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 The Pilots' Revolt (23 Replies, Read 77014 times)
VS-5kid
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Has anyone ever come across the resignation document (or copy) that was presented to Chennault in Loiwing on April 19, 1942?  I'd like to know specifically who did or did not sign this mass resignation known as the "Pilots' Revolt". 
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The Pilots' Revolt
LydiaRossi
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Widow of AVG pilot J. R. Rossi
I have never known anything of the document that was signed. I would imagine that it was destroyed.
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The Pilots' Revolt
VS-5kid
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It would make sense that Chennault ripped it up!  Dan Ford seemed to know that five did NOT sign it - Tex Hill, Ed Rector, Frank Schiel, Duke Hedman & Catfish Raine.  Tom Jones told Olga he also did not sign the document.  There were 24 names on the letter. 
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The Pilots' Revolt
LydiaRossi
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Widow of AVG pilot J. R. Rossi
I remember Dick telling me that not that many had signed it because there weren't that many members available at one place at one time to do the signing. If only 24 did, in fact, it tells us that not too many signed as there were approximately 85 pilots still out in China.
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The Pilots' Revolt
BradSmith
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I've attached a copy of the letter resignation from R.T. Smith's papers.  Except for crossing out Laughlin's name, the annotations are his.  I think I remember reading somewhere that Laughlin changed his mind about resigning before the resignation letter was presented to Chennault.


Edited by BradSmith : March 16, 2013, 10:35 am
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The Pilots' Revolt
BradSmith
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Trying to post resignation letter.
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The Pilots' Revolt
BillC
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Very interesting to see this after all these years.
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The Pilots' Revolt
VS-5kid
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Thanks Brad!  Perfect!  I appreciate you digging it out for us.  And thanks to your dad for keeping it. 
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The Pilots' Revolt
LydiaRossi
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Widow of AVG pilot J. R. Rossi
Well.... so there is a copy afterall. Never saw it before.
I wonder why there are no actual signatures on it?
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The Pilots' Revolt
avgbob
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Link Laughlin gave me a copy over 20 years ago. It's very interesting. I like R.T.'s comment at that time as to the White Feather .
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The Pilots' Revolt
VS-5kid
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Is Link Laughlin's copy typed also with no signatures like R.T.'s?
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The Pilots' Revolt
aaatripp
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cousin of Maax C. Hammer, Jr., AVG 22Sep41 RIP
Yes, I believe that it is very similar to the copy which Brad has so kindly posted here on the AVG Forum.  A copy of the one which Bob Andrade sent to me is posted here for your comparison.

Also, I've included FYI the orders which list those AVG members who enlisted in the USAAF as members of the 23rd Fighter Group, China Air Task Force.  Please
note that one of Wild Bill Donovan's OSS (later CIA) men on duty in China (who helped save some of the downed Doolittle Raiders in May '42) is on this list
......JOHN BIRCH.  Birch would later be killed by the Communist Chinese....some would say that he was the first casualty of WWIII (the Cold War).  Though he was not an original member of the AVG, Birch's activities brought him into close contact with the AVG.

Thanks again to Brad Smith and Bob Andrade for their documentation.

Tripp Alyn, chair
Historical & Museums Committee
Flying Tigers Assn.


Edited by aaatripp : April 3, 2013, 6:17 pm

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Tripp

Tripp Alyn, chair
Historical & Museums Committee
AVG Flying Tigers Association
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The Pilots' Revolt
LydiaRossi
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Widow of AVG pilot J. R. Rossi
Have any of you heard the reasons for this "revolt"?
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The Pilots' Revolt
BillC
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As I recall, it was a dislike for the low altitude 'morale' missions, designed to show the flag and encourage the Chinese ground troops. The guys felt it was silly and way too dangerous, a waste of their time, talent, and limited resources. Not what they volunteered for. One of Stilwell's 'bright ideas'. The man had almost no concept of the best use of air power. Better suited to command in the Civil War. By accounts, a brave man, but not the right man for the job in China and the CBI theater. Chennault would have achieved much more, and more quickly, and saved lives in the bargain.


Edited by BillC : April 7, 2013, 7:58 am
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The Pilots' Revolt
LydiaRossi
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Widow of AVG pilot J. R. Rossi
Thanks Bill. That is what I remember being told to me also.
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