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  1. Hello all + Sam R, Happy Summer. I think Franco is totally correct in his explanation. 1) The silk chits are older pre-mid 1943 and with the Nationalists' Commission on Aeronautical Affairs stamp in the middle--no exceptions--for CATF pilots (the 25,000 rotating USA airmen after the AVG Flying Tigers). 2)When the 14th Airforce was in full bloom from December 1943 to Feb 1946 with almost 55,000 airmen rotating into CBI, the mulberry trees around Kunming were totally bereft, so no more food for the silk worms. See aerial shot of wartime Kunming and its hinterlands in another blog. So the Commission on Aeronautical Affairs joint group allowed the USA to print in rayon and other material the rescue bloodchits with those authorised numbered ¨chops¨ or stamps of the Commission, to show rescuers that the Americans were helping China. 3) The third class of bloodchits were the souvenir chits in all sorts of material from the summer of 1945, as Admiral Nimitz' fleets reached the Chinese coastline. So many navy men landing on mainland friendly scatter fields, departing souvenir-hunting airmen, ground crew of the 14th Airforce & the 10th Airforce (moved up from Assam, British India to Shanghai mid 1945) accounted for over 100,000 returning soldiers wanting to bring proof of their CBI adventures. So, you can expect all sorts of permutations. 4) The 4th class of bloodchits are the fakers from India or Peshawar in Pakistan or anywhere else in that 1943-1946 period up to even today (from China & Taiwan itself). So any doubt on threads under the U/V light, don't waste your family time. Better enjoy eating a yummy pastry than losing money over a fake. Heheehehahhahajejeje. Not worth talking about. Stay away from this type, please. Thanks a lot, BlueBookGuy/Franco--my good friend--for letting me chime in to share more knowledge to our fellow hobbyists and collectors. Stay safe, nowadays, all!! Jose
  2. Hi Wharf, Thanks for the input on where you purchased your AVG Catf period patch ¨years ago.¨ 1) I remember there were 2 AVG Flying Tigers members from Oregon, but you'll have to email Mrs. Lydia Rossi at the FT Association website for more info. 2) AVG Ace Pilot Ken Jernstedt was an Oregon man, through and through. He lived there all his life, doing business and becoming a local politico up to state senator. He had 2 families, thus minimum 2 addresses, at various stages of his life. 3) Please look at page 4 of this Tiger Zoo blog, section 86, which shows AVG Ken Jernstedt attending the second charter members/stockholders meet of the Flying Tigers Incorporated entity, initially a club to meet annually then every 2 years, morphing into a money-making enterprise on the Flying Tigers' fame. He lists Hood River, Oregon as his home. Now that was 10 years after he left the AVG, quite an early known record. 2 Possibilities. To me, if you have more receipts or stories on the patch, then you can attribute directly to Ken Jernstedt's provenance ownership. The likelihood of this possibility is pretty good, because AVG Ken Jernstedt, I recall from both RT Smith's diary & latecomer AVG Lester Hall's notes in my collection, that the former was sent home weeks before the July 4, 1942 official ending of the AVG, because of severe illness, etc. So, he never received the 1st Series nor 2nd Series AVG Flying Tigers silk patches given out by his fellow 3rd Squadron RT Smith or from AVG HQ Mini-boss Skip Adair. The official AVG Flying Tigers series patches + individual silk banners, etc, were handed out on May 23, 1942 through very early June 1942 because a good part of the ¨striking¨ pilots group & ground crew of the AVG, mainly emanating in the 2nd Squadron Pandas & the 3rd Squadron Hell's Angels, were being sent home starting on June 10, 1942, way earlier than the formal July 4, 1942 disbandment. CATF Gen. Claire Chennault must've mailed Ken Jernstedt's souvenir AVG patch during the very early part of the CATF period of July 1942-December 1943, actual; for the former AVG Commander had sent many letters post AVG but within 1942 to former members, handing out their AVG diplomas, formal Honourable Discharge Certificates, Award notes in behalf of the Chinese Air Force still using the AVG letterhead, with accompanying decoration insignia, etc. This is one possibilty. The second, of course, is that it was also highly possible, that in the avid interchange of period AVG & post AVG memorabilia by a huge fan base of CBI theatre airmen + U.S. mainland fans, your authentic China-made, same Jingxing street tailor-designed AVG tiger patch partly using USA forces cloth material with local bullion, it ended up traded anonymously & unremarkably to that antique mall shop, where you found it. And so, the patch cannot be attributed definitively. Do you recall the year you found this patch? Hope the above helps, my friend. Jose
  3. Hi Wharfmaster, Oops, forgot to tell you I replied to your post and if you have any provenance stories from your authentic AVG patch made in the early CATF period of 1942. My exact patch came from AVG Tex Hill as explained in prior blog post, whilst the San Diego Air & Space Museum's better preserved patch came from the AVG Flying Tigers Association lawyer. Please let us know if any there be stories or backgrounder of your nice AVG patch made in the CATF period? Thanks! Jose
