Flying Tiger Ace

Flying Tiger Ace : The story of Bill Reed, China's Shining Mark

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Bill Reed had it all - brains, looks, athleticism, courage and a talent for leadership. After a challenging childhood in Depression-era Iowa, Reed joined the US Army Air Corps, but the outbreak of World War II saw him give up his commission. Instead, he travelled to China to fly for the American Volunteer Group - the legendary Flying Tigers. After a brief return to America, he resumed the fight as a senior pilot and later squadron commander in the Chinese-American Composite Wing. Soon afterwards, Reed tragically lost his life in a desperate parachute jump late in the war, by which point he was a fighter ace with nine confirmed aerial victories. His obituary was front-page news throughout the state of Iowa.

This book is a biography of his extraordinary life, focusing on his time spent flying with some of the famous aerial groups of World War II. It draws heavily on Reed's own words, along with the author's deep knowledge of the China air war and years of research into Reed's life, to tell his compelling story.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 336 pages
  • 153 x 234 x 33.02mm | 646g
  • Osprey Publishing
  • New York, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Two 16-page photo sections, one colour and one mono, and two mono maps in the body text.
  • 1472840038
  • 9781472840035
  • 1,006,527

Table of contents

Part One: The Making of a Man
1 "Everything anyone would ever want to be"
2 "Justifiable homicide"
3 "Three of us passed out of 47"
Part Two: A Grand Experiment - the AVG
4 "Day after day passed by uneventfully"
5 "Don't be too much concerned, will you?"
6 "I dove and attacked them head-on"
7 "This is no time to take a runout"
8 "A pretty good day's work"
9 "I might have stayed over there"
Part Three: Back to China
10 "I felt a hit in my engine"
11 "Some scheme afoot in Washington"
12 "Time we stopped fooling around"
13 "Stay in there and try a little harder"
14 "Just one of those Goddamned nights"
15 "The most staggering blow"
Appendix: Chinese place names
List of Illustrations
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Review quote

A fitting tribute to an otherwise little-known American hero [...] Highly recommended reading for anyone, but a "must have" addition to the library of military aviation history enthusiasts! * Col. J. Ward Boyce, Jr., USAF (Ret), Former Executive Director, American Fighter Aces Association * Carl Molesworth captivates the reader with a thoroughly researched biography of Lt. Colonel William N. Reed, an outstanding yet still somewhat unknown American hero of World War II. [...] Bill Reed's story is also a needed reminder of the hardships and sacrifice shown by those in combat and by their families at home. [...] All of us living today should try to live up to the standards Reed set for himself. * Tom Ivie, author of 'Aces of the 325th Fighter Group' * Carl Molesworth's biography of William Reed is a welcome addition to the record of American participation in the air war over China. Molesworth's description of Reed's experiences with the American Volunteer Group, the famed Flying Tigers, provides more depth to an understanding of what daily life for an AVG pilot was like in the dark early days of America's war against Japan. * Edward M. Young, author of 'B-25 Mitchell Units of the CBI' *
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About Carl Molesworth

Carl Molesworth is a former newspaper and magazine editor now working as a freelance writer and editor. A graduate of the University of Maryland with a BA in English, Molesworth served as an enlisted man in the USAF from 1968 to 1972 before becoming an award-winning journalist for 35 years and then transitioning to full-time book writing. He has been researching and writing about fighter operations in World War II for nearly 30 years. His 14 previous titles include three books in Osprey's Aircraft of the Aces series, three in the Aviation Elite Units series and two in the Duel series. He is best known for his writing about the China-Burma-India theatre and the Curtiss P-40 fighter. He lives in Washington, USA.
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