FLYING TIGERS



THE BOY IN THE MAN REMEMBERS THE LEGEND


FOR SOLID IMAGE CLICK HERE

the Wanderling


"Learning that the superstitious Japanese feared sharks, the ingenious Yanks painted the snout's of their P-40s to represent grinning heads of 'tiger sharks.' The A.V.G. pilots called themselves 'Tiger Sharks' but it was not long before the admiring Chinese troops changed it to 'Flying Tigers' the tiger being regarded as a minor deity in some sections of China."

WAR HEROS, No. 2 October-December 1942


The venerable World War II fighting machine, the P-40, given such a high priority of importance in my writings, like most things in a person's life, is sort of broad-based. That broad base, like a spiraling vortex, eventually funnels down to one or two things. The most important, or at least the one that seems to stand out the most in my life is, that from a very young age onward I just liked P-40s, and liked them because of an early infatuation with Flying Tigers.

In the dawning days of World War II, from Pearl Harbor to Corregidor, the U.S. had nothing but a continuing series of major setbacks. On the homefront the setbacks, many of which I lived through and experienced personally, seemed for me as the young boy I was, just as serious:


Christmas day, December 25, 1941, practically within eyesight of my home in the California beach community where I lived, a Japanese submarine, the I-19, took up a position in the narrow channel between Santa Catalina Island and the mainland just off Point Fermin near San Pedro where my dad worked in the shipyards. Laying in wait at periscope depth in sight of the fully operational military installation of Fort MacArthur, without warning, the I-19 torpedoed the unarmed U.S. freighter SS Absaroka and after which, followed then by a nearly clean escape. Less than sixty days later, on February 23, 1942, some distance up the coast from where I lived, another Japanese submarine, the I-17, surfaced and attacked the U.S. mainland with cannon fire by shelling the Ellwood oil fields near the town of Goleta, 12 miles north of Santa Barbara. Approximately four months after that, on the nights of June 21-22, 1942, another submarine attack against U.S. soil occurred, only not in California, but Oregon. This time it was the I-25. She unleashed 17 rounds from her deck gun toward Fort Stevens, a military installation initially constructed to guard the mouth of the Columbia River.



TWO-MAN JAPANESE- MIDGET SUBMARINE MOUNTED
ADJACENT TO THE MOTHER SHIP'S CONNING TOWER

(please click image)


On September 9, 1942, taking advantage of a radar gap of over 400 miles that existed along the coast between Fort Bragg, California and Cape Perpetua, Oregon, the I-25 again, launched another attack, only this time from the air, hitting the Oregon forests with incendiary bombs. Twenty days later, on September 29th the I-25 repeats the attack with more incendiary bombs. Then, on October 4, 1942 a Japanese two-man submarine, apparently having been left off earlier by a mother ship in the Channel Islands off the coast of California, was sighted a mile or so straight off the Redondo Beach pier a few blocks from where I lived and bombed. Two days later it washed up on shore and said to have contained the bodies of two Japanese Naval officers. Between those homeland attacks, across the Pacific, on May 6, 1942 Corregidor fell. The first six months of the war from Pearl Harbor to the start of the summer of 1942, all up and down the U.S. Pacific coast from my house to Oregon, ships were being torpedoed, bombs being dropped and shells being fired, while across the oceans in far flung battlefields thousands of Americans were facing the full onslaught of a mighty foe in the air, on land, and the sea. Please visit:



FUTURE MOTHER SHIP LAUNCHES FIRST OF TWO AIR STRIKES AGAINST OREGON IN SEPTEMBER 1942
(please click image)

WORLD WAR II COMES TO REDONDO


For me the glowing reports of the P-40 wielding Flying Tigers successes against the Japanese in China was like a beacon of shining light. The quote at the top of the page laying out the legend of the Flying Tigers comes from WAR HEROS, No. 2 October-December 1942 and was typical, along with a battery of childhood heroes such as Captain Midnight, of the small glimmer of light that was beginning to shine from that aforementioned "beacon of shinning light" and finally giving the American people a ray of hope toward the end of 1942.[1]

Because of it all I loved the "all plane plane" sleekness and look of the P-40, especially so when the nose was endowed with the almost comic book like fierce looking eyes and red with white razor sharp teeth of a tiger shark. What could be better? So too, as a young boy I bought into the legend circulating at the time that the Japanese feared the tiger shark and just the sight of the P-40s was so intimidating that the Japanese pilots would lose their edge in battle. Although that aspect of the legend is far from substantiated, the kill ratio has a tendency to support such a belief.







Notice how the drawing in the fifth panel on the above page tagged "THE P-40'S PROVED THEY
COULD TAKE A TERRIFIC BEATING AND STILL DISH IT OUT"
- almost perfectly duplicates the
photo below from a 1942 issue of Life Magazine. Looks to me the cartoonist researched his work.


(PHOTO SOURCE: LIFE, VOL. 12, NO. 13, MARCH 30, 1942)



I remember perfectly my very first formal introduction to the Flying Tigers on an intellectual non-comic book reading level. It was just a few years after the war. I was around 8 maybe 9 years old and for the very first time just met the woman who would eventually become my Stepmother. After running away from the home of a foster couple who owned a flower shop and living in the taxi of an ex-Marine taxi driver for months, I was found by my grandmother who had been searching for me since authorities from the school I attended contacted her saying I was basically missing. After being with my grandmother a short time the following happened as found in the stepmother link above:


"(F)or unknown reasons, I was taken to live with my younger brother in a no sidewalk mostly dirt-street town near the Mexican border. After a passage of time, of which I don't remember how long, but looking back probably not much more than a week or two, several at the most, out of the blue and totally unannounced, my father showed up all dapper looking and handsome driving probably one of the very first brand-new post-war Pontiac Streamliner fastback sedans off the assembly line, telling my brother and me he wanted to take us to Los Angeles for a few days to meet someone. That someone turned out to be the person that would eventually become my stepmother."


While I was at my soon-to-be stepmother's waiting apprehensively to meet her for the first time I was glancing over the various books she had on the shelves that neatly covered a full wall. I notice a black faux-leather pebble grain book that looked all the same as a preacher's bible, except that it had a gilded gold eagle with a Nazi swastika embossed on the spine. Curious about the why of the swastika, I pulled the book off the shelf, which turned out be Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler, and when I did the other books sort of leaned over closing the space it went into with one even falling to the floor that had sort of stuck to the faux-leather. Not sure how my soon-to-be stepmother would react if they were not put back in their right places I began moving books around on the shelf to make room and in the process a book caught my eye that just happened to be on Flying Tigers titled The Lady and the Tigers published in 1943. With that, I forgot all about my concern for stacking books in the right way and sat down immediately looking at the pictures then reading the Tiger book.

