The Flying Tigers: The Untold Story of the American Pilots Who Waged a Secret War Against Japan Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
The thrilling story behind the American pilots who were secretly recruited to defend the nation’s desperate Chinese allies before Pearl Harbor and ended up on the front lines of the war against the Japanese in the Pacific.
Sam Kleiner’s The Flying Tigers uncovers the hidden story of the group of young American men and women who crossed the Pacific before Pearl Harbor to risk their lives defending China. Led by legendary army pilot Claire Chennault, these men left behind an America still at peace in the summer of 1941 using false identities to travel across the Pacific to a run-down airbase in the jungles of Burma. In the wake of the disaster at Pearl Harbor, this motley crew was the first group of Americans to take on the Japanese in combat, shooting down hundreds of Japanese aircraft in the skies over Burma, Thailand, and China. At a time when the Allies were being defeated across the globe, the Flying Tigers’ exploits gave hope to Americans and Chinese alike.
Kleiner takes listeners into the cockpits of their iconic shark-nosed P-40 planes - one of the most familiar images of the war - as the Tigers perform nail-biting missions against the Japanese. He profiles the outsize personalities involved in the operation, including Chennault, whose aggressive tactics went against the prevailing wisdom of military strategy; Greg “Pappy” Boyington, the man who would become the nation’s most beloved pilot until he was shot down and became a POW; Emma Foster, one of the nurses in the unit who had a passionate romance with a pilot named John Petach; and Madame Chiang Kai-shek herself, who first brought Chennault to China and who would come to visit these young Americans.
A dramatic story of a covert operation whose very existence would have scandalized an isolationist United States, The Flying Tigers is the unforgettable account of a group of Americans whose heroism changed the world, and who cemented an alliance between the United States and China as both nations fought against seemingly insurmountable odds.
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|Listening Length||9 hours and 53 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||May 15, 2018|
|Best Sellers Rank||
#45,024 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals)
#41 in Chinese History (Audible Books & Originals)
#45 in Air Forces Military History
#263 in Japanese History (Books)
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(The untold story of the American Pilots who waged a secret war against Japan)
By, Sam Kleiner
I purchased this newly published book as soon as I learned of it. It is very well written and researched. Most of you reading this will have no knowledge or recollection of this famous group. Because of my advanced age I do.
At the beginning of WWII there was nothing but bad news. We were beaten everywhere by the Japanese. The Flying Tigers was the lone exception. In reading I now know how it was formed. Claire Chennault had resigned from the Army Air Corp and went to China in the 30’s to help them create a Chinese Air Force. In this he was not successful due to the poor quality of the aircraft and the poorly trained pilots. He brought the situation to the attention of President Roosevelt to create a volunteer Air Force of Americans in 1940 to help China, which was before we were attacked at Pearl Harbor. The volunteers for the most part were from our air force. They resigned with the understanding that they could return after serving one year. There were about 100 pilots and an equal number of maintenance personnel. They were supplied with P-40’s which I am proud to state was produced in Buffalo, N. Y. They painted the nose to resemble shark teeth. Somehow sharks became tigers in describing the group. Do to the foresight of FDR and Chenault they were ready at the time of Pearl Harbor and became active.
The book covers the events during that year. A few agreed to stay on. Some of those didn’t make it back. Some rejoined the Army, others returned home.
Their exploits were spectacular. The Japanese for the first time had equal opposition. Many enemy aircraft were destroyed but the main benefit in my opinion was the huge boost in moral for those of us at home when all else was disaster. They fought over Burma, China, Thailand and French Indo-China. They are credited with destroying 299 Japanese planes with another probable of 153. They also strafed and bombed Army units as they found them. Many were aces destroying 10 or more planes. Many didn’t return home. Those that did received boisterous demonstrations from grateful citizens with home town parades.
This is another great book reminding us of the contributions of the “Greatest” generation.
Jack B. Walters
June 27, 2018
I have read well over 100 books about World War II and at least a couple others about the Flying Tigers. The author spends a great deal of time on Claire Chennault and his life. I believe Sam has defined the life of Chennault with great depth and emotion.
Sam takes you on a journey of the pilots who joined Chennault to wage war against the Japanese and their reasons for doing so. Through their triumphs and tragedies, this story really resonated with me like never before.
Simply said, Sam Kleiner is a great writer. If you like World War II history, especially aviation history, this is a tale that has a soul. Sam's credentials are extensive. I truly hope this is not a one time shot for him, but rather the beginning of a long career in writing many books. I will be standing in line for your next one, Sam! Great job! I mean that from the bottom of my heart!
The results were good; many pilots, including future Marine ace Gregory "Pappy" Boyington, honed their skills in combat and dogfighting tactics. Fighting in the dark early days after Pearl Harbor and often using second-hand equipment, these brave men showed the Japanese that the American pilots were no pushovers.
Over the course of several years, the Flying Tigers continually harassed the Japanese while helping to save China from being overrun.
Sam Kleiner has written a fine book about one of America's most heroic combat units. Drawing on first-person accounts from Chennault and the pilots, he tells the story of the air battles fought between the Tigers and the Japanese. These men gave America hope during the early days of the war and fought the Japanese to a stand-still.