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Flying Tigers celebrate 75 years

An HH-60G Pave Hawk pilot from the 41st Rescue Squadron flies towards an HC-130J Combat King II as part of a refueling demonstration during the 75th Anniversary Flying Tiger Reunion, March 10, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. In 1941, President Roosevelt signed an executive order forming the American Volunteer Group. The AVG was organized into the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Pursuit Squadrons and later disbanded and replaced by the 23d Fighter Group in 1942. Under the command of Gen. Claire Chennault, the Flying Tigers comprised of the 74th, 75th, and 76th Pursuit Squadrons defended China against the Japanese. Throughout World War II, the Flying Tigers achieved combat success and flew the US-made Curtiss P-40 Warhawks painted with the shark-mouth design. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Callaghan)

An HH-60G Pave Hawk pilot from the 41st Rescue Squadron flies towards an HC-130J Combat King II as part of a refueling demonstration during the 75th Anniversary Flying Tiger Reunion, March 10, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. In 1941, President Roosevelt signed an executive order forming the American Volunteer Group. The AVG was organized into the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Pursuit Squadrons and later disbanded and replaced by the 23d Fighter Group in 1942. Under the command of Gen. Claire Chennault, the Flying Tigers comprised of the 74th, 75th, and 76th Pursuit Squadrons defended China against the Japanese. Throughout World War II, the Flying Tigers achieved combat success and flew the US-made Curtiss P-40 Warhawks painted with the shark-mouth design. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Callaghan)

An A-10C Thunderbolt II from the 23d Fighter Group escorts an HH-60G Pave Hawk as part of a combat search and rescue demonstration during the 75th Anniversary Flying Tiger Reunion, March 10, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. In 1941, President Roosevelt signed an executive order forming the American Volunteer Group. The AVG was organized into the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Pursuit Squadrons and later disbanded and replaced by the 23d Fighter Group in 1942. Under the command of Gen. Claire Chennault, the Flying Tigers comprised of the 74th, 75th, and 76th Pursuit Squadrons defended China against the Japanese. Throughout World War II, the Flying Tigers achieved combat success and flew the US-made Curtiss P-40 Warhawks painted with the shark-mouth design. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Callaghan)

An A-10C Thunderbolt II from the 23d Fighter Group escorts an HH-60G Pave Hawk as part of a combat search and rescue demonstration during the 75th Anniversary Flying Tiger Reunion, March 10, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. In 1941, President Roosevelt signed an executive order forming the American Volunteer Group. The AVG was organized into the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Pursuit Squadrons and later disbanded and replaced by the 23d Fighter Group in 1942. Under the command of Gen. Claire Chennault, the Flying Tigers comprised of the 74th, 75th, and 76th Pursuit Squadrons defended China against the Japanese. Throughout World War II, the Flying Tigers achieved combat success and flew the US-made Curtiss P-40 Warhawks painted with the shark-mouth design. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Callaghan)

Pararescuemen from the 38th Rescue Squadron prepare to fast-rope from an HH-60G Pave Hawk as part of a combat search and rescue demonstration during the 75th Anniversary Flying Tiger Reunion, March 10, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. In 1941, President Roosevelt signed an executive order forming the American Volunteer Group. The AVG was organized into the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Pursuit Squadrons and later disbanded and replaced by the 23d Fighter Group in 1942. Under the command of Gen. Claire Chennault, the Flying Tigers comprised of the 74th, 75th, and 76th Pursuit Squadrons defended China against the Japanese. Throughout World War II, the Flying Tigers achieved combat success and flew the US-made Curtiss P-40 Warhawks painted with the shark-mouth design. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Callaghan)

Pararescuemen from the 38th Rescue Squadron prepare to fast-rope from an HH-60G Pave Hawk as part of a combat search and rescue demonstration during the 75th Anniversary Flying Tiger Reunion, March 10, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. In 1941, President Roosevelt signed an executive order forming the American Volunteer Group. The AVG was organized into the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Pursuit Squadrons and later disbanded and replaced by the 23d Fighter Group in 1942. Under the command of Gen. Claire Chennault, the Flying Tigers comprised of the 74th, 75th, and 76th Pursuit Squadrons defended China against the Japanese. Throughout World War II, the Flying Tigers achieved combat success and flew the US-made Curtiss P-40 Warhawks painted with the shark-mouth design. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Callaghan)

