Thai Fighters

On 11 November 1944, 9 P-51s from the 25th Fighter Squadron and 7 P-38s from the 449th were on a fighter sweep over Thailand when they were jumped by five Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) Nates. They caught the Mustangs low and shot down Lieutenant Henry Minco. The P-38s had a great deal of difficulty…

Review of The Forgotten Squadron in Air Power History

I was very happy to see Air Power History publish a review of The Forgotten Squadron in their Winter 2011 issue. The review is written by Lt Col (ret) Golda Eldridge and is presented in full here: This book is noteworthy not only for its subject and narrative quality, but also for other aspects including…

Outprocessing

I recently found this photo in the national archives of a few of the 449th Fighter Squadron’s pilots outprocessing from China on 10 October 1945 to return to the United States after the end of World War II. The processing center is in Yankai, China, and the pilots are, from left to right, Lieutenant W.H.…

Jim Heitkotter

Jim Heitkotter joined the 449th during the summer of 1944. The first time he saw Japanese fighters was 8 September 1944. He was a part of a flight of four P-38s led by Lieutenant Stuart Rea. At 1510 hours that day, twenty Oscars from the 64thSentai attacked C-47s unloading Chinese troops at the frontier airfield of…

Wan Lai Kam

On 20 November 1944, eight P-38s from the 449th Fighter Squadron carried out an attack on a wooden vehicular bridge at Wan Lai Kam, Burma – 120 miles south of Lashio. The bridge was an important link in the system supplying the Japanese in Burma and southwest China. Rather than using demolition bombs, as per…

Video of Japanese Surrender at Mengzi, China

On 3 September 1945, the day after the Japanese signed the surrender papers on the USS Missouri, the 449th escorted a Ki-21 Sally to Mengzi, China for a surrender ceremony involving Japanese officials in Hanoi. Richard Maddox, an armorer, recorded the day’s events on a P-38 gun camera and narrates this film I have posted on…

Book Review: Ki-43 Oscar Aces of World War 2 by Hiroshi Ichimura

I thought ‘Ki-43 Aces’ was very good and very informative. I was impressed with Mr. Ichimura’s frankness and was interested to see how he cross-referenced Japanese claims with Allied records and vice versa. His discussion of both the successes and failures of the units involved is a model of impartiality which I think many historians…

Meet the Author

I grew up in Colorado Springs, Colorado. I attended the Air Force Academy and had the opportunity to be a glider instructor pilot. I graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Military History and a minor in Chinese Language. I worked on THE FORGOTTEN SQUADRON in my spare time at the Academy; interviewing veterans,…

Flying Tigers

The purpose of this site is to promote discussion about the Air War in China during World War II. In no other theater did airpower feature as singularly important as it did in China. No other theater featured a smaller air force either. In 2010, Schiffer published my book The Forgotten Squadron:The 449th Fighter Squadron…