The American Volunteer Group (AVG), or “Flying Tigers” as they became known as, were volunteer pilots from all branches of the US military who fought for China as “civilians.” The group was formed prior to America’s involvement in WWII and were brilliantly led by Claire Chennault (who was eventually promoted to the rank of General and commander of the 14th AF). The exploits & successes of the Flying Tigers, usually against superior numbers, became legendary.
The AVG Flying Tigers were comprised of active-duty Army, Navy and Marine Corps pilots who volunteered to fight for China as civilians. As civilians, they were not issued US Military uniforms or flight jackets and were outfitted with G-1-type jackets and khakis by the Chinese government. Although the originally issued jackets were the predecessors of the G-1, our current-issue US Navy G-1 is very close. After the AVG was absorbed into the AAF, A-2 jackets were also worn but the G-1-style was the original Flying Tiger’s jacket.