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 "Butch" Carney (4 Replies, Read 9712 times)
mayor
Group: Member
Post Group: Working Member
Posts: 124
Status:

If I agreed with you, then we'd both be wrong
What is the actual story about "Butch" Carney and the AVG? I haven't read, in the books I've read by AVG members, anything bad about him, I'm reading, now, from other sources, things that put a bad light on him AND the AVG.
IP: --   

"Butch" Carney
aaatripp
Group: Moderator
Post Group: Super Member
Posts: 601
Status:

cousin of Maax C. Hammer, Jr., AVG 22Sep41 RIP
Mayor:  yes, an interesting question.

Let me first respond in general----with 311 volunteers there certainly was a diverse group and a variety of motives found in the process of resignation from the US military and signing a contract to work in Burma for 1 year at very high pay.

The Flying Tigers Association prefers to focus on the admirable, patriotic, dedicated and hard working AVG who brought public acclaim and admiration upon the unit.  Struggling to overcome many adversities the AVG performed miracles in striving to accomplish their mission, many times at the cost of their very lives.  Crew chief Johnny Fauth and pilot Frank Swartz were cut down by the Japanese while sprinting across the airfield to rescue a stricken RAF pilot at Magwe, Burma.

There were some who signed on with the AVG for the sole purpose of "escaping" from the US military.  Some jumped ship on the way over.  Some were dismissed for behavior which violated the terms of their contract AND these events were reported back to the US for handling by the authorities.  Attached is a copy of George Burgard's CAMCO contract.  Note Section 5 for conditions for termination.  Excuse me, but this was not a "rag tag outfit".  While they did not have matched uniforms, ranks or salute superiors Chennault insisted on complete discipline in the air....in combat, where it really counted.  As a result, the AVG only lost 4 pilots in air-to-air encounters.

We don't discuss most of these cases, not to sweep them "under the carpet" but rather out of respect for their families.  We are NOT a tabloid and find no reason to publish information which might be embarassing to their children or
grandchildren.  Such are the ethical standards of the FTA.

We hope that our Forum members will agree with our approach to maintaining a respect for their privacy.  Where certain things have been published, and a matter of public knowledge, they are certainly open for public discussion but we
request respect for privacy of the families.
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Now, to answer your comments regarding Boatner "Butch" Carney.  He was certainly one of Chennault's "China Hands" who was over in China early, before the AVG and is pictured during the late 30s with Chennault, either in civilian clothing or in his Sam Browne belted military uniform as part of the American group at Kunming (along with Skip Adair, Emil Scott & "Mac" McDonald).  In the very early days of the AVG Carney functioned as Chennault's Exec and seems to be the person who selected the 3 squadron COs before Chennault arrived in Toungoo.  This indeed caused some consternation on the part of Jim Howard and Greg Boyington as they had more leadership experience and likely would have been selected to lead if files had been compared side-by-side.  Some AVG were involved in black market activities but one would have to look at each case to determine the extent of this transgression.  Don't forget to take this issue in the perspective of restrictive British regulations....that of a crumbling British Empire.  The Americans were there "to get things done" and probably violated many British regulations.  Vastly inferior numbers of Japanese troops succeeded in booting the Brits out of SE Asia, despite valiant efforts by many heroic British soldiers, sailors & airmen.  Such were the failed British strategies.

Finally, Carney's death had been listed in our records as 1974 mainland China.
This, of course, is rather curious and one must think that there was an interesting story here.  As you've no doubt found in other publications the reality is a different story.  Chennault had intervened to save Carney, when a crime was allegedly committed, and had him shipped back to the States.  Carney died in 1965 and is buried in Louisiana. 

With the AVG commencing their reunions in the early 50s it does not appear that Carney attended them.  As the Tigers began writing their books he would certainly have been mentioned in the early days, but does not appear to be listed in later reports.  In judging Carney one needs to view also the entire amount of work he did in the establishment and management of the AVG.  His final sin is indeed inexcusable, but his commander Chennault preferred mercy.

Readers should "adjust the tint on their lenses" as they pass judgment on the
past.  Don't forget that this was the Far East in the 1940s during time of war....
it was a different world from what we know today!  Do you think that the Tigers said "Boys, what happens in Rangoon....stays in Rangoon!" ??
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Mayor, I hope that this lengthy response gives you the flavor of Carney's situation and some insight into others who performed at a different standard than our Tigers.


Thanks for your continued support!

Tripp


Tripp Alyn, chair
Historical & Museums Committee
Flying Tigers Association


Edited by aaatripp : January 18, 2015, 12:36 pm

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Tripp

Tripp Alyn, Historian
AVG Flying Tigers Association
IP: --   

"Butch" Carney
mayor
Group: Member
Post Group: Working Member
Posts: 124
Status:

If I agreed with you, then we'd both be wrong
Tripp, thanks for the reply.

The account I saw was related by Dan Ford from an interview he did with Dr. Carl Brown, several years ago. Knowing how Ford is regarded, I wanted to make sure of what I was reading.


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"Butch" Carney
BillC
Group: Member
Post Group: Elite Member
Posts: 382
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There isn't a grain of salt big enough to take with anything coming from ford. He has an unsavory, and underhanded history in his previous dealings with the AVG/FTA. Back in 2001, I was advised to NEVER ask an AVG member to sign his 'book'. The group felt he had slandered their reputation, and some individuals.
IP: --   

"Butch" Carney
aaatripp
Group: Moderator
Post Group: Super Member
Posts: 601
Status:

cousin of Maax C. Hammer, Jr., AVG 22Sep41 RIP
Well spoken, Bill.

Thank you!



Tripp


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Tripp

Tripp Alyn, Historian
AVG Flying Tigers Association
IP: --   

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