When my soon-to-be stepmother came into the room, being well aware of my penchant for running away, was all impressed that under my own initiative I was sitting there quietly reading. When she asked what book I was so engrossed in and I showed her, she said, "Oh, I know her, she lives just up on the other side of Sunset Boulevard."[2]


As I was leaving a few days later she gave me the book telling me I could take it with me but to just bring it back the next time we saw each other. Which is what I did. I absolutely loved the book. I learned about such places as Saigon, Hanoi, and Chiang Mai, all of which would eventually come to life later in my life. I had heard about General Joseph Stilwell and the Ledo and Burma Road before, but in Olga's book I was reading her take on them for the first time. It was like a word version of Terry and the Pirates only about the Flying Tigers written during the war at a time when nobody knew who was going to win or lose. The author pulls no punches, telling it like it was. When I went to live with my stepmother on a permanent basis for a few years, instead of leaving the book on the shelves where I first found it she let me keep it with me. During those years I read it many, many times.[3] [4]


In one of the footnotes or sub-footnotes further down the page I have provided a link to a free, complete PDF online version of the book The Lady and the Tigers as shown at the end of this paragraph. As can be seen from the cover graphic the author of the book was a woman by the name of Olga Greenlaw. By all measures by most who came across her or knew her, she was invariably considered exotic, beautiful, covertly cunning and provocatively ingenuous. For others who simply cast the smart-as-a-whip Olga Greenlaw's preeminent standing in the Flying Tigers as being based solely on her marriage to Colonel Harvey Greenlaw, the second in command of the Flying Tigers, they were usually in for a rude awakening. Even if such was the case initially, over time, because of who she was, the right person in the right place at the right time, it wasn't long before her being there took on a life of it's own.


For some reason reading came easy for me, learning to read at a very early age --- thanks to my older brother. He was three years older than me and when he was learning to read in the 1st grade I was learning to read right along with him. By the time he reached the 3rd grade I was reading 3rd grade books as well as if not better than he was. During that learning period he had assigned school books and while I read some of those books, a good portion of my reading material stemmed from comic books.

A majority of those comic books were, at least in the early stages, published during World War II and much of their content reflected that. Since I lived right on the coast of a southern California beach town that was constantly being harassed by Japanese submarines and with me experiencing if not real, practice air raids and blackouts on a regular basis, the war in the Pacific took on a real life significance --- including me gaining a high standing regard for the Flying Tigers, a high regard that still stands today. Like I say at the top of the page the glowing reports of the P-40 wielding Flying Tigers successes against the Japanese in China was like a beacon of shining light.


So said, not all the engagements between the Flying Tigers and the enemy ended in the Tigers' favor, and a lot of the time the ones that didn't were not always trumpeted on a massive scale. On January 23, 1942, almost one month to the day before the February 25, 1942 flyover of Los Angeles mentioned previously, an American named Bert Christman was killed in action over Rangoon, Burma. Christman was a cartoonist well known for the national syndicated comic strip Scorchy Smith, a mid-1930's strip having similarities both in style and execution as Milton Caniff's Terry and the Pirates, often taking place in China with warlords and stuff. Christman left his cartooning duties, joined the U.S. Navy, became an air cadet and served on the aircraft carrier USS Ranger. He resigned his commission volunteering to became a pilot for the Flying Tigers --- all before the start of World War II.

After my stepmother loaned me her copy of "The Lady and the Tigers" I read it over-and-over, almost becoming a bible or handbook on the Flying Tigers for most of my formative years. However, much to my dismay in later years, in Olga's book unfortunately, she mentions Christman only twice, both times in a brief few word sentence and neither time using his first name, only initials. The thing is he died a horrific death in the line of duty flying for the Tigers and I didn't learn about his death and how until years later, especially so, he being a cartoonist and all. Christman had his P-40 basically shot out from under him over Rangoon right in the middle of a serious dog fight with the Japanese, and on the way down, still in the air and in his chute, they machined gunned him to death, killing him dead bigger than shit:


"On Friday, January 23, 1942, 72 Japanese aircraft attacked Rangoon. Christman was one of the 18 planes that were launched to intercept them. He would never return. Christman's plane had come under fire and been hit in the engine. He was forced to bail out once more. This time, however, as he hung in his parachute and decended to the ground, a Japanese pilot strafed him. Bert was hit in several places and probably died as a bullet passed through the back of his neck. He was buried the next day at the church of Edward The Martyr in Rangoon. His remains were returned to Fort Collins after the war, where he was laid to rest on Saturday, February 4, 1950."




(for more please click image)


FROM THE LEGEND TO THE REALITY AND BACK:

Legend or no, for me and for legions of others like me, from my early years on, just like as found in WAR HEROS, No. 2 above, the 'grinning heads of tiger sharks' were prominently displayed on the noses of the A.V.G. P-40s because the superstitious Japanese feared sharks.

In his book Way of a Fighter (1949), head of the Flying Tigers, Claire L. Chennault, gives his version of how snarling teeth look of the A.V.G. fighter planes came into being as found on page 135:


"Before I left the United States in the summer of 1941, I asked a few friends in Louisiana to watch the newspapers and send me any clippings about the A.V.G. Now I was being swamped with clippings from stateside newspapers, and my men were astonished to find themselves world famous as the Flying Tigers. The insignia we made famous was by no means original with the A.V.G. Our pilots copied the shark-tooth design on their P-40's noses from a colored illustration in the India Illustrated Weekly depicting an R.A.F. squadron in the Libyan Desert with shark-nose P-40's. Even before that the German Air Force painted shark's teeth on some of its Messerschmitt 210 fighters. With the pointed nose of a liquid cooled engine it was an apt and fearsome design. How the term Flying Tigers was derived from the shark-nosed P-40's I never will know. At any rate we were somewhat surprised to find ourselves billed under that name. It was not until just before the A.V.G. was disbanded that we had any kind of group insignia. At the request of the China Defense Supplies in Washington, the Walt Disney organization in Hollywood designed our insignia consisting of a winged tiger flying through a large V for victory."(source)


There are a number of other stories, each in their own way vying for credibility as the one and only story. The two strongest, if you discount Chennault, although similar in some respects to Chennault's, vary enough to stand on their own as their own versions, although as I see it they either divided Chennault's version or he combined the two. One version claims that the design came exclusively from the first Tomahawk-equipped Royal Air Force (RAF) Desert Air Force squadron that used the shark tooth insignia on their P-40s. The second version comes from Eriksen E. Shilling, one of the first U.S. Army Air Corps pilots to sign up with the A.V.G. He is said to have found a photo of a Messerschmitt 110 with a shark face on it in a British magazine. Using the photo he marked out s similar design on the nose of a P-40 with chalk to see how it looked, and then showed it to Chennault.

