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    Remarkable Collection of Signed Photos and Artifacts of the Legendary "Flying Tigers".
    This important assemblage was obtained from Capt. Mike Craig whose father, Jim Craig, was Chief Pilot for American Export Airlines. Craig received the autographed photos as a Christmas gift in 1943 from the signers, all of whom he had earlier hired to fly the three V5-44A flying boats.

    The Flying Tigers were a volunteer group of American military pilots who flew for the Chinese Air Force in 1941-42 as they resisted the Japanese invasion. Organized by Claire Chennault, under authority of President Roosevelt, prior to Pearl Harbor. Their mission was to bomb Japan itself while defending the Chinese homeland. Chennault had been active in China since 1937 as military aviation advisor to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek.

    Although the autographed photos are in themselves important, the most significant part of the archive is the frame containing the wings and patches of the Flying Tigers as well as one of the rare "blood chit" contracts issued to members of the Flying Tigers by the Chinese government, declaring in Chinese characters that "this foreign person has come to China to help with the war effort. Soldiers and civilians, one and all, should rescue and protect him." The fierce Tiger patch was designed for the group by Walt Disney.

    Front and center among the autographs is that of Robert H. "Bob" Neale, the Tigers' top ace credited with 15 1/2 A.V.s. [note: Pappy Boyington, who got his start with Chennault's unit, would later become the Marine Corps' top ace, but was credited with only 3 1/2 A.V.s]. Another prominent signer was George Burgard, credited with 10 3/4" A.V.s. In addition to the signed photos, there are two autograph pages removed from Chennault's book With General Chennault, one of which bears the Christmas 1943 greeting. Also included are four hardbound Flying Tigers books, two with Jim Craig's book plates. Tucked into one is a Christmas card from Bob Neale and his wife with a note referencing attending a Flying Tigers reunion.

    Few WWII relics are more avidly collected than those of the Flying tigers, making this a special collection indeed.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2019
    14th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 14
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,418

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