100 books like A Flying Tiger's Diary

By Charles R. Bond Jr., Terry H. Anderson,

Here are 100 books that A Flying Tiger's Diary fans have personally recommended if you like A Flying Tiger's Diary. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Chennault: Giving Wings to the Tiger

Daniel Ford Author Of Flying Tigers: Claire Chennault and His American Volunteers, 1941-1942

From my list on the Flying Tigers.

Who am I?

I became enchanted with the Flying Tigers as an eighth-grader in 1945, and when our daughter needed a topic for her high-school history paper forty years later, I suggested the AVG. The books (including Olga Greenlaw’s) flooded into our house. Kate was a Harvard freshman the following year, her Chinese roommate gave me a rough vocabulary, and I flew to China and Burma to walk the ground and quiz the locals. In all the years since, I’ve never stopped learning about these men and their great moment in military history.

Daniel's book list on the Flying Tigers

Daniel Ford Why did Daniel love this book?

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.

By Martha Byrd,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Chennault as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

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.


Book cover of Tale of a Tiger

Daniel Ford Author Of Flying Tigers: Claire Chennault and His American Volunteers, 1941-1942

From my list on the Flying Tigers.

Who am I?

I became enchanted with the Flying Tigers as an eighth-grader in 1945, and when our daughter needed a topic for her high-school history paper forty years later, I suggested the AVG. The books (including Olga Greenlaw’s) flooded into our house. Kate was a Harvard freshman the following year, her Chinese roommate gave me a rough vocabulary, and I flew to China and Burma to walk the ground and quiz the locals. In all the years since, I’ve never stopped learning about these men and their great moment in military history.

Daniel's book list on the Flying Tigers

Daniel Ford Why did Daniel love this book?

R. T. Smith was a Flying Tiger ace, credited with a fraction less than nine Japanese planes shot down. He also took some remarkable photos. Postwar he tried many things, including freelance publishing, and he had the happy inspiration of reproducing his wartime diary just as he wrote the words in 1941-1942, making it the only first-person account that hasn’t been edited for publication. Hard to find but very much worth looking for.

By Robert T. Smith,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Tale of a Tiger as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of The Lady and the Tigers: The story of the remarkable woman who served with the Flying Tigers in Burma and China, 1941-1942

Daniel Ford Author Of Flying Tigers: Claire Chennault and His American Volunteers, 1941-1942

From my list on the Flying Tigers.

Who am I?

I became enchanted with the Flying Tigers as an eighth-grader in 1945, and when our daughter needed a topic for her high-school history paper forty years later, I suggested the AVG. The books (including Olga Greenlaw’s) flooded into our house. Kate was a Harvard freshman the following year, her Chinese roommate gave me a rough vocabulary, and I flew to China and Burma to walk the ground and quiz the locals. In all the years since, I’ve never stopped learning about these men and their great moment in military history.

Daniel's book list on the Flying Tigers

Daniel Ford Why did Daniel love this book?

The beguiling Olga married an aircraft salesman named Harvey Greenlaw (among others) and with him was hired by Chennault for his pick-up AVG headquarters. She became a combination den mother and sex symbol for the Tigers in Burma, where she was charged with keeping the group’s “war diary.” When the Greenlaws came home in the summer of 1942, Olga brought a copy with her, and from it and her personal diary wrote this wonderful account of her year with the AVG. As with R. T. Smith’s facsimile diary, her facts check out, and I relied on her book while writing my own. Later, with her heirs, I edited a slimmed-down version so it would be more widely available.

By Olga Greenlaw,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Lady and the Tigers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Olga Greenlaw kept the War Diary of the American Volunteer Group--the Flying Tigers--while those gallant mercenaries defended Burma and China from the Imperial Japanese Army during the opening months of the Pacific War. Returning to the United States in 1942, she wrote The Lady and the Tigers, which Leland Stowe hailed as "an authoritative, gutsy and true to life story of the AVG." Out of print for more than half a century, the book has now been brought up to date by Daniel Ford, author of the prize-winning history of the American Volunteer Group. What's more, Ford explains for the…


Book cover of Tonya

Daniel Ford Author Of Flying Tigers: Claire Chennault and His American Volunteers, 1941-1942

From my list on the Flying Tigers.