Olga Greenlaw, who was with the A.V.G. from the very beginning, her husband Harvey Greenlaw being the second in command under Chennault and who shows up prominently in a footnote further down the page, in an internet page outlining her life and carrying the same title as her book The Lady and the Tigers, recalls another version that sort of combines the two above, but still with enough spin in it to be a different take. On page 61 of her book she writes:


"In an English magazine Erik Shilling saw a picture of a shark tooth painted P-40 which belonged to some R.A.F. outfit in the Middle East. He showed it to Harvey (her husband). All the boys liked the idea so it was tried on a few planes and then all of them. Whether it had any psychological effect on the Japs I don't know --- nor I think anybody else does."(see)


Personally, I still go for the legend. As for Olga, if you haven't gone to the previous footnote or links regarding her or have been unable to determine or figure out if she was a hero in all of the goings on of the Flying Tigers or only used them to maximize on her proclivities please click the following image:



OLGA GREENLAW
(please click image)


P-40 WARHAWK
PEARL HARBOR SURVIVOR

P-40 GOOSE SHOOT


GHOST AND HAUNTED B-29


P-40: THE OBSOLETE WAR HERO


P-40: FIGHTER IS A REBUILT PIECE OF WWII HISTORY


P-40 FLYING TIGERS HD VIDEO



CURTISS P-40

(please click)



(please click)



96 YEAR OLD FLYING TIGER CREW CHIEF TAKES TO THE SKY
(to watch video click image)


TOMMY TOMAHAWK P-40 TOMAHAWK SQUADRON

(please click image)

FLYING TIGERS
THE ORDEAL OF LIEUTENANT STONER



CLICK
HERE FOR
ENLIGHTENMENT

ON THE RAZOR'S
EDGE


E-MAIL
THE WANDERLING

(please click)



As to the subject of donations, for those of you who may be interested in doing so as it applies to the gratefulness of my works, I invariably suggest any funds be directed toward THE WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT and/or THE AMERICAN RED CROSS.



















Footnote [1]


The very first time relative to my age I remember P-40s and make mention of that remembrance, shows up in a one time ongoing online debate between myself and a man by the name of C. Scott Littleton, now deceased. Littleton, who attended Pier Avenue School in Hermosa Beach at the same time I was there and grew up to be a highly regarded university professor, is considered by most historians, researchers and UFOlogists as the most credible, bottom line authority on the so-called Battle of Los Angeles, or as I sometimes call it to differentiate it between writers, the UFO Over L.A.. By either name it was a huge object of unknown origin and an unknown nature that overflew L.A. during the early stages of World War II and able to withstand round upon round of anti-aircraft shells and escape unharmed. The object flew right past Littleton's house on the Stand in Hermosa Beach before turning diagonally inland as it reached Redondo Beach and overflying my house. Littleton and I went back and forth for years as to who saw what and what we saw. In that he was a few years older than me he felt I was to young to recall what I did, hence what I said I saw wasn't as valid as what he saw. Each thing he would bring up knocking what I presented I would come back with some justification. The date of the overflight was February 25, 1942 and in regards to that overflight, in the milieu of it all, P-40s came up --- which means that as early as that overflight was in the overall scheme of things I was familiar with P-40s:


"What do I remember? Well, whatever it was, the object crossed right over the top of my house in Redondo Beach in the middle of the night. Also that it didn't look like a blimp like some people say, but more like an upside down shovel. Why would I remember that? Because in those days, like so many others, we had a Victory Garden in the backyard and I used to help my grandfather and mother maintain it. For that we had a number of garden tools, of which some were shovels. One of the shovels had a broken handle and my father removed what was left of the handle out of the sleeve portion that held it. The metal spade part looked so much like the object to me I used to run around holding it like a kid might do with a model airplane, mimicking the flight of the craft --- and when I did, the other kids that didn't see it that night, made fun of me. They had wood and cardboard toys of what would one day come to be my favorite fighter the P-40 Warhawk to do pretend battles with Zeros. I used an upside down shovel."(source)


Albert Nozaki was an Oscar nominated motion picture art director for his work designing the Martian war machines seen in the 1953 movie War of the Worlds. In 1942, in an open agriculture field some miles inland and southeastward from Redondo Beach, as a young man, Nozaki personally observed the fly over of the giant airborne craft of an unknown nature that has come to be known as the UFO Over Los Angeles. In an interview Nozaki said he incorporated some of the ominous-like aspects of the object he saw such as the curving down contours into his 'War of the Worlds' craft wanting to capture some of the fear he felt as the real-life dark object came toward him --- as though he was going to be clutched up by it. So too, how it mysteriously remained aloft, apparently with some sort of technology or power we did not have. In Wells' novel the machines were held upward by three robot like legs. In the movie he tried to make it seem they were being held off the ground and "walking" by three invisible force-field legs. That is why they appeared to tip to one side and fall over when they began crashing.


ALBERT NOZAKI


SAN CLEMENTE ISLAND AND THE 1942 UFO



















Footnote [2]




----------OLGA GREENLAW


I remember well being a young boy reading The Lady and the Tigers for the first time and my stepmother telling me she knew Olga Greenlaw the author of the book. I was never privy to the full extent of any interactions the two of them may have had in those days and it was well into adulthood before my stepmother and I discussed her at any length. By then Olga had long since moved on and my stepmother, or ex-stepmother as the case may be, she and my father having long since divorced, had fallen on hard times. Except for owning and living on 88 acres of sparse Mojave desert land that rose up off the valley floor into even more sparse foothill-like mountain-desert land, she was indigent. In those years I would drop by to see her and leave a few bucks whenever I could. Each time with her always politely refusing, even though when I was a kid she had unselfishly and without question lavished thousands upon thousands of dollars on my brothers and me as we were growing up. In the end I always just put it in some indiscriminant spot on the table or some such place when it was time for me to leave.

The property she owned and lived on was overrun by goats, about 2000 she guessed, that she was supposedly raising for some Argentine goat buyer. He had unloaded several truckloads of goats in some sort of a deal with my stepmother and never came back. In the meantime they had pretty much gone about repropagating themselves ad infinitum. She herself lived in a small trailer crudely fenced off to keep the goats out. In the meantime the goats had just about eaten and destroyed almost anything and everything they could reach. The onetime property main house had been completely gutted, the goats having broken every window, knocked down every door and tore apart every piece of furniture, even eating most if not all of the electrical wiring.

When I would go see her, even though the gate was locked and I would honk the horn until she came down and opened it, because of the goats I always left my car on the outside of the fence and walked in.