Tech. Sgt. Paul Hiller, 41st Rescue Squadron special missions aviator, scans the landscape below as part of a combat search and rescue demonstration during the 75th Anniversary Flying Tiger Reunion, March 10, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. In 1941, President Roosevelt signed an executive order forming the American Volunteer Group. The AVG was organized into the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Pursuit Squadrons and later disbanded and replaced by the 23d Fighter Group in 1942. Under the command of Gen. Claire Chennault, the Flying Tigers comprised of the 74th, 75th, and 76th Pursuit Squadrons defended China against the Japanese. Throughout World War II, the Flying Tigers achieved combat success and flew the US-made Curtiss P-40 Warhawks painted with the shark-mouth design. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Callaghan)

Tech. Sgt. Paul Hiller, 41st Rescue Squadron special missions aviator, scans the landscape below as part of a combat search and rescue demonstration during the 75th Anniversary Flying Tiger Reunion, March 10, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. In 1941, President Roosevelt signed an executive order forming the American Volunteer Group. The AVG was organized into the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Pursuit Squadrons and later disbanded and replaced by the 23d Fighter Group in 1942. Under the command of Gen. Claire Chennault, the Flying Tigers comprised of the 74th, 75th, and 76th Pursuit Squadrons defended China against the Japanese. Throughout World War II, the Flying Tigers achieved combat success and flew the US-made Curtiss P-40 Warhawks painted with the shark-mouth design. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Callaghan)

Pararescuemen from the 38th Rescue Squadron bring an isolated pilot into an HH-60G Pave Hawk as part of a combat search and rescue demonstration during the 75th Anniversary Flying Tiger Reunion, March 10, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. In 1941, President Roosevelt signed an executive order forming the American Volunteer Group. The AVG was organized into the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Pursuit Squadrons and later disbanded and replaced by the 23d Fighter Group in 1942. Under the command of Gen. Claire Chennault, the Flying Tigers comprised of the 74th, 75th, and 76th Pursuit Squadrons defended China against the Japanese. Throughout World War II, the Flying Tigers achieved combat success and flew the US-made Curtiss P-40 Warhawks painted with the shark-mouth design. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Callaghan)

Pararescuemen from the 38th Rescue Squadron bring an isolated pilot into an HH-60G Pave Hawk as part of a combat search and rescue demonstration during the 75th Anniversary Flying Tiger Reunion, March 10, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. In 1941, President Roosevelt signed an executive order forming the American Volunteer Group. The AVG was organized into the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Pursuit Squadrons and later disbanded and replaced by the 23d Fighter Group in 1942. Under the command of Gen. Claire Chennault, the Flying Tigers comprised of the 74th, 75th, and 76th Pursuit Squadrons defended China against the Japanese. Throughout World War II, the Flying Tigers achieved combat success and flew the US-made Curtiss P-40 Warhawks painted with the shark-mouth design. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Callaghan)

A Pararescueman from the 38th Rescue Squadron looks out the window of an HH-60G Pave Hawk following a combat search and rescue demonstration during the 75th Anniversary Flying Tiger Reunion, March 10, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. In 1941, President Roosevelt signed an executive order forming the American Volunteer Group. The AVG was organized into the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Pursuit Squadrons and later disbanded and replaced by the 23d Fighter Group in 1942. Under the command of Gen. Claire Chennault, the Flying Tigers comprised of the 74th, 75th, and 76th Pursuit Squadrons defended China against the Japanese. Throughout World War II, the Flying Tigers achieved combat success and flew the US-made Curtiss P-40 Warhawks painted with the shark-mouth design. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Callaghan)

A Pararescueman from the 38th Rescue Squadron looks out the window of an HH-60G Pave Hawk following a combat search and rescue demonstration during the 75th Anniversary Flying Tiger Reunion, March 10, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. In 1941, President Roosevelt signed an executive order forming the American Volunteer Group. The AVG was organized into the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Pursuit Squadrons and later disbanded and replaced by the 23d Fighter Group in 1942. Under the command of Gen. Claire Chennault, the Flying Tigers comprised of the 74th, 75th, and 76th Pursuit Squadrons defended China against the Japanese. Throughout World War II, the Flying Tigers achieved combat success and flew the US-made Curtiss P-40 Warhawks painted with the shark-mouth design. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Callaghan)

A-10C Thunderbolt II pilots from the 23d Fighter Group speak with a former member of the Flying Tigers at a piano burn during the 75th Anniversary Flying Tiger Reunion, March 10, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. In 1941, President Roosevelt signed an executive order forming the American Volunteer Group. The AVG was organized into the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Pursuit Squadrons and later disbanded and replaced by the 23d Fighter Group in 1942. Under the command of Gen. Claire Chennault, the Flying Tigers comprised of the 74th, 75th, and 76th Pursuit Squadrons defended China against the Japanese. Throughout World War II, the Flying Tigers achieved combat success and flew the US-made Curtiss P-40 Warhawks painted with the shark-mouth design. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Callaghan)

