Learning Center Our Enshrinees

Claire Lee Chennault

  • Taught public school before receiving a commission as a first lieutenant in the Infantry Reserve in 1917.
  • Served in the aviation section of the Signal Reserve Corps during World War I.
  • Took command of the 19th Pursuit Squadron in Hawaii in 1923 and began a study of pursuit plane tactics.
  • Became director of flying at Brooks Field, Texas in 1928 continuing his study of pursuit tactics.
  • At the 1934 and 1935 National Air Races, his newly formed “Three Men On a Flying Trapeze” acrobatic team demonstrated pursuit concepts he developed.
  • After retiring from the Air Corps in 1937, he became advisor to the Chinese Air Force in its struggle against Japan.
  • Organized the American Volunteer Group in 1940 that became known as the Flying Tigers.
  • Took command of the 14th Air Force during World War II and won air superiority over China.
  • After the war he organized an air freight service in China, and later organized the Civil Air Transports servicing China.

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