Typically when I visited I would bring a few six packs of ice cold Lucky Lager beer and on hot summer evenings around sunset through moonrise and beyond we would kick back on what was left of the porch of the main house looking out over the vast expanse of the Mojave Desert stretching out below us and watching the ever turning slow grind of the circumpolar stars wending their endless track around the north star, drinking beers, laughing, crying, and BS'ing about the old days way into the early morning hours.(see)

One night in conversation it came up about the time that I, just entering high school and barely into my teens, packed up my stuff and ran away from the foster couple I was living with --- ending up at my stepmother's ranch totally unannounced and out of the blue. In that she and my father had only just divorced, she wasn't really sure if he would go for the idea of me being there. Unable to reach him she contacted my dad's brother, my uncle, who said he was willing to take me until things could be worked out. In that my uncle lived in New Mexico and I was on my stepmother's ranch in the high desert of California and she felt time was at an essence, she arranged for me to be flown to Santa Fe. She had a pilot she knew fly into a close-by one-time, albeit long abandoned military airfield called Victory Field and pick me up. The pilot, a former P-47 Thunderbolt jockey was flying a two seat North American AT-6. It was the first time I had ever been off the ground and into the air in any kind of a World War II aircraft, so for me the trip to my uncle's was not only highly memorable, it was as well white-knuckle exciting.

From the experience of that trip across several states in an AT-6, thanks to my stepmother, for me it was a short jump in conversation to P-40 Flying Tigers, the book Lady and the Tigers, and thus then Olga Greenlaw. Although my stepmother was unable to remember whatever happened to the book, she said for years she couldn't see it without thinking of me. I told her I loved that book and Olga too, telling her in the early days I modeled almost every girl I ever liked on her.(see) My stepmother said she was a beautiful woman and almost every man that ever met her fell in love with her. She said Olga had a fairly tough time at first after her return from the Far East, saying even though she had a semi-success with her book initially so much was siphoned off the top by agents and others she barely saw any of the profits. My stepmother, rich, powerfully influential in certain circles and at the top of her game in those days, after reading Olga's book, because of how worldly and exquisite Olga was, among other things, in a round about way, even offered her a job, telling Olga she could make lots and lots of money in a very short period of time. But, my stepmother, apparently misjudging any long running easy going possible proclivities she mistakenly gleaned from Olga's book and the depth of need for money, she was turned down. Olga basically saying thanks but no thanks, she was adept enough on her own and didn't need my stepmother.

For more regarding any potential proclivities surrounding Olga Greenlaw with fellow cohorts or others --- real or imagined --- please see the following:


OLGA GREENLAW, PROCLIVITIES ET AL?


(please click image)





















One day on my way to see my stepmother I drove up to the gate and as usual honked the horn. After several repeated long blasts with no sign of any goats or my stepmother, a scraggy looking old guy with few if any teeth carrying a lever action 30-30 and accompanied by a just as scraggy looking old dog WITH a mouth full of teeth, came down out of the rocks to the gate asking me what the hell I wanted. I told him who I was and who I was looking for. He said, "She don't live her no more, she moved into town." Then cocking the rifle said, "Now, get the hell off'n my property before I fill you and that fancy car of yurn full of holes." With that I got in my fancy car, a low-slung two seater British sports car that I had bought brand new, with two rows of louvers all along the hood held down with a leather belt, and left.




Driving away from the gate I was glad I wouldn't be going up to that property again. Every time I did I was afraid I was going to punch a hole in the crankcase or some such thing because of the rocks and how rough the road was compared to how low my car was to the ground. They used to say the suspension on the type British sports car I owned was so stiffly sprung that you could drive over a dime and tell if it was facing heads or tails --- so you can pretty much figure what it must have been like driving up a rough-hewn desert trail.

Quickly putting into place a hasty departure after a micro-second looking down the barrel of the old man's cocked lever action 30-30 I began scrounging around in the general outlying area as to my stepmother's whereabouts. Several inquiries later with a handful of bartenders, ne'er-do-wells, sleeping it off cowboys, left over bar patrons, and a few working women I figured would know her, and of whom I talked to anyway even after I found out where my stepmother was, I was eventually able to track her down. Seems that an arrangement for the sale of some items of worth that unknown to me or anybody she had mysteriously stashed away in storage since just before her ranch burned down --- and that a few months before she requested I approach a certain go between for a potential buyer --- paid off big time, at least considering the level she was operating at in those days. She was able to get a favorable price for the items, move into a place nearer town, and, no longer needing the 88 acres, sold it throwing in all the goats. She wasn't totally on top of the heap for sure, but at least she was no longer under it for awhile. The items? Thirty-five illegal slot machines. The go between for the sale? Big-time mob heavyweight Johnny Roselli.

The next time I caught up with my stepmother I brought a girl-come-woman with me who at the time we were very serious together, even talking rings and wedding dates. I figured if my stepmother didn't scare the crap out of her she must OK. All that worked out, it's just we didn't. However, when the two of us were leaving that day my stepmother pulled me aside and out of earshot whispered, "She looks a lot like Olga, you know."






















Footnote [3]


At the time Olga wrote her book and published in 1943 the war was still raging and she herself had only just returned to the U.S. after having been an integral part of the A.V.G. operations from the very beginning until they were disbanded. As to the Burma Road, I had heard of it before, but reading about it was different. After the A.V.G. was disbanded and Olga was on her way home to the states, while speaking of still being in India, she writes:

"The Calcutta newspapers annoyed me. I noticed how they were building up the R.A.F. and the new American Tenth Air Force and giving the A.V.G. slight credit --- if at all. I found one story --- about the Jap Advance toward Yunnan Province --- particularly irksome:

THE DRIVE TOWARD PAOSHAN

In north-east Burma another border battle is taking place, and the Japanese vanguards thrusting up the Burma Road are 60 miles to the west of Paoshan, 200 miles inside the Yunnan border. The Chinese have destroyed the bridges across the Salween River and are holding the east bank. Small parties of Chinese appear to be operating in many directions up the Burma Road, and guerilla warfare stages appears to have been reached.

"On and on it went. The whole thing is so familiar to me. No mention of the A.V.G., who were the one who had destroyed the large bridge across the Salween by dropping bombs."



THE GORGE, THE BURMA ROAD, THE SALWEEN RIVER, AND THE HUITONG BRIDGE

The large bridge across the Salween so mentioned in the above quote attributed to Olga Greenlaw was the Huitong Bridge. Still to this day, for the most part, the Flying Tigers still don't get credit. See:


JAPANESE INVASION OF INDIA
DURING WORLD WAR II



















Footnote [4]


Over and over in my works when commenting about P-40s I mention a guy in high school I met named Kent that went on to be the main person responsible for the restoration of the only fully flight worthy surviving Pearl Harbor P-40B Tomahawk.

