In the first half of 1942 the Flying Tigers took to the skies to fight the Japanese over Burma and China.
They rarely had more than forty planes fit to fly but managed to bring down close to 300 enemy aircraft. Since WWII, everyone has believed that in April 1941 President Roosevelt gave his blessing to the idea of a small mercenary air force going into combat against the enemy in China even though Japan was not yet at war with the United States.
In A Few Planes for China Eugenie Buchan challenges this received wisdom. If, in 1940-1941 President Roosevelt was determined to keep the country at peace, why would he have run the risk of starting a war by sending American airmen to fight the Japanese in China? If the group was intended to help the Chinese, why was it based in Burma, a British colony? Who exactly was involved in organizing the Flying Tigers and for what purpose?
The answers to these questions form the substance of her new book.