A-10C Thunderbolt II pilots from the 23d Fighter Group speak with a former member of the Flying Tigers at a piano burn during the 75th Anniversary Flying Tiger Reunion, March 10, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. In 1941, President Roosevelt signed an executive order forming the American Volunteer Group. The AVG was organized into the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Pursuit Squadrons and later disbanded and replaced by the 23d Fighter Group in 1942. Under the command of Gen. Claire Chennault, the Flying Tigers comprised of the 74th, 75th, and 76th Pursuit Squadrons defended China against the Japanese. Throughout World War II, the Flying Tigers achieved combat success and flew the US-made Curtiss P-40 Warhawks painted with the shark-mouth design. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Callaghan)

An A-10C Thunderbolt II decorated with heritage patches rests on the flight line during the 75th Anniversary Flying Tiger Reunion, March 10, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. In 1941, President Roosevelt signed an executive order forming the American Volunteer Group. The AVG was organized into the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Pursuit Squadrons and later disbanded and replaced by the 23d Fighter Group in 1942. Under the command of Gen. Claire Chennault, the Flying Tigers comprised of the 74th, 75th, and 76th Pursuit Squadrons defended China against the Japanese. Throughout World War II, the Flying Tigers achieved combat success and flew the US-made Curtiss P-40 Warhawks painted with the shark-mouth design. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ceaira Young)

An A-10C Thunderbolt II decorated with heritage patches rests on the flight line during the 75th Anniversary Flying Tiger Reunion, March 10, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. In 1941, President Roosevelt signed an executive order forming the American Volunteer Group. The AVG was organized into the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Pursuit Squadrons and later disbanded and replaced by the 23d Fighter Group in 1942. Under the command of Gen. Claire Chennault, the Flying Tigers comprised of the 74th, 75th, and 76th Pursuit Squadrons defended China against the Japanese. Throughout World War II, the Flying Tigers achieved combat success and flew the US-made Curtiss P-40 Warhawks painted with the shark-mouth design. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ceaira Young)

J.M. Taylor, World War II veteran and prisoner of war, looks at a heritage display during the 75th Anniversary Flying Tiger Reunion, March 10, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. In 1941, President Roosevelt signed an executive order forming the American Volunteer Group. The AVG was organized into the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Pursuit Squadrons and later disbanded and replaced by the 23d Fighter Group in 1942. Under the command of Gen. Claire Chennault, the Flying Tigers comprised of the 74th, 75th, and 76th Pursuit Squadrons defended China against the Japanese. Throughout World War II, the Flying Tigers achieved combat success and flew the US-made Curtiss P-40 Warhawks painted with the shark-mouth design. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ceaira Young)

J.M. Taylor, World War II veteran and prisoner of war, looks at a heritage display during the 75th Anniversary Flying Tiger Reunion, March 10, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. In 1941, President Roosevelt signed an executive order forming the American Volunteer Group. The AVG was organized into the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Pursuit Squadrons and later disbanded and replaced by the 23d Fighter Group in 1942. Under the command of Gen. Claire Chennault, the Flying Tigers comprised of the 74th, 75th, and 76th Pursuit Squadrons defended China against the Japanese. Throughout World War II, the Flying Tigers achieved combat success and flew the US-made Curtiss P-40 Warhawks painted with the shark-mouth design. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ceaira Young)

Refuel
An HC-130J Combat King II and an HH-60G Pave Hawk conduct a refueling demonstration during the 75th Anniversary Flying Tiger Reunion, March 10, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. In 1941, President Roosevelt signed an executive order forming the American Volunteer Group. The AVG was organized into the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Pursuit Squadrons and later disbanded and replaced by the 23d Fighter Group in 1942. Under the command of Gen. Claire Chennault, the Flying Tigers comprised of the 74th, 75th, and 76th Pursuit Squadrons defended China against the Japanese. Throughout World War II, the Flying Tigers achieved combat success and flew the US-made Curtiss P-40 Warhawks painted with the shark-mouth design. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Callaghan)
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Refuel An HC-130J Combat King II and an HH-60G Pave Hawk conduct a refueling demonstration during the 75th Anniversary Flying Tiger Reunion, March 10, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. In 1941, President Roosevelt signed an executive order forming the American Volunteer Group. The AVG was organized into the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Pursuit Squadrons and later disbanded and replaced by the 23d Fighter Group in 1942. Under the command of Gen. Claire Chennault, the Flying Tigers comprised of the 74th, 75th, and 76th Pursuit Squadrons defended China against the Japanese. Throughout World War II, the Flying Tigers achieved combat success and flew the US-made Curtiss P-40 Warhawks painted with the shark-mouth design. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Callaghan)