I was drawing in class one day like I always did instead of doing anything that vaguely resembled a class assignment or schoolwork, only this time I was drawing a P-40 Flying Tiger. Kent, spending time throwing rolled up balls of notebook paper out of a small gap in the open window across the room and never missing, thinking he would just take some of mine, noticed my drawing. Seems that ever since seeing the black and white 1942 John Wayne movie Flying Tigers, P-40s, like with me, was his favorite plane. After that things were cool between us. People knock the movie as being pretty much cornball stuff, but like Kent, as far as P-40s go, and probably a whole generation of others, it was big and big in my life too --- although I myself didn't actually see the movie until well after the war and having read Olga's book. I did, however, learn of P-40s before either of those two occasions, re the following:


"It was several years after the war before I saw the movie Flying Tigers for the first time. I was living in the West Adams district of Los Angeles under the auspices of my Stepmother and had gone to the Adams theater near the corner of Western and Adams circa 1948 to see it along with its co-billed film Back To Bataan. However, I had learned about P-40s long before that. As usual for me at the time, from comic books, most notably a comic book called BLUE BOLT No. 6, January, 1944."



(please click)


P-40: FIGHTER IS A REBUILT PIECE OF WWII HISTORY



















COLONEL HARVEY GREENLAW

As for Colonel Greenlaw, during the summer a few years after graduating from high school but before being drafted, a buddy and I went on road trip throughout Mexico. We went down the Baja peninsula crossing by ferry to the mainland, eventually going as far as the Yucatan before turning back toward the states. During the trip, which is fully outlined at the two links cited after the quote below, I sought out Colonel Greenlaw who was living in Mexico at the time. Even though where he lived was a rather remote area, it was fairly convenient because our route took us almost right past his place. A little detour and we were there. To wit:




"After leaving Ensenada we continued south on some pretty crummy roads eventually turning eastward across the peninsula to the little town of Santa Rosalia, taking a ferry across the Sea of Cortez to Guaymas. On the road south just before it turns more eastward across the peninsula to Santa Rosalia we turned on Highway 18 not far from Guerrero Negro as I wanted to catch up with a man I hoped to meet who was said to live at a place called El Arco. The man was Colonel Harvey Greenlaw, the onetime second in command of the infamous Flying Tigers of World War II fame. I had read his wife's book Lady and the Tigers (1943) and heard somewhere along the way that Greenlaw lived there. Since I was close by and most likely would never be back I made it a point to look him up, spending a couple of days."


  1. DON JUAN MATUS AND THE NOGALES BUS STATION MEETING

  2. THE MAYAN SHAMAN AND CHICXULUB


The same paragraph shows up as a footnote in Of Cobras, Scarabs, Maseratis, and Zen except I make reference to some of the conversation between Greenlaw and myself.(see) See also:


DAVID J. HALLIBURTON


As you can tell from this page and several others referenced herein I have page after page related in some fashion to the World War II fighter plane the Curtis-Wright P-40 Warhawk, also known as the Tomahawk, and the Kittyhawk depending on who flew them, their area of operation, and when they were made. Although I hold no distaste toward other aircraft, and I mention many throughout my works, relative to the P-40, most do have a tendency to take a backseat. Such is the case with the truly most formidable F6F Hellcat. I bring up the Hellcat, more specifically the F6F below because of Baja California and the potential possibility of one of it's kind coming in contact with another strong interest of mine, submarines --- especially so World War II Japanese and German rogue or ghost submarines. See:



F6F NAVY HELLCAT, NAZI SUBS, AND
THE BAJA MEXICO CRASH SITE


















OLGA GREENLAW, PROCLIVITIES ET AL?

How close my stepmother may have been in accurately determining any long running easy going possible proclivities or how they may have been cross transferable into any area of use to my stepmother in some fashion may by questionable, but so too is what depth Olga may or may not have participated in such actions relative to the A.V.G. or anybody else for that fact. Even for those who knew her long term it is still open to debate, running the gamut from merely a few provocative non-reciprocal glances, gestures or remarks on her part to running rampant with no pants on through the majority of the male A.V.G. contingent to anybody else she could find. Examples of the first is found in her own book in her own hand. Examples of the second can be found in Bruce Gamble's book BLACK SHEEP ONE: The Life of Gregory "Pappy" Boyington (2003) and Jerome Klinkowitz's book PACIFIC SKIES: American Flyers in World War II (2004), both writing of the former Flying Tiger Greg Boyington. Gamble writes:


"Boyington began courting trouble soon after he reached Toungoo, a result of his attraction to Harvey Greenlaw's wife. In this he was not alone; plenty of other AVG men, Claire Chennault included, vied continuously for Olga's attention."


Klinkowitz is a little more blunt. Speaking of Boyington he writes:


"He squabbles endlessly with Chennault's chief-of-staff, Harvey Greenlaw, and begins an adulterous affair with Greenlaw's wife Olga, the group's diarist."


A close business associate come friend of my stepmother, Brenda Allen, the preeminent madam in the greater Los Angeles area during the war and several years after, was also vying for Olga for reasons not much different than my stepmother. "Among other things, in a round about way, she even offered her (Olga) a job," sounds innocent enough, but when done so by people such as Allen and those of a similar ilk they had to be super careful how such offers were promulgated and what was meant by a job.

In 1948, about four years after her offer to Olga, Allen, who was rumored to have upwards of 114 girls in her harem and to have never really stumbled during all the years of her operation, was caught in a more-or-less vendetta type of sting put into place by disgruntled members of the Los Angeles Police Department (read: not on her payroll). She was charged with and arrested for what is called pandering, a felony. The charge of pandering, at least under Section 1 of the act in relation to pandering, provides a variety of situations in of which a person can be deemed guilty. The strength of the first clause of Section 1 circulates around the term or word "procure." Procure as used implies within it's context the use of persuasion, solicitation, encouragement and/or assistance in achieving the unlawful purpose of pandering --- with the key word being "achieving" meaning in the end result, to have actually accomplished the goal. The LAPD sting inferred Allen had done just that, thus her arrest. The following is from the Brenda Allen site linked above:


"In a trial without a jury Allen was found guilty of pandering and sentenced to five years, the sentence to be served at the State Institution for Women in Tehachapi. Later it came out the female police officer lied under oath and, even though she personally admitted to the act of perjury, the sentence against Allen was not rescinded. Allen filed an application for probation which was granted on condition that she serve one year in the county jail in addition to five years probation. In May, 1949 she commenced to serve her time. Less than four months later, Friday, September 2, 1949, Allen was released from jail on order of the California Supreme Court based solely on the fact that the police officer had perjured her testimony."


Although my stepmother, like Allen, may have been way off-base relative to any possible proclivities she ascribed toward Olga Greenlaw, and I still like to think she was even to this day, she had done so only after having received a strong proclamation of those potential proclivities from a source who was at one time, known to have been fairly close to her. It all started totally unrelated with the death of a L.A. cop as presented in the quote below:


"My brother's stay at the military academy lasted only to the end of the following school year. It seems a Los Angeles police officer was shot and killed on the streets of Chinatown during a gambling raid and somehow my stepmother felt responsible for ensuring his widow or the woman he was closely associated with and her young son were properly cared for. Somewhere along the way my stepmother learned the woman, who wanted to leave the city, had previously inherited a rundown dilapidated piece of property in Idaho that had been at onetime a working ranch. My stepmother hired a crew to fix up the place, make it livable with reliable running water and even paid to have the electricity extended to reach the ranch as it had not yet got that far. Then she sent the woman, her young son, and if not with the two of them initially, within a short time, my older brother, for whatever reason, to live there. "(source)


Sometime in early 1947, after hearing through the grapevine of my stepmother's concerns and actions relative to her assisting those of the slain officer gunned down the year before during a gambling raid in Chinatown, another L.A. police officer who prior to the war had been a sergeant, but upon his return following the war had been promoted to the rank of lieutenant, outside the chain of command, contacted her.