  4. Thanks for the update, RICK! Yes, your latest AVG Flying Tigers Patch is theatre made & AVG period made. It is an uncanny equivalent patch rendition of AVG Supplies & Finance man Pappy Paxton, who had Indian tailors copy those made by the Jingxing Street tailors of Kunming, at the end of May to very early June 1942. The Indian tailors drew on the more slender appearance of the Bengal tiger, which at the time, was perceived by most Indians as the sneakiest & most powerful monsters that plucked people from their unsecure villages at night. Hence, the difference from the Amur-Siberian ¨fatty & happy¨ leaping tiger drawn by Kunming, China tailors for the AVG silk patches given out 22 May 1942, before the AVG started departing mid June to early July 1942. AVG Pappy Paxton spent half his time in Calcutta in behalf of AVG GHQ, sourcing & ferrying planes, parts, ferrying of material & essential supplies through CNAC (China National Airways Corp. majority-owned by PAN AM). This AVG patch version of advanced master collector Walika was made for the AVG HQ staff, 1st Squadron Adam & Eves, the mechs, armourers & other ground crew, medical staff etc., who missed out on the China-made originals, because they were travelling to Chungking early in the morning of May 23, and were in another place, Hostel 2, near the AVG airport vs. downtown Kunming Hostel 1, where the 2 squadrons, Pandas & Hell's Angels received their farewell souvenir patches on the night of May 22. (As an aside, when Hostel 2 was vacated all the remaining AVG in Hostel 1 moved in. Meanwhile, Hostel 1 in downtown Kunming was taken over by the Chinese Nationalist Army and their incoming CATF-USAAF American advisers officially, but a secret no-go section in that compound was renovated for the expanding OSS intelligence composite group of the Nationalists and their US allies.) Would appreciate any further backgrounder how you sourced this patch, and from whom, if any provenance there be? Thanks, again, Walika, really, for sharing, fleshing out, & confirming the authenticity and AVG period dating of the above patch series. What a wonderful, ultra rare patch even more than the ones from Kunming, China; and exactly like the Calcutta-made AVG Patch of Pappy Paxton still on his tunic, which see:
  5. Wow, wow, wow. That is sooo beautiful and so rare. Thank you for sharing, my old friend. jose
  6. Hi mi amigo, I finally saw this and replied. Hope this helps & take care you and family. jose
  7. It is a nice rendition but it is NOT an official Peacock Pin. There were only 300 or so pins and they were all numbered in a master list of the China Aeronautics Commission & the Chinese Nationalist Army. The value of a true peacock pin, if there is a definitive attribution to an American Volunteer Flying Tiger personnel, ranges from $12,000 to $15,000. There is only one dude currently in the market selling this pin at this range; and he is based in Norway. If the material used was period ww2 and within the AVG (early 1941-July 1942), CATF (23rd Fighter group etc June-July 1942 to December 1943, actual), or the 14th Airforce of the CBI theatre of war (early 1943 to Feb-March 1946), then like the other unofficial but real patches commissioned by the AVG, these could have also been made in India. As afore described in another blog, material even for ammo in Yunnan (of which Kunming was part or even in Chongking, the other city in the 2nd of 2 provinces that remained in Nationalist China hands, besides the guerrilla patches in the north waged by the Communists vs. the Japanese) and all its cities were so scarce, and only let up after the U.S. Ferry Command beefed up at the end of 1942 and supplemented the China National Airways Corp (CNAC) ferries of material. Officialdom of the Peacock Pin. Coming back from digression, the numbered Peacock Pin was not only the official AVG insignia, but it was also viewed by Chinese soldiers manning the curfew barricades at night in both Kunming and Chongking cities as a formal pass for Americans going about the business of war in defence of China. Hence, in the pictorial books of, say Larry Pistole, you can see how AVG GHQ staff, ground crew, mechs, medical & pilot personnel wore the Peacock Pin DUI as a formal identification to be respected and to get around military checkpoints and curfews in wartime China. Majority of the photos render them always wearing this super scarce, rare pin. A final note: in British Burma, the AVG Flying Tigers were required by the bureaucratic Brits & their colonial officials to bear firearms licenses, driver's license, & soldier IDs; whilst retreating back to Kunming, Yunnan Province, the AVG went about with the numbered Peacock Pin as their main ID of public convenience as special part of the Chinese military. So, no Chinese Military IDs for the AVG and thus no such collectibles of the sort to this day--except the numbered Peacock Pin ID. Please let me know if ever anyone stumbles magically on one--heheheeh. Fake. In the end, we need to know the material used--pewter, iron, copper, composite?--because it is most likely a good fake, though I do not mean to denigrate the purchaser who acquired it for $350. Wish the seller was more knowledgeable in stating, like an expert Ron Burkey, where it came from?, why it didn't have an official number? or etched foreign ID note?, and the material used?, etc. This pin, in my opinion, is not authentic AVG Flying Tigers DUI, for lack of provenance and also for its uselessness during the AVG Flying Tigers period: at that time, Chinese troops would have shot the bearer of this pin for not having a reference number and the characters etched in, stating this was a foreign soldier fighting for China. Its value is still in its good copy attempt and souvenir of nostalgia. My 2 cents and hope all of you & family are safe during our world quarantine period, finally getting back to our hobbies for awhile. Happy Sunday to all. jose
