Flying Tigers

April 16, 2018 General Studies

Flying Tigers is the name of a mercenary group of American pilots that helped defend China and the Burma Road from the bombing of the Japanese during World War II. The name of their planes was Tomahawks, but the Chinese called them Fei Hu for the sharks teeth painted on their planes. Flying Tigers were known as the American Volunteer Group of the Chinese Air Force. The Flying Tigers did not see combat until December 1941 when the Japanese started bombing China. Jim Gordon, the leader of the Flying Tigers, was running short on pilots after the war had started so he began searching for new pilots.

Blackie, one of the volunteers, wanted to be part of the Flying Tigers, but Jim didn’t want Blackie. So his wife begged Jim to let Blackie into his group. One day during the Japanese bombing, Blackie’s plane caught on fire. He jumped out attached to his parachute, but one of the Japanese planes saw him and shot him. Another volunteer, Woody, joined the Flying Tigers, he wanted to prove to Jim Gordon that he was an expert at flying planes. During the first attack, Jim wouldn’t let Woody fly, but Woody flew anyway. When he was aiming for a soldier, he noticed that his plane didn’t have bullets and was nearly killed.

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After that happened, Jim thought Woody would one day be a good pilot because he was brave enough to take on three Japanese planes all by himself with no bullets. When the day of December 7, 1941 hit, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt announced on the radio that Pearl Harbor was bombed which was, “A Day of Infamy,” and when Jim heard on the radio he was very disappointed. The next day he decided to bomb Japan to help defend his country by himself, but Woody pretended to be the pilot flying the plane because he wanted to help Jim. When they got to Japan, they were aiming for a train full of Japanese soldiers.

They started firing at them and when their plane caught fire, Jim and Woody decided to jump out. Then, all of a sudden, Woody pushed Jim out of the plane and flew the plane directly into the train and sacrificed his life to help Jim and his country. The movie demonstrated the need for teamwork and participation. At first, Woody cared more about his paycheck than any of the other Flying Tigers. He learned that when he only thought of himself, he put all the Flying Tigers in danger. They were a team and needed to look out for each other because that way they could hit more Japanese planes.


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