Who am I?

I became enchanted with the Flying Tigers as an eighth-grader in 1945, and when our daughter needed a topic for her high-school history paper forty years later, I suggested the AVG. The books (including Olga Greenlaw’s) flooded into our house. Kate was a Harvard freshman the following year, her Chinese roommate gave me a rough vocabulary, and I flew to China and Burma to walk the ground and quiz the locals. In all the years since, I’ve never stopped learning about these men and their great moment in military history.

Daniel's book list on the Flying Tigers

Daniel Ford Why did Daniel love this book?

Greg Boyington was a Flying Tiger before he took command of the famous “Black Sheep” fighter squadron and recipient of the Medal of Honor. He may have been Olga’s lover, and he certainly was Chennault’s most troublesome pilot. The two men despised one another, and Tonya was Boyington’s revenge. The novel is a thinly disguised and highly improbable account of the “Flying Sharks” in Chinese service. Great literature it’s not, but those who know something about the AVG will have a lark matching his characters with their real-life counterparts. 

By Gregory “Pappy” Boyington,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Tonya as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is a novel by the author of BAA BAA BLACK SHEEP with "not recommended for children" on the bottom of the front outside cover.


Book cover of Flying Tigers: Claire Chennault and His American Volunteers, 1941-1942

Carl Molesworth Author Of Flying Tiger Ace: The story of Bill Reed, China’s Shining Mark

From my list on the Air War in the China-Burma-India Theater during WWII.

Who am I?

Carl Molesworth’s interest in China and the Far East dates back to childhood memories of stories told by his mother and grandmother of their experiences living in China during the 1920s. He acquired his interest in aviation from his father. Carl began researching the air war in the China-Burma-India Theater while working as a newspaper editor in the late 1970s and published his first book on the subject, Wing To Wing – Air Combat in China 1943-45, in 1990. Of his 14 subsequent books, nine have covered various aspects of air combat in the CBI.

Carl's book list on the Air War in the China-Burma-India Theater during WWII

Carl Molesworth Why did Carl love this book?

In my bookshelf alone I count eight unit histories of the American Volunteer Group, the storied band of American pilots and technicians who fought for China in the first seven months of America’s involvement in World War II. I’m sure there are more. But when I need to check a fact about the AVG, the first book I turn to is Daniel Ford’s 1991 work. Ford was the first author to research Japanese sources to tell the full story of the Flying Tigers, and for that he was roundly criticized by AVG veterans who felt he had denigrated them by revealing that Japanese records did not support all of the AVG claims of combat success. In my view, however, the important contribution of the AVG was not the number of enemy planes its pilots did or didn’t shoot down but instead was the morale boost its successes gave to an…

By Daniel Ford,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Flying Tigers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Early in the Second World War, in the skies over Rangoon, a handful of American pilots met and bloodied the Japanese Army Air Force, winning immortality as the "Flying Tigers." Arguably America's most famous combat unit, they were hired to defend beleaguered China for $600 a month, plus $500 for each Japanese plane shot down--fantastic money in 1941, when a Manhattan hotel room cost three dollars a night.

To bring his prize-winning history of the American Volunteer Group up to date, Daniel Ford has drawn on the most recent U.S., British, and Japanese scholarship, providing new information about the Tigers,…


Book cover of Into the Teeth of the Tiger

Carl Molesworth Author Of Flying Tiger Ace: The story of Bill Reed, China’s Shining Mark

From my list on the Air War in the China-Burma-India Theater during WWII.

Who am I?

Carl Molesworth’s interest in China and the Far East dates back to childhood memories of stories told by his mother and grandmother of their experiences living in China during the 1920s. He acquired his interest in aviation from his father. Carl began researching the air war in the China-Burma-India Theater while working as a newspaper editor in the late 1970s and published his first book on the subject, Wing To Wing – Air Combat in China 1943-45, in 1990. Of his 14 subsequent books, nine have covered various aspects of air combat in the CBI.

Carl's book list on the Air War in the China-Burma-India Theater during WWII

Carl Molesworth Why did Carl love this book?

