The “Flying Tigers” is the nickname of the “American Volunteer Group”, a group of pilots and airmen who fought for China in their fight against Japan in the Sino-Japanese War. After the US officially joined WWII, the AVG became the Fourteenth Air Force. Besides air combat, the pilots also flew across the Himalayas to transport needed materials. By the end of the war in 1945, the Flying Tigers had shot down over 2600 planes and destroyed 44 warships.
The Flying Tigers are legendary heroes of the Chinese people – they are considered defenders and great friends of China. “Crossover” was honored to invite three Flying Tigers to our studio: Jay Vinyard, Hump Pilot; Leroy Joyce Parramore, Transport Pilot; David Kirkland Hayward—B-25 Bomber Pilot. These three pilots were invited by Chinese President Xi Jinping to attend the military parade commemorating the 70th anniversary of Victory Day.
The “Flying Tigers” is the nickname of the “American Volunteer Group”, a group of pilots and airmen who fought for China in their fight against Japan in the Sino-Japanese War.
Jay, Leroy and David recalled fascinating war-timestories - stories of bravery and camaraderie. They also described their connections with Chinese pilots and people. Bringing precious pictures and memorabilia from that time, they shared with us blood chits, maps and a book they used to communicate with local villagers. Although these heroes are now all over 90 years old, they memories are still as vivid as if they were in their youth, and their pride in helping the Chinese people is steadfast.
For this episode we also invited two special guests: Jeffrey Greene, Chairman of the Sino-American Heritage Foundation and Patrick Lucas, an anthropologist who has researched the Flying Tigers for over two decades. They discuss special moments they have discovered in their research, and talk about the legacy of the Flying Tigers.
This Saturday night at 10:15 PM please stay tuned for Crossover’s special program on the Flying Tigers!
Jay Vinyard: Hump Pilot
Leroy Joyce Parramore: Transport Pilot
David Kirkland Hayward: B-25 Bomber Pilot
Jeffrey Greene: Chairman, Sino-American Heritage Foundation
Patrick Lucas: China Scholar