Senior Airman Timothy Foote and Master Sgt. Jerome Ware, 71st Rescue Squadron loadmasters, sit on the ramp of an HC-130J Combat King II during a combat search and rescue demonstration at the 75th Anniversary Flying Tiger Reunion, March 10, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. In 1941, President Roosevelt signed an executive order forming the American Volunteer Group. The AVG was organized into the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Pursuit Squadrons and later disbanded and replaced by the 23d Fighter Group in 1942. Under the command of Gen. Claire Chennault, the Flying Tigers comprised of the 74th, 75th, and 76th Pursuit Squadrons defended China against the Japanese. Throughout World War II, the Flying Tigers achieved combat success and flew the US-made Curtiss P-40 Warhawks painted with the shark-mouth design. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Zachary Wolf)
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Senior Airman Timothy Foote and Master Sgt. Jerome Ware, 71st Rescue Squadron loadmasters, sit on the ramp of an HC-130J Combat King II during a combat search and rescue demonstration at the 75th Anniversary Flying Tiger Reunion, March 10, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. In 1941, President Roosevelt signed an executive order forming the American Volunteer Group. The AVG was organized into the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Pursuit Squadrons and later disbanded and replaced by the 23d Fighter Group in 1942. Under the command of Gen. Claire Chennault, the Flying Tigers comprised of the 74th, 75th, and 76th Pursuit Squadrons defended China against the Japanese. Throughout World War II, the Flying Tigers achieved combat success and flew the US-made Curtiss P-40 Warhawks painted with the shark-mouth design. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Zachary Wolf)

An HH-60G Pave Hawk and an A-10C Thunderbolt II fly as part of a combat Search and rescue demonstration during the 75th Anniversary Flying Tiger Reunion, March 10, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. In 1941, President Roosevelt signed an executive order forming the American Volunteer Group. The AVG was organized into the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Pursuit Squadrons and later disbanded and replaced by the 23d Fighter Group in 1942. Under the command of Gen. Claire Chennault, the Flying Tigers comprised of the 74th, 75th, and 76th Pursuit Squadrons defended China against the Japanese. Throughout World War II, the Flying Tigers achieved combat success and flew the US-made Curtiss P-40 Warhawks painted with the shark-mouth design. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Zachary Wolf)
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An HH-60G Pave Hawk and an A-10C Thunderbolt II fly as part of a combat Search and rescue demonstration during the 75th Anniversary Flying Tiger Reunion, March 10, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. In 1941, President Roosevelt signed an executive order forming the American Volunteer Group. The AVG was organized into the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Pursuit Squadrons and later disbanded and replaced by the 23d Fighter Group in 1942. Under the command of Gen. Claire Chennault, the Flying Tigers comprised of the 74th, 75th, and 76th Pursuit Squadrons defended China against the Japanese. Throughout World War II, the Flying Tigers achieved combat success and flew the US-made Curtiss P-40 Warhawks painted with the shark-mouth design. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Zachary Wolf)

An HH-60G Pave Hawk from the 41st Rescue Squadron, flies as part of a combat search and rescue demonstration during the 75th Anniversary Flying Tiger Reunion, March 10, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. In 1941, President Roosevelt signed an executive order forming the American Volunteer Group. The AVG was organized into the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Pursuit Squadrons and later disbanded and replaced by the 23d Fighter Group in 1942. Under the command of Gen. Claire Chennault, the Flying Tigers comprised of the 74th, 75th, and 76th Pursuit Squadrons defended China against the Japanese. Throughout World War II, the Flying Tigers achieved combat success and flew the US-made Curtiss P-40 Warhawks painted with the shark-mouth design. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Zachary Wolf)
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An HH-60G Pave Hawk from the 41st Rescue Squadron, flies as part of a combat search and rescue demonstration during the 75th Anniversary Flying Tiger Reunion, March 10, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. In 1941, President Roosevelt signed an executive order forming the American Volunteer Group. The AVG was organized into the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Pursuit Squadrons and later disbanded and replaced by the 23d Fighter Group in 1942. Under the command of Gen. Claire Chennault, the Flying Tigers comprised of the 74th, 75th, and 76th Pursuit Squadrons defended China against the Japanese. Throughout World War II, the Flying Tigers achieved combat success and flew the US-made Curtiss P-40 Warhawks painted with the shark-mouth design. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Zachary Wolf)

