Way of a Fighter/Chennault


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RARE FIRST ORIGINAL EDITION . WRITTEN BY CHENNAULT, EDITED BY ROBERT HOTZ . . . IT CONTAINS CHENNAULT’S FIVE PAGE FOREWORD . . . LAVISHLY ILLUSTRATED WITH 18 ORIGINAL WAR PHOTOGRAPHS . . . & THREE COMBAT ZONE AREA MAPS . * This superb book covers the thoughts, plans and tactics Chennault employed against the Japanese air forces. His tactics were taught to his pilots, and were ultimately a major part of American success over the larger and stronger Japanese air force. . Chennault wrote a stunning five page “Foreword” to this book in January, 1949, Shanghai, just after the defeat of the Japanese. His warnings about allowing the Communists to take over China were far ahead of ‘his times’ and not heeded by the U.S. Government, in the end, America ‘lost China’ a staunch old ally after World War II. . *** GENERAL CLARE LEE CHENNAULT [1893-1958]: Chennault was known as the “father” of the “A.V.G.” [“American Volunteer Group”], later commonly called the “FLYING TIGERS.” . *** INVITED TO VISIT CHINA AND ASSESS THE CHINESE AIR FORCE BY MME. CHIANG: . Major General Claire Lee Chennault was an advisor to Chiang Kai-shek’s Chinese Air Force in 1937. Mme. Chiang asked Chennault to create a new air force composed of American fliers, inviting them to come to China and oppose the overwhelming Japanese air force. . Chennault agreed and established the “A.V.G.” consisting of some 100 all American volunteer pilots & support members in 1941. Later after their success against the superior and overwhelming Japanese air forces, they we called the “Flying Tigers” by the Chinese. . In 1942 they turned back elite Japanese air forces invading China in the “CBI” [“China Burma & India”] Theaters of war, the first defeat of Japanese solely by American air power. . *** CHENNAULT’S MILITARY CAREER: Chennault attended Louisiana State University between 1909 and 1910 and received ROTC training (Claire). He learned to fly in the Air Service during World War I, remained in the service after it became the Air Corps in 1926, and became Chief of Pursuit Section at Air Corps Tactical School in the 1930s. Poor health and disputes with superiors led Chennault to resign from the service in 1937. He then joined a small group of American civilians training Chinese airmen and served as “air adviser” to Kuomintang (KMT) Nationalist Government leader Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek and his wife, Soong May-ling, during the Sino-Japanese War [1937-1945]. Chennault participated in planning operations and observed the Chinese Air Force in combat from a Curtiss Hawk 75. In this period, he would organize the International Squadron. . *** “FLYING TIGERS” Chennault’s “A.V.G.” [“American Volunteer Group.”] later and much better known as the “FLYING TIGERS” began training in Kunming, S.W. China in August 1941 and fought the Japanese for six months after the attack on Pearl Harbor in Burma. . Chennault’s three squadrons used P-40s and his tactics of “defensive pursuit” to guard the Burma Road, Rangoon and other strategic locations in Southeast Asia and western China against Japanese forces. Chennault made a great contribution by training the first-generation Chinese fighter pilots. . *** “FLYING TIGERS” were formally incorporated into the United States Army Air Forces in 1942. Prior to that, Chennault had rejoined the Army with the rank of colonel. He was later promoted to brigadier and then major general, commanding the Fourteenth Air Force. . *** CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER [CBI]: The neutrality of this article is disputed. Please see the discussion on the talk page. (December 2007) Please do not remove this message until the dispute is resolved. . * Throughout the war Chennault was engaged in a bitter dispute with the American ground commander, General Joseph Stilwell [Chennault’s superior officer]. . Chennault asserted that the Fourteenth Air Force, operating out of bases in China, could attack Japanese forces in concert with Nationalist Chinese troops. . In contrast, Stilwell insisted that air assets be diverted to his command for an offensive to force the opening of a ground supply route through northern Burma to China. This route would provide supplies and new equipment for a greatly expanded Nationalist force of twenty to thirty modernized divisions. . Chiang Kai-shek favored Chennault’s plans, as he was suspicious of British colonial interests in Burma, and because he was not prepared to begin major offensive operations against the Japanese. He was also concerned about alliances with semi-independent generals supporting the Nationalist government, and was concerned that a major loss of military forces would enable his Communist Chinese adversaries to gain the upper hand. . *** THE JAPANESE AIR FORCES: Good weather in November 1943 found the Japanese Army air forces ready to challenge Allied forces once again and they began both night and day raids on Calcutta and the Hump bases while their fighters struck back vigorously against any Allied air intrusions over Burma. . In 1944, Japanese ground forces advanced and seized Chennault’s forward bases, though they were severely mauled by the Fourteenth’s air force at the Salween River and other chokepoints. Slowly, however, the greater numbers and greater skill of the Allied air forces began to assert themselves. By