By Martha Byrd,

Book cover of Chennault: Giving Wings to the Tiger

Book description

Born in rural Louisiana in 1893, Claire Lee Chennault worked as a teacher before joining the army and becoming a commissioned officer. This book provides a balanced portrait of a brave and controversial airman who commanded a training air force for Nationalist China.

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Like the Tigers themselves, their granite-faced commander was much glorified during the war and afterward, but he was a man with flaws. Claire Chennault lied about his age, among other things, and it wasn’t until Martha Byrd thought to examine the family bible that the record was corrected. Hers is the only reliable biography of the man who forged the fighter group that defended Burma and China in the early days of the Pacific War.

From Daniel's list on the Flying Tigers.

The story of Claire Lee Chennault is the story of American involvement in China’s air war against Japan, 1937-1945, and Martha Byrd’s 1989 work is the definitive Chennault biography. First as an advisor to Chinese leader Chiang Kai-Shek, then commander of the legendary American Volunteer Group – the “Flying Tigers” – and ultimately in command of the U.S. 14th Air Force, Chennault was the driving force behind Allied efforts to push the Japanese invaders out of China during World War II. While numerous other authors have described Chennault in fawning, simplistic terms, Byrd did the deep research needed to…

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