200 ground personnel from the U.S. Armed Services to go to China to train the Chinese Air Force. The men and women were obligated to resign from their respective service and volunteer for duty in China. With arrivals on several ships from July to mid-November 1941, this group of recruits was formed into three squadrons. With some of the pilots having less than one month of training, the first air combat took place near Kunming, China, on December 20, 1941.
From December 29, 1941 to July 18, 1942, the AVG was engaged in combat with the Japanese over a front that extended from Rangoon to Kweilin, including missions penetrating far into enemy territory. In this short period of seven months, there were 297 confirmed victories, hundreds more unconfirmed and many more aircraft destroyed on the ground. In proving themselves true adversaries in the air, the group was named “Fei Hu” (Flying Tigers) by the Chinese. Not one pilot would ever be claim to have been successful in combat without the constant labor of the ground personnel who worked tirelessly to keep the planes in the air and the guns working properly.
The AVG was officially disbanded on July 4, 1942, to be replaced by the U.S. Army Corps (14th Air Force). While it would be three long years of constant combat before the enemy was brought to its knees in 1945, the legacy of the American Volunteer Group/Flying Tigers remains in the annals of aviation history as an accomplishment never again to be duplicated.