Staff Sgt. David Stringer, 41st Rescue Squadron special missions aviator, watches out of an HH-60G Pave Hawk during a combat search and rescue demonstration as one part of the 75th Anniversary Flying Tiger Reunion, March 10, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. In 1941, President Roosevelt signed an executive order forming the American Volunteer Group. The AVG was organized into the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Pursuit Squadrons and later disbanded and replaced by the 23d Fighter Group in 1942. Under the command of Gen. Claire Chennault, the Flying Tigers comprised of the 74th, 75th, and 76th Pursuit Squadrons defended China against the Japanese. Throughout World War II, the Flying Tigers achieved combat success and flew the US-made Curtiss P-40 Warhawks painted with the shark-mouth design. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Zachary Wolf)
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Staff Sgt. David Stringer, 41st Rescue Squadron special missions aviator, watches out of an HH-60G Pave Hawk during a combat search and rescue demonstration as one part of the 75th Anniversary Flying Tiger Reunion, March 10, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. In 1941, President Roosevelt signed an executive order forming the American Volunteer Group. The AVG was organized into the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Pursuit Squadrons and later disbanded and replaced by the 23d Fighter Group in 1942. Under the command of Gen. Claire Chennault, the Flying Tigers comprised of the 74th, 75th, and 76th Pursuit Squadrons defended China against the Japanese. Throughout World War II, the Flying Tigers achieved combat success and flew the US-made Curtiss P-40 Warhawks painted with the shark-mouth design. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Zachary Wolf)

Flying Tigers, past and present, sing a song at a piano burn during the 75th Anniversary Flying Tiger Reunion, March 10, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. In 1941, President Roosevelt signed an executive order forming the American Volunteer Group. The AVG was organized into the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Pursuit Squadrons and later disbanded and replaced by the 23d Fighter Group in 1942. Under the command of Gen. Claire Chennault, the Flying Tigers comprised of the 74th, 75th, and 76th Pursuit Squadrons defended China against the Japanese. Throughout World War II, the Flying Tigers achieved combat success and flew the US-made Curtiss P-40 Warhawks painted with the shark-mouth design. (U.S. Air Force photo by Andrea Jenkins)
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Flying Tigers, past and present, sing a song at a piano burn during the 75th Anniversary Flying Tiger Reunion, March 10, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. In 1941, President Roosevelt signed an executive order forming the American Volunteer Group. The AVG was organized into the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Pursuit Squadrons and later disbanded and replaced by the 23d Fighter Group in 1942. Under the command of Gen. Claire Chennault, the Flying Tigers comprised of the 74th, 75th, and 76th Pursuit Squadrons defended China against the Japanese. Throughout World War II, the Flying Tigers achieved combat success and flew the US-made Curtiss P-40 Warhawks painted with the shark-mouth design. (U.S. Air Force photo by Andrea Jenkins)

Lt. Col. Bryon France, 74th Fighter Squadron commander, makes a toast to the Flying Tigers past and present during the 75th Anniversary Flying Tiger Reunion, March 10, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. In 1941, President Roosevelt signed an executive order forming the American Volunteer Group. The AVG was organized into the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Pursuit Squadrons and later disbanded and replaced by the 23d Fighter Group in 1942. Under the command of Gen. Claire Chennault, the Flying Tigers comprised of the 74th, 75th, and 76th Pursuit Squadrons defended China against the Japanese. Throughout World War II, the Flying Tigers achieved combat success and flew the US-made Curtiss P-40 Warhawks painted with the shark-mouth design. (U.S. Air Force photo by Andrea Jenkins)
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Lt. Col. Bryon France, 74th Fighter Squadron commander, makes a toast to the Flying Tigers past and present during the 75th Anniversary Flying Tiger Reunion, March 10, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. In 1941, President Roosevelt signed an executive order forming the American Volunteer Group. The AVG was organized into the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Pursuit Squadrons and later disbanded and replaced by the 23d Fighter Group in 1942. Under the command of Gen. Claire Chennault, the Flying Tigers comprised of the 74th, 75th, and 76th Pursuit Squadrons defended China against the Japanese. Throughout World War II, the Flying Tigers achieved combat success and flew the US-made Curtiss P-40 Warhawks painted with the shark-mouth design. (U.S. Air Force photo by Andrea Jenkins)

