Claire Lee Chennault

Claire Chennault

Commander of the Flying Tigers
Disciplined Leader, Brilliant Tactician

Born in Commerce, Texas, Claire Chennault trained and received his wings at Kelly Field in San Antonio in 1919. He went on to become a leading authority in fighter aircraft tactics. He is most remembered for recruiting American pilots to fight for China as members of the American Volunteer Group (AVG), better known as the “Flying Tigers.” Frequently outnumbered, the AVG had great success against the attacking Japanese due to Chennault’s tactics and demand for discipline amongst his pilots. The impressive record earned by the Flying Tigers is a reflection of the strength of his leadership. When the United States entered World War II, Chennault returned to active duty as a Brigadier General and commanded the 14th Air Force in China. 

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Claire Lee Chennault

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