The lieutenant was Frank Walton. Walton, as a LAPD sergeant before the war, either had contact with or knew my stepmother in some fashion or knew the slain police officer or both. He had served with the Marine ace Greg Boyington in the Pacific during World War II. The two of them were collaborating on a book regarding their wartime ventures and in the process, Boyington, experiencing hard times, had, along with his new wife, moved into a spare bedroom in Walton's house. Boyington, said to be on a bond tour, was basically an outpatient on medical leave for injuries incurred while facing a soon to be given discharge (August 1, 1947). As a Marine he had garnered more kills than anybody --- counting ones he earned as a pilot for the Flying Tigers before moving over to the Marines --- and was known through reputation and action as a hard flying, hard fighting, and hard drinking fighter pilot. His hard fighting and hard drinking may have been overlooked or given leeway participating under the heavy blanket of war, but night after night returning home with his wife to Walton's small house at all hours drunk, yelling, arguing, and raising a ruckus was more than beginning to take a toll on everybody and everything, including getting any work done on the book.

Not knowing if my stepmother's motives in helping those of the slain LAPD officer was altruistic or not and not wanting to know, BUT knowing she had connections all over the city at all levels, including the ownership of a number of houses for a number of reasons, he approached her on an unofficial level to see if, on the sly, she might have something she could put a down-on-his-luck war hero into. Intuitively, thinking the young police lieutenant seemed to have what it took to be on his way up in the force and could possibly use his services one day, she said she would see what she could do. A few days later a courier handed two envelopes to Walton, each containing a key, each envelope clearly marked with an address in the San Fernando Valley, Burbank area, with a note telling Walton the rest was up to him.

Several days later my stepmother, who really didn't know one way or the other what she had or didn't have, others taking care of such things, went by both addresses to see what, if anything was going on, finding each of the houses empty. She had only just gone into the second house to look around when, unbeknownst to her, Boyington parked outside. My stepmother's bodyguard (also her driver), seeing Boyington coming toward the house after suspiciously looking around and not knowing who he was or why he was there, stepped behind him as soon as he entered the door sticking the barrel of his fully loaded .45 automatic in the small of Boyington's back. When Boyington explained who he was and why he was there everything was soon resolved. My stepmother sent her bodyguard to get a few cold beers, of which then she and Boyington spent a good part of the rest of the afternoon sitting around on a couple of empty boxes in an otherwise vacant house talking and drinking until it got dark.(see)




Although my stepmother was familiar as to who Boyington was, he having flown for the Flying Tigers and a war hero and all, any specific information she garnered had come some years previously reading Olga Greenlaw's book. As the time moved on, and since my stepmother had met Olga, she eventually brought her up. After imbibing a ton of beers over the span of the afternoon Boyington told my stepmother that Olga --- calling her, if one were to tone down what he said into a milder form of euphemisms, would become something like fornicating hooker --- cheated him out of three official kills and fifteen hundred bucks, saying she and he had 'romped around' on three occasions after which following a falling out, she (or, as I suggested to my stepmother later, somebody who didn't like the fact that they 'romped') cooked the books by deleting evidence of the three kills with, he said, losing out on the fifteen hundred bucks, $500 for each of their encounters.

According to what my stepmother told me, the contents of that 1947 conversation with Boyington is where she drew her conclusions regarding Olga Greenlaw. At what time in the scheme of things my stepmother tendered her offer to Olga is not known. However, if it was after the meeting with Boyington, which all of the above seems to imply, and while it is true Olga had divorced Harvey Greenlaw, she had remarried early in the year of 1946 --- something of which my stepmother may or may not have known, or didn't care about one way or the other, since it was all business to her.

Thirty years later, in the 1980s, Boyington, in a letter to a well regarded aviation and Marine Corps historian, thought to be Frank Olynyk, Boyington, albeit not using the same so colorful language he used telling the story to my stepmother, defending his claim of six planes shot down while with the A.V.G., pretty much repeated the same story. According to A.V.G. historian Dan Ford, who apparently became privy to the contents of the letter in some fashion, and editorializing by throwing in for some reason that Boyington reached his conclusion somewhat wildly, writes that Boyington:


"(C)ame closer than anyone else to boasting of a liaison with the executive officer's wife. As he told the story, Chennault's 'secretary' was also the Old Man's mistress, and Boyington too enjoyed her favors on three occasions. After he quit the AVG, he went on, his bonus account was docked $500 for each encounter—and that, he concluded somewhat wildly, was why his record was short-changed to the extent of three Japanese aircraft."(source)


In another letter, this time to V. Keith Fleming Jr., the editor of Fortitudine a periodical of the Marine Corps Historical Program, dated July 23, 1981, Boyington expressed his deep concern in a follow-up regarding the works of Robert Sherrod that appeared in the magazine. Boyington said that the magazine had "permitted Robert Sherrod to move virtually unshackled in his rather clumsy attempt to create seeds of doubt concerning myself and my war record." In the letter he blamed Chennault for lowering his total from six to three-and-a-half kills asserting that his associates had persuaded Chennault to take such action. In neither of the two letters did he however, mention Olga Greenlaw by name, stating instead it was Chennault's 'secretary' or formulated by Chennault and his associates, meaning of course in both cases, Olga Greenlaw, especially if you take into consideration what Boyington had relayed to my stepmother.


Now, as promised, below is the link that will take you to a no-obligation, free, full and complete unabridged PDF online version Olga Greenlaw's book The Lady and the Tigers:

THE LADY AND THE TIGERS


AND NOW THIS:

Many people that read what I have presented regarding Boyington and what he had to say to my stepmother regarding Olga a little iffy in that they feel Boyington held Olga in too high of a regard, maybe even loved her, to cast her into such an unfavorable light. However, all one has to do is turn to the so-called book of fiction he wrote published in 1960 titled Tonya to see what he really thought about Olga and the Flying Tigers. Tonya is a thinly disguised Olga and what he writes about her a far more than iffy.