Capt. Roberto Manzo, 74th Fighter Squadron Italian Air Force exchange pilot, takes a photo of the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk static display during the 75th Anniversary Flying Tiger Reunion, March 10, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. In 1941, President Roosevelt signed an executive order forming the American Volunteer Group. The AVG was organized into the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Pursuit Squadrons and later disbanded and replaced by the 23d Fighter Group in 1942. Under the command of Gen. Claire Chennault, the Flying Tigers comprised of the 74th, 75th, and 76th Pursuit Squadrons defended China against the Japanese. Throughout World War II, the Flying Tigers achieved combat success and flew the US-made Curtiss P-40 Warhawks painted with the shark-mouth design. (U.S. Air Force photo by Andrea Jenkins)
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Capt. Roberto Manzo, 74th Fighter Squadron Italian Air Force exchange pilot, takes a photo of the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk static display during the 75th Anniversary Flying Tiger Reunion, March 10, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. In 1941, President Roosevelt signed an executive order forming the American Volunteer Group. The AVG was organized into the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Pursuit Squadrons and later disbanded and replaced by the 23d Fighter Group in 1942. Under the command of Gen. Claire Chennault, the Flying Tigers comprised of the 74th, 75th, and 76th Pursuit Squadrons defended China against the Japanese. Throughout World War II, the Flying Tigers achieved combat success and flew the US-made Curtiss P-40 Warhawks painted with the shark-mouth design. (U.S. Air Force photo by Andrea Jenkins)

A Curtiss P-40 Warhawk static display rests on the flight line during the 75th Anniversary Flying Tiger Reunion, March 10, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. In 1941, President Roosevelt signed an executive order forming the American Volunteer Group. The AVG was organized into the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Pursuit Squadrons and later disbanded and replaced by the 23d Fighter Group in 1942. Under the command of Gen. Claire Chennault, the Flying Tigers comprised of the 74th, 75th, and 76th Pursuit Squadrons defended China against the Japanese. Throughout World War II, the Flying Tigers achieved combat success and flew the US-made Curtiss P-40 Warhawks painted with the shark-mouth design. (U.S. Air Force photo by Andrea Jenkins)
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A Curtiss P-40 Warhawk static display rests on the flight line during the 75th Anniversary Flying Tiger Reunion, March 10, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. In 1941, President Roosevelt signed an executive order forming the American Volunteer Group. The AVG was organized into the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Pursuit Squadrons and later disbanded and replaced by the 23d Fighter Group in 1942. Under the command of Gen. Claire Chennault, the Flying Tigers comprised of the 74th, 75th, and 76th Pursuit Squadrons defended China against the Japanese. Throughout World War II, the Flying Tigers achieved combat success and flew the US-made Curtiss P-40 Warhawks painted with the shark-mouth design. (U.S. Air Force photo by Andrea Jenkins)

A Curtiss P-40 Warhawk and an A-10C Thunderbolt II static display rest on the flight line during the 75th Anniversary Flying Tiger Reunion, March 10, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. In 1941, President Roosevelt signed an executive order forming the American Volunteer Group. The AVG was organized into the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Pursuit Squadrons and later disbanded and replaced by the 23d Fighter Group in 1942. Under the command of Gen. Claire Chennault, the Flying Tigers comprised of the 74th, 75th, and 76th Pursuit Squadrons defended China against the Japanese. Throughout World War II, the Flying Tigers achieved combat success and flew the US-made Curtiss P-40 Warhawks painted with the shark-mouth design. (U.S. Air Force photo by Andrea Jenkins)
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A Curtiss P-40 Warhawk and an A-10C Thunderbolt II static display rest on the flight line during the 75th Anniversary Flying Tiger Reunion, March 10, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. In 1941, President Roosevelt signed an executive order forming the American Volunteer Group. The AVG was organized into the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Pursuit Squadrons and later disbanded and replaced by the 23d Fighter Group in 1942. Under the command of Gen. Claire Chennault, the Flying Tigers comprised of the 74th, 75th, and 76th Pursuit Squadrons defended China against the Japanese. Throughout World War II, the Flying Tigers achieved combat success and flew the US-made Curtiss P-40 Warhawks painted with the shark-mouth design. (U.S. Air Force photo by Andrea Jenkins)

