Flying Tigers livery marks US-ROC pact

By Joseph Yeh ,The China Post

Two R.O.C. Air Force fighter jets painted with the famous shark-face nose art of the ��Flying Tigers�� yesterday were unveiled at the northern Hsinchu Air Base to commemorate R.O.C.-U.S. alliance during World War II. The Indigenous Defense Fighter (IDF) jet belongs to the Air Force’s 427th Tactical Fighter Wing and was painted with the shark teeth nose, a trademark of the P-40 fighter jets used by the Aviation Volunteer Group (AVG) during WWII. Another F-16 A/B jet of the Air Force’s 401st Tactical Fighter Wing was painted with the shark teeth nose as well as a logo of the Flying Tigers, according to the Air Force Command. The jet is also painted with 16 small Japanese flags to denote the number of victories over enemy planes by American AVG pilot Robert Neale, who was credited with shooting down 16 Japanese planes during WWII. The command said the liveries were painted onto the craft to commemorate the joint cooperation between the R.O.C. Air Force and the U.S. Air Force in fending off invading Japanese forces during the war.

Similar liveries will soon be painted onto other R.O.C. Air Force fighter jets as part of a military celebration to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the R.O.C.’s victory over Japan in the Second Sino-Japanese War. These aircraft will be joining an upcoming public military display to be staged on July 4 at a military parade ground in Hsinchu County to showcase military capabilities as part of the celebrations, the command said. Aside from the IDFs and F-16s, other stalwarts of the R.O.C. Air Force, including Mirage 2000s, OH-58D scout helicopters, AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopters and CH-47 Chinook transport helicopters, as well as E-2K airborne early warning aircraft and C-130 transport aircraft, will also take part in the display. Other than these aircraft and helicopters the R.O.C. acquired from the U.S. in recent years, the military previously said weapons systems developed indigenously, including Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Hsiung Feng III ��Brave Wind�� surface-to-surface supersonic anti-ship missiles and CM-32 Clouded Leopard eight-wheeled armored vehicles will also participate in the public display. The AVG, founded by American aviation hero Lt. Gen. Claire Lee Chennault in Oct. 1943, later became the Chinese-American Composite Wing (CACW).

The AVG and CACW were later known as the ��Flying Tigers.��

The Flying Tigers are seen by the R.O.C. government as one of the strongest examples of the R.O.C.-U.S. alliance during World War II.