(please click)


Somewhere along the way my stepmother did tell me she had heard that Olga had divorced her husband, the former second in command of the Flying Tigers, the oft times frowned upon Harvey Greenlaw, remarried and moved to northern California. She also said, if she remembered correctly in 1952, the first year I visited her new ranch, and she wasn't sure how she knew, but Olga's younger sister had been killed in the Tehachapi earthquake. Research has since shown all that to be true, although the sister was Olga's half-sister.(see)



















My father and stepmother went on an extended two-year trip to Mexico and South America in 1950, not returning until 1952. During that period, as usual my brothers and I were put in the care of a foster couples. One day I was reading a comic book that had a lead off story about a woman with red hair that had been found by Dakota Indians and adopted into their tribe, giving her the tribal name Firehair. As I was reading the comic for the 100th time the woman of the foster couple, seeing the story was about a redheaded woman, grabbed it out of my hands and threw it across the room yelling at me that my mother --- who had red hair --- was dead and long gone, and she was my mother now and to get over it. As soon as I was able to save a few bucks I grabbed up a handful of things, including the comic book, stuffed it all into a shoulder bag and ran away.

I took a Greyhound bus north to the Mojave Desert searching down and eventually locating my then just divorced-from-my-father stepmother, or ex-stepmother as the case may have been, at her newly acquired ranch in the Mojave following her return from her two year sojourn to Mexico and South America.

It just so happens that the day before I located my stepmother I was riding in truck driven by a drunken cowboy that rolled over and crashed, with me ending up spending the night in the care of two Native Americans that found me beside the road. That morning, at 4:52 AM, in the twilight hours just before sunrise, while the two Native Americans and I were sleeping out in the desert, just a few miles away, centered near the lower Sierra town of Tehachapi, the most powerful earthquake to hit Southern California in the 20th century and the largest in the nation since San Francisco's in 1906 hit. The following quote, at the source so cited, sadly, is of our interest here:


"Eleven people were killed in and around the Tehachapi area as a result of the quake. One of those killed was a young girl my same age named Florence Ann Fillmore. At the time of the quake she was asleep in a guest house along with several others on an over 700 acre ranch 12 miles from Tehachapi owned by a man by the name of Paul H. Owsley. She was crushed to death when the roof fell on her. Florence Ann Fillmore's half-sister, by having the same mother albeit a different father, was a woman who before marrying Owsley was named Olga Greenlaw --- and of whom my stepmother knew.

"Greenlaw, who was at the ranch that night, had written a book published in 1943 about the American Volunteer Group, better known as the A.V.G. or the Flying Tigers. She had been with the Tigers from day one and her book, The Lady and the Tigers, covered the Group's history from just before they were formed clear through to being disbanded and shortly thereafter. Mostly because of my stepmother along with the use by the Tigers of the venerable World War II fighting machine, the P-40 Tomahawk and any existence thereof, the book and the downstream outflow from it all, even to this day, continues to play a prominent roll in my life."(source)


The comic book I stuffed in my shoulder bag the day I ran away from the foster couple that set into motion my running away in the first place played a role in my life then and now just like Greenlaw's continues to do so today. Not only did the comic book, titled Rangers Comics #63 dated February 1952, contain the story about Firehair, but also a section on Billy the Kid, whose gravesite I would visit with my uncle in later years and of which from the comic I still use a page of in my online works. So too, in the same edition was a story about Atlantis, the Antediluvian World which I still use to this day in connection with a man I worked part time for in high school that I call my Merchant Marine Friend, a self-avowed master historian and skeptic on both Atlantis and the Lost Continent of Mu. For more on the earthquake see:


TEHACHAPI QUAKE REMEMBERED
























I have a page on the web called the P-40 Goose Shoot that describes an air battle that occurred over the southern Mediterranean and the coast of North Africa on April 18, 1943, less than a year after the Flying Tigers were disbanded. That air battle involved 46 P-40s shooting down a fleet of 100 fully loaded German Junker troop transports flying just above sea level escorted by 50 Messerschmitt fighters, apparently all fleeing Tunisia in a concerted last ditch effort to reach Sicily.

A four page illustrated story on the attack appeared in BLUE BOLT No. 6, dated January, 1944. On my page, as part of what I present regarding the shoot out, I used the four pages. The publication unit for the comic book was based in the city of New York with the art work for that particular story attributed to a man named Harry Ramsey, of which below is one of the pages:




Ramsey has done a fairly good job on his rendition of the P-40s, but note the German bombers --- they are all six-engine models. The Germans had a six engine Junker, the Ju-390, a model that was reportedly never seen before it was photographed by a person onboard a convoy ship supplying the beachhead during the Allied invasion of North Africa in November 1942.

It has been reported, that the next year a Ju-390 left Europe coming in over Canada crossing into U.S. airspace to photograph defense plants in Michigan only to exit out over the Atlantic sometime after noon on August 28, 1943 by coming in behind any east-facing aircraft detection systems and passing directly over New York above the Empire State Building. The difficulty most historians have with such a claim is that the Ju-390's first flight is officially stamped into the records as happening two months later, on October 20 1943.(see)

The problem is the existence of the Ju-390 was not widely known even in the theater of operation and being kept a secret outside of it. The question is, how is it Ramsey, who did an excellent job drawing the P-40s come up with the idea of a six-engine German aircraft? Did he just happen to look up from his drawing table on the afternoon of August 28, 1943 and see the fly over of the six-engine Junker and simply incorporate them into his story published January 1944 as though they as a bomber were an everyday German plane?



WORLD WAR II GERMAN SIX-ENGINE JUNKER JU-390

P-40 GOOSE SHOOT









































As fully articulated in M.V. Tulagi and elsewhere, as a very young boy even before the death of my mother, I was taken by a foster couple to India. When the couple returned to the U.S. some six months later I was left off totally unannounced at my grandmother's on my father's side in Pennsylvania --- a grandmother I had never met nor ever even heard of. From her place I was eventually returned to the west coast to be with my grandmother on my mother's side, leaving Pennsylvania sometime around the very last day of June of 1944. I was put on a passenger train headed toward Chicago, although who I was traveling with I'm not sure as it has never been determined.




In Chicago I boarded the Number 19 Santa Fe Chief westbound to Los Angeles. Toward midnight of July 3, 1944, between Flagstaff, Arizona and Williams, on a high speed downhill run and behind schedule, the Chief's locomotive, a powerful Baldwin built 4-8-4 Northern with 80 inch drive wheels and clocking out at over 90 miles per hour, hit a marked 55 mph speed limit curve, with the locomotive derailing and sliding in the dirt on it's side off the tracks for well over 500 feet before coming to a stop. The rest of the 14 car train ended up in various stages of derailment and wreckage on and off the track, some cars remaining upright with two actually staying on the tracks undamaged. The fireman and three passengers were killed. 113 passengers along with 13 train employees injured, among them the severely injured engineer.



WRECK OF THE NUMBER 19 SANTA FE CHIEF JULY 3, 1944.

