John Mongell's Flying Tigers Tribute
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The China Air Task Force

The AVG came apart in bits and pieces through the spring of 1942, not by any lack of will, but by circumstances brought about by the attack of Pearl Harbor and the U.S. entry into the war. Now we were allies of China, both on the same side, opposed to Japanese aggression. As early as January, Chennault had told Charlie Bond, Jr., one of his flight leaders, that the AVG might soon be phased out and replaced by Army Air Corps units. But demands for American manpower were coming in from all parts of the world and the AVG would not be phased out. Finally it was decided to terminate the AVG on July 4th, and a new organization called The China Air Task Force under the 10th U.S. Air Force in India would be organized. All that could be salvaged from the old allotment of P40-B's would have thier Chinese markings removed and the U.S. Army Air Corps replaced them.

The AVG 1st, 2nd and 3rd squadrons, that was left of them, were organized as the 74th, 75th and 76th Fighter Squadrons under The 23rd Fighter Group and Chennault, the former honorary "colonel", jumped in grade to Brigadier General, U.S. Army Air Corps.

Cadres of the 23rd Fighter Squadron were already arriving to join the 23 F.G. as well as the formation of the 68th Composite Wing with headquaters in Kweilin. And before long the 51 F.G. was entering the picture, cadres arriving from India and flying P40-Es.

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