As a young boy growing up during the early throes of World War II, and for sure not old enough to have served in the military in any fashion, I still, not unlike millions of other kids, both younger and older, served our country in a myriad of ways. Tin can drives, victory gardens, rationing. No gas or rubber tires. Cardboard toys. Having close friends my own age who I played with whose fathers, uncles, or brothers were fighting in the war, some lost, dying, or dead. Gold Star Mothers, Blue Star Mothers, many sharing both.
From the very beginning of the war a groundswell of patriotism grew, supporting our troops ever onward with what little they had at the start while America's war machine was ever increasingly expanding with promises of being delivered eventually in full strength. Part of that groundswell of patriotism was being driven at the bottom by movie, radio, and comic book heroes trying to shine a light of hope during an otherwise dismal time.
I've cited many examples in my works of the era, and although totally minor in the overall scheme of things, added together they breathed hope with small drip-by-drips into the hearts and minds and souls of many of those at home and abroad. The illustrated contents of this page done in comic book style you will be reading in a few seconds is just one example of those attempts by people on the home front trying to buoy the spirits of an America caught in tough times. There were of course, many hundreds that could be cited, but two of which I've chosen to exemplify find the heroes, both females, switched from their usual habitat in Europe fighting Germans to fighting Japanese in Asia, more specifically connecting up with the Flying Tigers in the air over and in Burma and China. They would be the more demure, albeit girl commando, Pat Parker, War Nurse and the red haired firebrand:
JANE MARTIN: WAR NURSE
PLEASE VISIT FOOTNOTE 
Jane Martin, War Nurse, was of course a fictional character. A comic book character that showed up in the first issue of Wings comics in 1940 and appeared thereafter in 110 straight issues. In the beginning, at the start of World War II, she was a nurse for the International Red Cross. Over time as international tensions and the war progressed and the 110 issues worked their way through being published, she changed and morphed into a nurse for the U.S. Army, a pilot, and a spy. In modern times, read now or the present, when female heroes are constantly being claimed as non existent except of a few like Wonder Woman, et al, Jane Martin held her head high and unrelenting fought the bad guys all over the world without being heralded. She was smart, exotic, beautiful, covertly cunning, provocatively ingenuous and tough, being able to take it and dish it out with the best.
Usually she operated in the European Theater, Nazis and such. In the above story she is in Asia, most likely China from all of the references. The tie in for me of course is her interactions with the Flying Tigers. The interesting part is the comments and actions surrounding the mention of guerrilla and guerrilla leaders. No mention of Chiang Kai-shek and the Chinese Nationalist Army AKA the Kaomintang (KMT). To me guerrillas and guerrilla leaders in the neck of the jungle where Jane Martin found herself translates into warlords. Taking the high road, typically in historical references to the Flying Tigers Chiang Kai-shek and the KMT are mentioned prominently, seldom if ever have I run into official references to warlords and the Flying Tigers. The guerrilla fighters Jane ran into were fighting military regulars, that is, the Imperial Japanese Army ---- with air force and mechanized units. Warlords, regardless of the size of their standing militia, usually are concerned with either keeping or expanding their own initial territory. Southeast Asia drug lord type have a different overlay of concerns, but mostly it is to keep their operations running without outside interference. During the Viet Nam and Secret war in Laos era, any warlords backed by U.S. interests had a tendency to warp out of shape such a simple blueprint, of course.
As far as warlords during the era or times of Flying Tigers are concerned the most high level source I've seen comes from a work of fiction, another comic book character called the Lone Tiger. Re the following:
"Just before America entered World War II Ed Hill, as the story is written, was a squadron leader with the American Volunteer Group, the A.V.G., more commonly known as the Flying Tigers, fighting alongside Chiang Kai-shek's troops for a free China. On the second scramble of a given day, right after pulling a Zero out of the sky his P-40 was attacked from behind. No bullets struck him directly, but several others passed through the cockpit shattering the instrument panel and damaging his controls. He was forced to make a rough belly-landing in the jungle, in the process wrecking his craft and being rendered unconscious. When he awakened he found himself in the compound of a powerful masked local warlord called Wu Fang. As well, all of his wounds were bandaged and injuries treated. The warlord had Hill's plane repaired to full and complete combat ready flight status. Then, he found himself more or less indentured, forced to become the pilot in the only plane in the warlord's air force, Hill's P-40."