  8. Wharfmaster, Yes, you have a spot-on AVG patch given out to the remaining original Flying Tigers personnel during the early China Air Task Force period replacing the former from July 1942. If we were with the curators at the San Diego Air and Space Museum like for the one they have and I do in possession, they would also fully agree that your patch was ¨made in China¨ during that period by the skilled tailors of Jinxing Street in Kunming, China, using more abundant materials during the U.S.A. period, June 1942 onwards. (i.e., the CATF including the 23rd Fighter Group + 1 bomber squadron had sent up materiel and men in significant instances to prepare their base and takeover of the AVG Flying Tigers as early as May 1942, before the end of the AVG in early July 1942) That is a beautiful patch, showing how U.S. materiel like wool elements vs. the stringy silk from the chopped up mulberry forest in the hinterlands, was much easier to work with for the local Chinese tailors. Your patch with the form of the handsome Siberian/Amur tiger is definitely from the Jinxing Street tailors, of Kunming. You can even compare it to the significantly different rendition of the tigers appearing on the India-made AVG tiger patches commissioned by visiting AVG Pilot Bob Neale and AVG finance-supplies man & ferry pilot Pappy Paxton. Yes, American logistics and supplies for uniforms, ammo & aircraft no-go parts flown up from the Assam airfields over the hump to Maj. General Chennault's CATF command (July '42-Dec '43, actual), were the key in holding back the Japanese Army from overrunning the US Army Airforce and their Chinese army allies. Thank you for sharing your wonderful CATF period authentic AVG Flying Tigers patch. Maybe you could let us know how long you've had this and from where you bought this? Thanks, and Happy Sunday Jose
  9. Hi Ben, Your resize tool doesn't seem to work with large PNG files at 10mb to 11mb. Is there an upper limit for files? thanks.
  10. I hasten to mention that my friend Robert/flytiger stated that the early Flying Tiger Line wings in his possession, which see again below, was owned by former AVG Pilot & founder of the airline Robert Prescott. Bob Prescott joined up with CNAC in China after some rest from his Flying Tigers days, and then rejoined the War Effort in the European side, by lending his senior pilot experience to fly diplomatic ¨Missions to Moscow¨, including the special envoy former U.S. ambassador Joseph Davis to the Soviet Union. In 1945 he founded the National Skyway Freight Corporation, and with lucrative contracts from US Ferry Command post WW2 to man pilots & provide maintenance of no-go parts to non-demobilised US forces spread throughout the globe in occupied Japan and Europe & Pacific Islands, he changed the name of the then profitable enterprise to the Flying Tiger Line in 1947, all the while inviting more and more of his old AVG buddies to work with him, even including in the 60s Gen. Chennault's widow, Anna Chennault. AVG Robert Prescott's Rare Early Flying Tiger Line wings given to forum member & former FT Line Pilot ¨flytiger¨.
  11. As promised from 2 months ago, after long tumultuous travel and work that all of us get through, I'm so happy to find holiday time to post my friend and former Flying Tigers Lines Senior Pilot Robert's/flytiger's fabulous collection of his wings, as he climbed the hierarchy of that organisation until it merged with FEDEX and his retirement. With his permission and because I'm a little more ¨techie¨ with fatter fingers than him--hahahahhehehe--we display now his wonderful set of rare Flying Tigers lines wings earned over a career lifetime. Thank you for your service too, my bro & Happy Thanksgiving with fam: ​1st Photo without the most rare earlier version wings. 2nd Photo with the earliest version Flying Tigers pilot wings.
  12. For purposes of comparison from the study, here, which see, with Official AVG Reproduction patches in the CATF July 1943-Dec 1943 actual period (Top Row, 1st two patches) awarded to the 5 AVG holdover pilots & 23 mechanics and GHQ staff. Reference SDASM. Photo Title: Master AVG Patch Comparison May 1941- post AVG CATF period March/Dec (actual) 1943
  13. Part 2 Picture Title. Official 1st (first 3) & 2nd Series ¨tighter weave¨ (4th tiger) AVG Flying Tigers Patches (top row), May 22, 1942 Kunming, China vs. Unofficial AVG Patch Variants frm. Chungking, China-based 1st Squadron Pandas, most AVG Mechanics & AVG HQ staff, June 1942 Part 2
  14. So finally we can end this exhaustive AVG Flying Tigers Patch study and related notes with a comparison of all Official 1st & 2nd Series Official AVG Flying Tigers Patches (Top Row) vs. all known Unofficial Period AVG Flying Tigers variant patches (2nd Row). Part 1 Picture Title. Official 1st (first 3) & 2nd Series ¨tighter weave¨ (4th tiger) AVG Flying Tigers Patches (top row), May 22, 1942 Kunming, China vs. Unofficial AVG Patch Variants frm. Chungking, China-based 1st Squadron Pandas, most AVG Mechanics & AVG HQ staff, June 1942 Part 1
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