When I met Don Lopez in the late 1970s while he was the deputy director of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, I was interviewing him for a magazine article about his exploits as a fighter ace in China during World War II. The intelligence, graciousness and sense of humor I noted that day come through loud and clear in this memoir published in 1997. In contrast to the rest of the books I’m highlighting here, Lopez provides a vivid, first-hand account of what it was like to actually do the fighting in the skies over China, 1943-45. A terrific storyteller, he goes beyond descriptions of exciting air battles to explain the emotional highs and lows he experienced as his personal successes and those of his fellow pilots in the air failed to blunt the major enemy offensive that was underway on the ground at that time.

By Donald S. Lopez,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Into the Teeth of the Tiger as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Into the Teeth of the Tiger provides a vivid, pilot’s-eye view of one of the most extended projections of American air power in World War II Asia. Lopez chronicles every aspect of fighter combat in that theater: harrowing aerial battles, interludes of boredom and inactivity, instances of courage and cowardice. Describing different pilots’ roles in each type of mission, the operation of the P-40, and the use of various weapons, he tells how he and his fellow pilots faced not only constant danger but also the munitions shortages, poor food, and rat-infested barracks of a remote sector of the war.…


Book cover of "Tex" Hill: Flying Tiger

Iris Yang Author Of Wings of a Flying Tiger

From my list on ordinary people who became heroes in WWII.

Who am I?

As an author of a trilogy about the Flying Tigers (a group of American pilots who fought the Japanese valiantly in WWII in China), I love reading wartime stories, especially WWII. I was very shy and fearful when I was young. It was because of my shyness and fearfulness that I fell in love with wartime stories. I looked up to heroes. I admired their courage and spirits. I read books about those extraordinary people so that I could be inspired by them and hopefully learn from them. Where else can you find more heroic stories than in wartime? As a writer, I write what I love to read: heroic tales with touching love stories.

Iris' book list on ordinary people who became heroes in WWII

Iris Yang Why did Iris love this book?

This is a well-written book about one of America's most famous fighter aces, a Flying Tiger. Flying Tiger is an endearment for the American Volunteer Group—a group of American pilots who fought the Japanese in WWII in China and changed the course of Chinese history through unparalleled valor.

As an author of three historical novels about the Flying Tigers, I read almost all the books on this subject.“Tex” Hill: Flying Tiger touched me the most. It inspired me to write my novels. Danny Hardy, an American pilot, a Flying Tiger, was created because of my love and admiration for Tex Hill, a man of courage and integrity, a true American hero.

By David Lee Hill,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked "Tex" Hill as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

2003 new copy, hard bound in dust jacket, 6x9, 318 pages, numerous illustrations & maps, bibliography, index. dust jacket color art work by John Shaw. Born the son of missionary parents in Korea, David "Tex" Hill has become one of America's most famous and beloved fighter aces. "Tex" Hill: Flying Tiger recounts his intriguing early life, standout career, and non-stop adventures of all kinds. Tex's story is inescapably intertwined with those of Claire Chennault, the famed 'Flying Tigers', and the nation of China, and this book weaves all three fascinating storylines into a masterful tapestry, certain to entertain and educate.…


Book cover of Little Reunions

Michelle Quach Author Of Not Here to Be Liked

From my list on coming-of-age about smart but flawed Asian girls.

Who am I?

I’m a Chinese Vietnamese American author who writes about the Asian girls I never saw in books as a kid. Growing up in Southern California, I was part of an Asian community that was extremely diverse—a reality that was rarely reflected in American pop culture. For years, I longed to see messy, flawed, fully humanized Asian characters in all different kinds of stories, not just the typical child-of-immigrant narratives. As a result, I now spend a lot of time thinking about representation (whether I want to or not!), and I’m always looking for writers who pull it off with nuance and realism. I hope you’ll find these books are great examples of that.

Michelle's book list on coming-of-age about smart but flawed Asian girls

Michelle Quach Why did Michelle love this book?

I’m always struck by how modern Eileen Chang’s voice feels to me, even though her stories take place in China decades ago.