THE LONE TIGER
With the assist of friendly guerrillas opposed to the warlord and his tactics, the Lone Tiger is afforded a chance to escape taking the P-40. Later he hears on the radio that the Flying Tigers were disbanded and all the pilots and crew sent home. Afterwards, from a secret airstrip carved by hand out of the mountains by the guerrillas, and with the rest of the Flying Tigers gone, Hill, with the continued assist from those who helped him, wages a one man air battle against the Japanese, becoming the Lone Tiger:
(please click image)
The Lone Tiger's origin story was published in Warfront #37, September 1966 and fully accessible by clicking the above Lone Tiger page. The above Jane Martin story was published over twenty years prior to the Lone Tiger story, appearing in Wings Comics, issue #41 with a cover date of January, 1944. Makes one think, with a kind of underground carrying on of warlords existing in and around the Flying Tigers during their times clear up to ours, yet never an official confirmation. Again, my experience, when it comes to warlords and Southeast Asia, says otherwise. Especially so when it comes to rogue pilots and P-40s continuing the battle long after the battle was officially over as found in the first link below:
GHOST P-40: LORE, LEGENDS AND HER WHEREABOUTS
KHUN SA: THE SECOND WARLORD
MEETING WARLORDS, ET AL
Warlords, drug smugglers, military irregulars, covert and clandestine airlines, pilots, and planes, they are all there if you read what has been attributed to a real life World War II woman named Dr. Margaret Chung. Chung, the first Chinese-American woman to become a full-fledged licensed physician was also an alleged Flying Tiger recruiter, advocate, and physician for General Claire Chennault's leadership of various Chinese and Southeast Asian based airlines and associated during and post-war enterprises. People who write about her have tagged her as a prostitute, abortionist, and honorary member of the Hip Sing Tong besides being involved with Bugsy Siegel's friend Virginia Hill and the narcotic traffic in the San Francisco bay area. Fairly enterprising young woman, especially for having had the time to squeeze in a medical degree along the way.
As it just so happened to be at the time, the young virile comic book reading boy that I was, there existed another fabulously beautiful red haired female comic book character that ranked high in my life other than the war nurse Jane Martin. Matter of fact, in my works she gets lots more "screen time" than Jane ever did because unlike Jane I made the mistake and related her someplace in my works to my mother, who also had long red hair. In turn, in that the red haired comic book character was big in my young boyhood, my connections, which I thought were innocent enough, brought out a ton of Oedipus Complex comments, followed then by a superfluous need on my part to reply. The red headed woman I speak of was called Firehair.
"As I was reading the comic for the 100th time the woman of the foster couple, seeing the story I was reading was about a redheaded woman like my mother, grabbed it out of my hands and threw it across the room yelling at me to get over it, my mother was dead and long gone, and she was my mother now. It couldn't have hurt more if someone had jammed an icepick into the base of my skull."
FIREHAIR: Queen of the Sagebrush Frontier
In how the story line of Firehair was written, she was found in the wilderness of the wild west in dire straights and saved by members of the Native American Dakota tribe. In several places, in conjunction with Firehair I write that both my mother and her sister, my Aunt, had beautiful long red hair. In that they were so close together age-wise and looked so much alike almost everybody mistook them for twins. Although I do not remember much about my mother I remember my aunt very well, and because of their look alikeness I always felt I had a good idea of what my mother looked like. In conjunction with Firehair, as a young boy I always held a certain affinity towards her character because I liked to believe that my mother, with her red hair and all, would have been like her, maybe even, since I never went to her funeral, found by Indians and saved. Below is how Firehair was typically depicted in her stories, a sort of Sheena of the Jungle look, hence all the Oedipus Complex comments no doubt.
