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History Class: Flying Tigers 23rd Fighter Group

 

The iconic figures behind the famous Cockpit USA 23rd Fighter Group jacket, the namesake team of pilots and crew from WWII have a colorful and heroic history yearning to be told. The AVG otherwise known as the American Volunteer Group or The Flying Tigers was the first covert fighting force born out of American desire to accelerate participation in the war against the tyrants of WWII, specifically to help the Chinese defend against the Japanese aggression which was unleashed on their country without opposition. Composed of 100 American Cutlass P.40 fighter planes with pilots and crew secreted from active duty posts and initially transported to Burma in late 1941 just before the attack on Pearl Harbor, by the Japanese in December 1941, these few fliers and their worn out fighter planes stopped the air attack, saving thousands of lives.

After America's entry into WWII, the AVG was absorbed into the US Army Air Force by July 4 1942, becoming the 23rd Fighter Group of the 14th Air Force. The Cockpit USA 23rd Fighter Group jacket epitomizes the historic group, boasting their original emblem on the front, an antique silver thread bullion China Burma India patch, an appliqué blood chit along with other authentic decorations representative of their unwavering bravery.

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