mid-1944, Major General George E. Stratemeyer’s Eastern Air Command completely dominated the skies over Burma; this superiority was never to be relinquished. . By mid-1944, logistical support reaching India and China via the Hump finally reached levels permitting the long-awaited Allied offensive into northern Burma. In formulating their strategy for defending Burma in 1944, the Japanese failed to appreciate Allied air capabilities. The Japanese Army did not succeed in invading India because it had been unable to establish and maintain the long supply lines necessary to maintain their troops. The Allies did not depend upon such supply lines, either to support their troops, or to maintain their jungle penetration offensives. Instead, hundreds of Allied transport planes brought food, ammunition, and all manner of supplies directly to Allied troops. If there were no nearby airfields where they could land, the airmen dropped these supplies into rice paddy or jungle clearings. Anything that might break was dropped by parachute; everything else was free-dropped. Thus, the Allies’ only supply line came through the air, which they controlled completely. And, having driven Japanese combat planes from the skies, the Allies had no worries about air strikes against their bases in India. . *** THE HUMP AIR LIFT FROM INDIA TO KUNMING: Chennault had long argued for expansion of the airlift, doubting that any ground supply network through Burma could ever provide the tonnage needed to re-equip Chiang’s divisions. However, work on the road, known as the Ledo Road, continued throughout 1944, though it was not actually completed until January 1945. Training of the new Chinese divisions commenced; however, estimates of monthly tonnage (65,000 per month) over the road were never achieved. By the time Nationalist armies began to receive large amounts of supplies via the Ledo Road, the war had ended. Instead, the airlift continued to expand until the end of the war, after delivering 650,000 tons of supplies, gasoline, and military equipment. . *** POSTWAR: Chennault, unlike Joseph Stilwell had a high opinion of Chiang Kai-shek, advocated international support for Asian anti-communist movements. Returning to China, he purchased several surplus military aircraft and created Civil Air Transport (later Air America). These aircraft facilitated aid to Nationalist China during the struggle against Chinese Communists in the late 1940s, and were later used in supply missions to French forces in Indochina and the Kuomintang occupation of Northern Burma throughout the mid and late 1950s, providing support for the Thai police force. . *** In 1951, a now-retired Major-General Chennault testified and provided written statements to the Senate Joint Committee on Armed Forces and Foreign Relations, which was investigating the causes the fall of China in 1949 to Communist forces. Together with General Albert C. Wedemeyer, Vice-Admiral Oscar C. Badger II and other, Chennault stated that the Truman administration’s arms embargo was a key factor in the loss of morale to the Nationalist armies. . THE COMMUNISTS IN CHINA: In particular, Chennault advocated changes in the way foreign aid was distributed, encouraged the U.S. Congress to focus on individualized aid assistance with specific goals, with close monitoring by U.S. advisers. This viewpoint may have reflected his experiences during the Chinese Civil War, where officials of the Kuomintang and semi-independent army officers diverted aid intended for the Nationalist armies. Shortly before his death, Chennault was asked to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee of the Congress. When a committee member asked him who won the Korean War, his response was blunt: “The Communists.” . *** CHENNAULT’S DEATH AND LEGACY: P-40 Warhawk “Joy” at the USS Kidd Louisiana Veterans Memorial & Museum in Baton Rouge. Chennault was ultimately promoted to lieutenant general, one day before his death. He died of lung cancer in 1958 after the removal of most of one lung the previous year. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery. . Chennault is commemorated by a statue in the ROC capital of Taipei, as well as by monuments on the grounds of the Louisiana state capitol at Baton Rouge, and at the former Chennault Air Force Base, now the commercial Chennault International Airport in Lake Charles, Louisiana. An antique P-40 aircraft, nicknamed “Joy”, is on display at the riverside war memorial in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, painted in the colors of the Flying Tigers. . Chennault is recognized as a major war hero in China. His Chinese name is “Chen Na-de.” In 2005, the “Flying Tigers Memorial” was built in Huaihua, Hunan Province, on one of the old airstrips used by the Flying Tigers in the 1940s. Chennault’s first wife, Nell Thompson, was an American of British ancestry. By the time he was serving in China, they had divorced. Chennault then married Chen Xiangmei, a young reporter for the Central News Agency. Anna Chennault, as his wife was known, became one of Taiwan’s chief lobbyists in Washington.
This book is seldom found with the original dustjacket.

Approximate size of book and weight. All books with be shipped Media Mail, but
we still need to know if it is oversized or extremely heavy.
Dimensions ‎ 6.5 x 1.25 x 9: inches Weight: 1.95 pounds

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