Below Firehair is my favorite image of Jane Martin, War Nurse followed by the little known Sky Girl. If you want to see my favorite picture of a warlord click:
THE DRAGON LADY
FIREHAIR: QUEEN OF THE SAGEBRUSH FRONTIER
(please click image)
GINGER MAGUIRE, NICKNAMED SKY GIRL
(please click image)
DR. MARGARET CHUNG
FLYING TIGER RECRUITER, ADVOCATE, PHYSICIAN
THE LADY AND THE TIGERS
KUAN YIN: COMASSIONATE SAVIOURESS
CHIYONO: JAPAN'S FIRST FEMALE ZEN MASTER
PULYAN'S TEACHER: A FEMALE RAMANA WITHOUT A MOUNTAIN
THE FLYING TIGERS OF THE A.V.G.
THE AMERICAN VOLUNTEER GROUP
SO, DID THE WANDERLING FLY?
CONGO BILL JOINS THE FLYING TIGERS
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.
A PLAY ON WORDS
In the very last panel on the very last page of the Jane Martin illustrated story there is a man shown dressed in the flight regalia of a pilot, apparently one of the Flying Tiger pilots. Leaning over toward Jane Martin he says, "C'mon, chick, we I have a date at Kunming." Kunming is located in China. For most of the time of their existence the Flying Tigers used Kunming as their primary base of operations. Although it slipped through any censors in publication if there were any, what the pilot was saying was in fact at the time an inside joke, a sort of a double entendre. "A date at Kunming" as said by the pilot means more than just visiting Kunming, it means "cumming" as in the meaning of a sex act. If Jane Martin would be receptive is another question. Maybe funny at the time, but sick now.
AN OEDIPUS COMPLEX OR JUST A COMIC BOOK?
In the paragraph this footnote is cited from, in drawing a conclusion between Firehair and my mother, I write that both my mother and her sister had beautiful long red hair and were so close together in age, as well as looking so much alike almost everybody mistook them for twins. Initially, as a young boy, because of their red hair and the high esteem I held both of them in, I always carried a certain high affinity towards Firehair's character. I go on to say I have repeated the same or similar like statements in a number of places scattered throughout the web, almost always in conjunction to Firehair. For those who may be so interested, below are six of the most notable examples:
Further back up the page is a click-through link to a page about the renegade World War II P-40 pilot called The Lone Tiger. The the page so shown was drawn by master artist-cartoonist Wally Wood. Although the Lone Tiger and the P-40s are drawn and presented in a serious tone, Wood was a one-time major cartoonist for Mad Comics. One of his most famous stories is a spoof on Terry and the Pirates called Teddy and the Pirates. In it Woods draws my all time favorite visual presentation of a warlord, the Dragon Lady, that he calls in his spoof the Dragging Lady as shown in the two graphics below:
(for larger size click image then click again)
(for larger or full size graphic click image then click again)
TERRY AND THE PIRATES
TEDDY AND THE PIRATES
WANDERLING AND THE PIRATES
Sky Girl didn't show up until late in the war, appearing for the first time in issue #68 of Jumbo Comics carrying a cover date of October 1944. She continued to appear in Jumbo Comics until well after the war, the last being issue #129, November 1949. Sky Girl's real name was Ginger Maguire being the main character in several World War II aviation adventures. In the early stories she was forever in search of a career in aviation with an extra added annoying subplot of always being in search of a husband. During the war, somehow remaining a civilian, she managed to get a job ferrying military equipment around the South Pacific. Although she could fly all types of planes she just wasn't very good at it, invariably crashing and caused property damage --- although in most of the plot lines, having done so always seemed to end up in her favor. Post-war she began to flounder, eventually getting a job as a waitress at an airport cafe, dyed her hair blonde, but continuing to have aviation related adventures, mostly because of the proximity of her job with planes, with most of the protagonists no longer being Japanese but the mob.
Even though Sky Girl appeared in several issues published while the war was still raging, and all of the stories being aviation related and appearing in the South Pacific, unlike Jane Martin, War Nurse, only a few times did Curtis Wright P-40 Tomahawks show up clearly, of which one if I've presented above. Never were they specifically important to the plot line. Below pretty much shows what most young male teenage comic book readers liked about her.
THE LADY ON THE DOCK, THE PBY, AND HIGH BARBAREE
11th SQUADRON PATROL (VP-11) PBY BLACK CAT ATTACKING AT MAST HEIGHT IN THE DEAD OF NIGHT
(for more please click image)