From the acclaimed author of Hit the Target and Big Week, an in-depth account of the legendary World War II combat group, the Flying Tigers.
In 1940, Pearl Harbor had not yet happened, and America was not yet at war with Japan. But China had been trying to stave off Japanese aggression for three years—and was desperate for aircraft and trained combat pilots.
General Chiang Kai-shek sent military aviation advisor Claire Chennault to Washington, where President Roosevelt was sympathetic, but knew he could not intervene overtly. Instead, he quietly helped Chennault put together a group of American volunteer pilots.
This was how the 1st American Volunteer Group—more commonly known as the Flying Tigers—was born.
With the trademark smiling shark jaws on their P-40 fighters, these Army, Navy and Marine pilots became a sensation as they fought for the Chinese. Those who initially doubted them were eventually in awe as they persevered over Rangoon despite being outnumbered 14-1 by Japanese aircraft; as they were described by Madame Chiang Kai-shek as her “little angels” and by a Chinese foreign minister as “the soundest investment China ever made”; and as they ultimately destroyed hundreds of Japanese planes while losing only a dozen of their own in combat. Two of their veterans would later earn the Medal of Honor—and as a group, the Flying Tigers managed to rack up a better record than any other air wing in the Pacific theater. When Tigers Ruled the Sky is a thrilling and triumphant account of their courage and their legacy.
Penguin Publishing Group; July 2016
- ISBN 9780698155022
- Read online, or download in secure EPUB format
- Title: When Tigers Ruled the Sky
- Author: Bill Yenne
Imprint: Dutton Caliber
In The Press
Praise for When Tigers Ruled the Sky
“A well-told story at all levels—military, personal, and political—of probably the least known of the WWII theaters, of a group of American flyers who it would be a slight to refer to as anything less than heroes, and of an inspirational leader named Claire Chennault.”—Spectator.org
Praise for Big Week
“Well-written and fast-paced, this will be compelling to specialists and general readers alike.”—Kirkus Reviews
Praise for Aces High
“This is the greatest flying story of all time.…If there was ever an aviation tale that had all the elements of an old school Hollywood blockbuster, Bill Yenne’s Aces High is it.”—Dan Roam, author of The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas
From the Hardcover edition.
About The Author
Bill Yenne is the author of more than three dozen nonfiction books, especially on aviation and military history, including Hit the Target, Aces High, and Big Week. He lives and works in San Francisco, California.