The Flying Tigers

The Untold Story of the American Pilots Who Waged a Secret War Against Japan
Narrated by: Stephen Graybill
Length: 9 hrs and 53 mins
Categories: History, Asia
4.5 out of 5 stars (267 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The thrilling story behind the American pilots who were secretly recruited to defend the nation’s desperate Chinese allies before Pearl Harbor and ended up on the front lines of the war against the Japanese in the Pacific.

Sam Kleiner’s The Flying Tigers uncovers the hidden story of the group of young American men and women who crossed the Pacific before Pearl Harbor to risk their lives defending China. Led by legendary army pilot Claire Chennault, these men left behind an America still at peace in the summer of 1941 using false identities to travel across the Pacific to a run-down airbase in the jungles of Burma. In the wake of the disaster at Pearl Harbor, this motley crew was the first group of Americans to take on the Japanese in combat, shooting down hundreds of Japanese aircraft in the skies over Burma, Thailand, and China. At a time when the Allies were being defeated across the globe, the Flying Tigers’ exploits gave hope to Americans and Chinese alike.

Kleiner takes listeners into the cockpits of their iconic shark-nosed P-40 planes - one of the most familiar images of the war - as the Tigers perform nail-biting missions against the Japanese. He profiles the outsize personalities involved in the operation, including Chennault, whose aggressive tactics went against the prevailing wisdom of military strategy; Greg “Pappy” Boyington, the man who would become the nation’s most beloved pilot until he was shot down and became a POW; Emma Foster, one of the nurses in the unit who had a passionate romance with a pilot named John Petach; and Madame Chiang Kai-shek herself, who first brought Chennault to China and who would come to visit these young Americans. 

A dramatic story of a covert operation whose very existence would have scandalized an isolationist United States, The Flying Tigers is the unforgettable account of a group of Americans whose heroism changed the world, and who cemented an alliance between the United States and China as both nations fought against seemingly insurmountable odds.

©2018 Sam Kleiner (P)2018 Penguin Audio

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Incredible

What a history lesson on an incredible group of volunteers. Could not stop listening.

1 person found this helpful

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Great story

loved it .... a time capsule of a story taking you back to the very beginning of an adventure for young pilots...before, during and after ww2

1 person found this helpful

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Great history, great story!

The flying tigers is a fascinating listen! I learned so much about this often overlooked history. Book is well written, with fun anecdotes throughout that make you feel like the flying tigers are old friends.

1 person found this helpful

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This really happened.

The oral history I grew up hearing directly from 3rd Squadron Wingman Catfish Raine is alive in this book. Well written, missing a few nuggets of history, but overall excellent. An amazing adventure that became a campaign to save a people.

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Just Great

A great story, of great men who did great deeds. A must have for any WW2 aviation buff.

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Great history lesson!

I enjoyed listening. The book is well-written. The research is integrated in well, from multiple sources. I recommend this book to anyone interested in war narratives.

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Good History of AVG

Much of the story is still untold, but this version is one to hear, and remember.

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Its more Biography than anything

I was expecting more operational level discussion but its mostly biographies on the pilots. Interesting but not for a whole book.

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Wonderful story quite long with lots of names

Very difficult to listen to and multitask. There are so many different names associated with this story that unless your reading along, it can get tough to follow. Otherwise a wonderful look into the history of the war.

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Interesting

A lot of background information on the days prior to WWII. Seemed drawn out too long. Almost lost interest before finishing.