J.M. Taylor, World War II veteran and prisoner of war, shares personal stories with other attendees during the 75th Anniversary Flying Tiger Reunion, March 10, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. In 1941, President Roosevelt signed an executive order forming the American Volunteer Group. The AVG was organized into the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Pursuit Squadrons and later disbanded and replaced by the 23d Fighter Group in 1942. Under the command of Gen. Claire Chennault, the Flying Tigers comprised of the 74th, 75th, and 76th Pursuit Squadrons defended China against the Japanese. Throughout World War II, the Flying Tigers achieved combat success and flew the US-made Curtiss P-40 Warhawks painted with the shark-mouth design. (U.S. Air Force photo by Andrea Jenkins)
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J.M. Taylor, World War II veteran and prisoner of war, shares personal stories with other attendees during the 75th Anniversary Flying Tiger Reunion, March 10, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. In 1941, President Roosevelt signed an executive order forming the American Volunteer Group. The AVG was organized into the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Pursuit Squadrons and later disbanded and replaced by the 23d Fighter Group in 1942. Under the command of Gen. Claire Chennault, the Flying Tigers comprised of the 74th, 75th, and 76th Pursuit Squadrons defended China against the Japanese. Throughout World War II, the Flying Tigers achieved combat success and flew the US-made Curtiss P-40 Warhawks painted with the shark-mouth design. (U.S. Air Force photo by Andrea Jenkins)

Capt. Andrew Nemethy, 74th Fighter Squadron A-10C Thunderbolt II pilot, coordinates a combat search and rescue demonstration during the 75th Anniversary Flying Tiger Reunion, March 10, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. In 1941, President Roosevelt signed an executive order forming the American Volunteer Group. The AVG was organized into the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Pursuit Squadrons and later disbanded and replaced by the 23d Fighter Group in 1942. Under the command of Gen. Claire Chennault, the Flying Tigers comprised of the 74th, 75th, and 76th Pursuit Squadrons defended China against the Japanese. Throughout World War II, the Flying Tigers achieved combat success and flew the US-made Curtiss P-40 Warhawks painted with the shark-mouth design. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ceaira Young)
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Capt. Andrew Nemethy, 74th Fighter Squadron A-10C Thunderbolt II pilot, coordinates a combat search and rescue demonstration during the 75th Anniversary Flying Tiger Reunion, March 10, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. In 1941, President Roosevelt signed an executive order forming the American Volunteer Group. The AVG was organized into the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Pursuit Squadrons and later disbanded and replaced by the 23d Fighter Group in 1942. Under the command of Gen. Claire Chennault, the Flying Tigers comprised of the 74th, 75th, and 76th Pursuit Squadrons defended China against the Japanese. Throughout World War II, the Flying Tigers achieved combat success and flew the US-made Curtiss P-40 Warhawks painted with the shark-mouth design. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ceaira Young)

J.M. Taylor, World War II veteran and prisoner of war, watches a combat search and rescue demonstration during the 75th Anniversary Flying Tiger Reunion, March 10, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. In 1941, President Roosevelt signed an executive order forming the American Volunteer Group. The AVG was organized into the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Pursuit Squadrons and later disbanded and replaced by the 23d Fighter Group in 1942. Under the command of Gen. Claire Chennault, the Flying Tigers comprised of the 74th, 75th, and 76th Pursuit Squadrons defended China against the Japanese. Throughout World War II, the Flying Tigers achieved combat success and flew the US-made Curtiss P-40 Warhawks painted with the shark-mouth design. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ceaira Young)
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J.M. Taylor, World War II veteran and prisoner of war, watches a combat search and rescue demonstration during the 75th Anniversary Flying Tiger Reunion, March 10, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. In 1941, President Roosevelt signed an executive order forming the American Volunteer Group. The AVG was organized into the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Pursuit Squadrons and later disbanded and replaced by the 23d Fighter Group in 1942. Under the command of Gen. Claire Chennault, the Flying Tigers comprised of the 74th, 75th, and 76th Pursuit Squadrons defended China against the Japanese. Throughout World War II, the Flying Tigers achieved combat success and flew the US-made Curtiss P-40 Warhawks painted with the shark-mouth design. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ceaira Young)

