Claire Chennault was a tough tiger, on the ground too. The small town Louisiana boy was one of the first to volunteer for...

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COMMANDER OF THE FLYING TIGERS: Claire Lee Chennault

Claire Chennault was a tough tiger, on the ground too. The small town Louisiana boy was one of the first to volunteer for flight training during WW I, and although he was at first rejected, he managed through initiative and bluster to be accepted as a fighter pilot. After the war it was widely accepted that the fighter plane had been completely superseded by the bomber. Chennault rejected its status as obsolete and insisted on the importance of training fighters. He continued his independent stand when he accepted Mme. Chiang Kai-shek's offer to survey and rehabilitate the almost nonexistent Chinese air force, which was vitally needed to respond to Japanese harassment. The Flying Tigers were the American Volunteer Group, which Chennault trained and organized, and they had distinguished themselves and Chennault's methods by the time that they were inducted back into the Air Force. In 1947 Chennault organized the Chinese Air Transport, which was one of the major supports of Chiang Kaishek against the Communists. This biography of Chennault is enthusiastic and partisan. He is strictly upheld in his controversy with Stillwell, in his opinions of the fallacies of American policy toward China, and his formation of CAT is described as absolutely altruistic. The battle scenes are well described, and Chennault's energy is clearly represented. There is a good deal of fictionalized dialogue, although most of it is unobtrusive.

Pub Date: March 21, 1966

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Messner

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1966