Although I was unhurt, the person or people I was traveling with was among the injured and taken, with me along with them, to either Williams or Flagstaff. Because of the nature of their injuries, whoever I was traveling with was held-up under doctors care for several days, leaving me without direct adult supervision. My grandmother, who had been contacted by the railroad, called my uncle in Santa Fe. He inturn contacted a nearby tribal spiritual elder to oversee me until someone figured out how to get me to my grandmother's.



Years later my Uncle told me about me sitting in the passenger area of a train station in Arizona with a tribal spiritual elder late at night waiting for my uncle to arrive and take me to California. The spiritual elder was quite obviously Native American and I was quite obviously not. A lot of people seemed concerned with me traveling with an Indian, that is, except for an older man who seemed concerned that I might be bored.

He came over and sat next to me and asked if my dad was in the war. I told him no that he worked in the shipyards. Opening his suitcase he asked if I liked comic books and as I nodded yes he pulled out a comic called Blue Bolt. Before he handed it to me he began thumbing through the pages as though he was looking for something all the while telling me he had a son in the war and that his son was a highly decorated fighter pilot. He folded open the comic book to one of the pages and pointed to a story about a group of American pilots, all flying P-40s, that shot down 77 German planes in one outing.

Then, going over the story page by page and reading certain things and pointing to others, he told me that his son was one of the pilots. With that I took the book from the man's hands completely fascinated, so much so I read the story over and over without stopping or setting it down. The man, seeing how much I appreciated the comic and the story, said I could have it. After that my uncle said I continued to read it again and again all the way back to California and months afterwards.

The story that so fascinated me was in BLUE BOLT No. 6, January, 1944, of which the following is found in the source so cited:


"On Sunday, April 18, 1943 the U.S. Army Air Force's 57th Fighter Group stationed at El Djem, Tunisia in North Africa, on a routine mission over Cape Bon had 46 P-40 Warhawks in the air along with 18 British Spitfires flying top cover. Low on fuel and basically returning to base they came across a 100 plane flotilla of German JU-52 troop transport planes flying just above sea level over the Mediterranean, escorted by 50 Messerschmitt fighters. Catching the Germans completely off guard, while the Spitfires drew off the Messerschmitts and kept them busy, the P-40s split into pairs diving on the enemy planes tearing the transports to shreds, with an overall kill count of 77 enemy aircraft destroyed."(source)


Except for what I have presented regarding the P-40 Goose Shoot, the events found in this footnote has been presented by me in virtually the same manner and same form in any number of my other works. What I have not included in the above account or have not revealed previously is a part of the crash event that circulates around the somewhat mysterious tribal spiritual elder my uncle arranged for me to be watched by until he, my uncle, could catch up with me. As you may recall, after the wreck, because the adult or adults I was traveling with had been hospitalized, I was left without adult supervision. I write about sitting in the waiting room late at night in some train station out in the middle of Arizona with the tribal spiritual elder waiting for my uncle to come get me.

What I don't write about is that I recognized the spiritual elder the moment he walked into the hospital waiting area looking for me as found in the following quote:


"Mid-evening on the night of the-unknown-to-anybody at the time up-coming crash I had gone to bed in the bunk in my compartment and as far as I knew had fallen fast asleep. Sometime during that period between the time I fell asleep and the crash occurred I found myself neither asleep nor in my bunk but outside of the train standing barefoot on the desert floor in the middle of the night in my PJs some distance off from a set of railroad tracks, my hand being held by an elderly Native American man.

"No sooner had I been standing there than in the distance to the east I could see the headlight of a locomotive heading in our same direction. Within seconds the train was parallel to where I was standing and then, almost as though in slow motion the train began coming off the tracks with the engine barely moving on it's side pushing huge mounds of dirt in front of itself with cars slowly going everywhere and the headlight low to the ground glowing through the dust and piles of dirt, sand and rocks. The light dimmed in the minor maelstrom, then went completely out, leaving everything around engulfed in an incredible silence and darkness. The passage of time that seemed to be only creeping or limping along, slowly, then more so quickly, returned to normal."


THE SPIRITUAL ELDER AND THE SANTA FE CHIEF























(please click)

As a young boy to teenager growing up in southern California, the same problem I had with Olga I also had with another woman just as deeply involved if not more so in the southeast Asian sphere --- a woman of fiction with the name Dragon Lady, shown above and as found in the comic strip Terry and the Pirates by artist-cartoonist Milton Caniff. I still shake my head when I think about her.

The Dragon Lady in Terry and the Pirates actually had a name, Lai Choi San given to her by Caniff. He did not just give her that name by chance either, having been adopted by Caniff for use from a notorious female Chinese pirate during the 1920s through the 1930s. Lai Choi San was said to have owned 12 heavily armed Chinese junks all under her direct personal command, and as well, a fleet of several thousand buccaneers independently operating other junks all with sworn allegiance to her authority. Loosely based in and around the Portuguese colony of Macau just outside of Hong Kong her realm covered the Pearl River Delta and coastal shipping routes to all of the South China Sea as far away as Palawan in the Philippines Islands. Throughout her prime and later years there were several land-based male warlords but for the most part the territory controlled by any two of them put together would hardly touch the amount of territory the real life Lai Choi San held sway over. See:


MEETING WARLORDS, ET AL


WHAT I ALWAYS THOUGHT DRAGON LADIES LOOKED LIKE

FIREHAIR


















All these years later, when it comes to my stepmother's driver come bodyguard, for whatever reason whenever I think of him or I see or think of the 1962 movie Walk On The Wild Side with the immaculately dressed actor Richard Rust playing the role of the velvet gloved enforcer Oliver I can't help but being reminded of my stepmother's bodyguard and his shoulder holstered 45. Clicking the graphic below will take you to a short film segment of a Turner Classic Movie video from Walk On The Wild Side that at the one minute and thirty second mark shows what and how Oliver subsequently fulfills his expected duties:



(please click image)



















It has been reported that on November 15, 1941 members of the A.V.G. saw a picture on the cover of the November 2, 1941 issue of the Illustrated Weekly of India, depicted somewhat crudely below, that showed a color photograph of a RAF Tomahawk with shark teeth markings taken from a September 1941 photo of the P-40 "Menace," also shown below. Erik Shilling (1916-2002) credited pictures of a Messerschmitt BF-110 of the ZG76, said to have been in the same magazine as his inspiration as well.



-----


MESSERSCHMITT BF-110 TWIN ENGINE HEAVY FIGHTER


ERIK SHILLING: FLYING TIGER






































Scorchy Smith was a mid 1930's into the 1960's daily newspaper comic strip that was distributed throughout the country via the Associated Press syndicate. The single panel that appears in the newspaper article above I have presented in two versions just below the article. The first of the two is from the daily black and white comic strip version, the other a more-or-less full page color version put together after taking the dailies and recompiling them into comic book form some years later.

The single panel is from a multi-day story titled "Somewhere in the Orient," which appeared in a strip on September 28, 1937. The comic book version appeared in Famous Funnies #97, August 1942.