A hat adorned with the name and squadron of a deceased American Volunteer Group member rests on a decorative A-10C Thunderbolt II engine cover during the 75th Anniversary Flying Tiger Reunion, March 10, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. In 1941, President Roosevelt signed an executive order forming the American Volunteer Group. The AVG was organized into the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Pursuit Squadrons and later disbanded and replaced by the 23d Fighter Group in 1942. Under the command of Gen. Claire Chennault, the Flying Tigers comprised of the 74th, 75th, and 76th Pursuit Squadrons defended China against the Japanese. Throughout World War II, the Flying Tigers achieved combat success and flew the US-made Curtiss P-40 Warhawks painted with the shark-mouth design. (U.S. Air Force photo by Andrea Jenkins)
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A hat adorned with the name and squadron of a deceased American Volunteer Group member rests on a decorative A-10C Thunderbolt II engine cover during the 75th Anniversary Flying Tiger Reunion, March 10, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. In 1941, President Roosevelt signed an executive order forming the American Volunteer Group. The AVG was organized into the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Pursuit Squadrons and later disbanded and replaced by the 23d Fighter Group in 1942. Under the command of Gen. Claire Chennault, the Flying Tigers comprised of the 74th, 75th, and 76th Pursuit Squadrons defended China against the Japanese. Throughout World War II, the Flying Tigers achieved combat success and flew the US-made Curtiss P-40 Warhawks painted with the shark-mouth design. (U.S. Air Force photo by Andrea Jenkins)

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --

Flying Tigers, past and present, descended on Moody, for the Flying Tiger Reunion, here March 9-11, 2017.

The reunion marked the 75th anniversary of Claire Chennault’s all volunteer group and gave attendees the opportunity to celebrate their heritage and share war stories among four generations of Flying Tigers.

“The reunion strengthens our bonds, helps us understand our past, and motivates us to carry on the traditions of the greatest flying organization anywhere in the world,” Maj. Sean Griffin, 74th Fighter Squadron A-10C Thunderbolt II pilot and reunion coordinator. “Our Fighter Group has been called on throughout history to do extremely dangerous and demanding work.

 

“You gain a real appreciation for that when we all gather together. The bonds between the pilots and crews are life long and reunions such as ours, is a way for everyone to come together to celebrate accomplishments and honor sacrifices made by friends who are no longer with us.”

 

The 23rd Fighter Group’s lineage traces back to the 1st American Volunteer Group, commanded by Claire Chennault, a retired Army Air Force officer, who began organizing and training pilots for the Chinese Air Force, shortly after the Japanese attacked the U.S. at Pearl Harbor.

 

“As we move forward, I think the Flying Tiger Reunion is a great way to allow our diverse wing to come together and celebrate our accomplishments,” said Griffin. “In the past, the reunion focused on the American Volunteer Group and World War II members to meet and reminisce, but only a few are still with us, so now, the point is to allow other great generations of Flying Tigers to come together.”

 

Over 300 Flying Tigers spanning from conflicts as early as WWII to today’s Global War on Terrorism were in attendance.

“It's overwhelming and humbling at the same time to be sitting next to a guy who flew P-40s or was the first A-10 POW in Desert Storm,” said Griffin. “These are the guys I have read about in books, saw their pictures are on the squadron walls, and heard stories about in the squadron heritage room. Being able to have a roll call with the squadron mates from every era of our Fighter Group’s history really makes you feel like you are part of something big.”

 

This year, two of the original Flying Tigers from World War II, Don Miller and J.M. Taylor, who flew P-40s and P-51s in China attended the reunion.

 

 “I can’t tell you how many reunions I’ve been to, maybe 30 through the years, but I can tell you how many I’ve missed, only about five or six, due to health reasons, “said J. M. Taylor, former 75th Pursuit Squadron pilot and WWII POW. “I’m very grateful and I honor those that have passed on before me.

“I don’t know why, but I feel really blessed that the lord has given me the life I’ve had and the health that I’ve enjoyed. The Flying Tigers have a lot of camaraderie. I’m thankful for the recognition and the opportunity to express my feelings and experiences just one more time.”

Taylor and current Flying Tigers boast that there isn’t another unit or squadron in the entire Air Force that has the lineage of the Flying Tigers.

“I remember it well … on July the 4th, 1942, the 23d Fighter Group was born,” said Taylor. “And we were born on the battlefield. Over the years, we have been activated, deactivated and reactivated but always reactivated and we’re proud of that. I wear my tiger shark with pride. I am a Flying Tiger.

 

“I don’t know of a soul, who was disappointed that they were assigned to the tigers,” Taylor added. “Just the name Flying Tiger, more so than any other groups, from WWII to now, is the most recognized of over any other group.”

Taylor attributes desire, fortitude and determination for what keeps him coming back to reunions year after year and when the 94 year-old POW was asked what advice he had for the younger generation of Flying Tigers, Taylor responded with a chuckle, “Fly low and slow and don’t get captured.”