The Flying Tigers

By Russell Whelan
FEELING like the proverbial busman with a day off, I picked up Russell Whelan’s account of the AVG, the Flying Tigers. I wanted to see what kind of job could be done by someone who had never witnessed the AVG’s successes but was writing only from hearsay. As I expected, names, dates, and places were considerably shaken up. I read with interest of the raid on the twenty-ninth of December, when Mr. Whelan credits me with shooting down a Japanese plane. Neither the raid nor the Jap existed so far as I know. Aside from these flights of fancy, Mr. Whelan gives a very good picture of the conditions in Burma both before and after the war. His description of the Silver Grill and the raised eyebrows of the Old School Ties was wonderful. We did shake the social order a bit.
The fact that Mr. Whelan has not succumbed to the journalistic habit of turning the Allies’ stupid defeats into glorious withdrawals puts him high on my list. There was no doubt that the Burma campaign was bungled, and he makes you see that clearly. MAJOR J. G. B.