Little Reunions, for instance, opens with the main character Julie facing her school exams just before the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong during WWII. But I found it easy to identify with Julie—her observations, her longings, and even her pettiness.

It’s one thing to read about a character who would get your background; it’s another to read about a character who would get you. In Little Reunions, I got both.

By Eileen Chang, Jane Weizhen Pan (translator), Martin Merz (translator)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Little Reunions as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A best-selling, autobiographical depiction of class privilege, bad romance, and political intrigue during World War II in China.

Now available in English for the first time, Eileen Chang’s dark romance opens with Julie, living at a convent school in Hong Kong on the eve of the Japanese invasion. Her mother, Rachel, long divorced from Julie’s opium-addict father, saunters around the world with various lovers. Recollections of Julie’s horrifying but privileged childhood in Shanghai clash with a flamboyant, sometimes incestuous cast of relations that crowd her life. Eventually, back in Shanghai, she meets the magnetic Chih-yung, a traitor who collaborates with…


Book cover of The Message

Mary Kathryn Barbier Author Of Spies, Lies, and Citizenship: The Hunt for Nazi Criminals

From my list on WW2 intelligence history.

Who am I?

I am a professor at Mississippi State University and a historian of World War II in general and, more specifically, of WWII intelligence history. My interest stems from a research topic that my Ph.D. advisor recommended and that became the subject of my dissertation – Operation Fortitude, which was the deception plan that provided cover for the Normandy Invasion. While my own research interests are focused on the intelligence history of the Normandy invasion, I am increasingly drawn to intelligence history or novels that showcase the people, technologies, and other theaters of war.

Mary's book list on WW2 intelligence history

Mary Kathryn Barbier Why did Mary love this book?

The Message is a novel about five codebreakers and one traitor. Set in China during World War II when the Chinese resistance challenged the Japanese backed puppet government, this is a complex counterintelligence novel, written by a Chinese storyteller, who is no stranger to the Chinese intelligence services. By telling the same story from two different perspectives, Mai Jia, as a colleague recently suggested, intentionally problematized the truth because both versions were plausible. I recommend this book because it provides insight into the multilayered intelligence story of wartime China, it is one of the few books on this topic, and it was written in China and published outside of the country with permission from the government.

By Mai Jia,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Message as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A dazzling literary thriller set in Japan-occupied China from the most translated Chinese novelist of our time.

China, 1941.

At the height of the Second World War, Japan rules over China. In Hangzhou, a puppet government propped up by the Japanese wages an underground war against the Communist resistance.

Late one night, five intelligence officers, employed as codebreakers by the regime, are escorted to an isolated mansion outside the city. The secret police are certain that one of them is a communist spy. None of them is leaving until the traitor is unmasked.

It should be a straightforward case of…


Book cover of A Village with My Name: A Family History of China's Opening to the World

Dori Jones Yang Author Of When the Red Gates Opened: A Memoir of China's Reawakening

From my list on China today.

Who am I?

A Seattle-based author, I have written eight books, including When the Red Gates Opened: A Memoir of China’s Reawakening, about the eight years I spent as Business Week’s reporter covering China, 1982-1990. In it, I give readers an inside look at China’s transformation from Maoism to modernity. A fluent speaker of Mandarin, I have traveled widely in China for over forty years and befriended Chinese people at many levels of society, leading me to a strong belief in the importance of direct cross-cultural communication and deepened mutual understanding.

Dori's book list on China today

Dori Jones Yang Why did Dori love this book?

Also formerly a public radio reporter based in Shanghai, Scott Tong takes us inside his own extended family, scattered across China. Personal stories of the relatives he found reveal not just their troubled histories but also the unvarnished stories of their varying ability to adapt to the opportunities of a modernizing China.

By Scott Tong,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Village with My Name as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When journalist Scott Tong moved to Shanghai, his assignment was to start the first full-time China bureau for "Marketplace," the daily business and economics program on public radio stations across the United States. But for Tong the move became much more--it offered the opportunity to reconnect with members of his extended family who had remained in China after his parents fled the communists six decades prior. By uncovering the stories of his family's history, Tong discovered a new way to understand the defining moments of modern China and its long, interrupted quest to go global.

A Village with My Name…


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