The story of Sgt Hack and the Flying Tigers began In 1958. Sgt. Hack was stationed at Wake Island, and was part of a 12 man elite crew of the US Coast Guard Loran station. The Flying Tiger Cargo Airline made several weekly stops for refueling and rest at Wake Island. Part of Sgt. Hack’s responsibilities were to pick up the crew at the dock and transport them across the bridge to facilities on Peale Island for recreational activities. Over the course of 16 months, he became lifelong friends with many of the crew members especially Dick Rossi, hence beginning the story of Sgt Hack and the Flying Tigers.
Wake Island – Where it Began
The AVG (Flying Tigers)
John Richard “Dick” Rossi was an original member of the famed American Volunteer Group (AVG), known as the Flying Tigers. Originally a Naval aviator, Rossi resigned his commission in 1941 to join the AVG. It was an all volunteer unit that helped defend China against Imperial Japan prior to America’s involvement in WWII. First of all He flew the now famous shark-nosed P-40 in combat with the First Pursuit Squadron (Adam & Eve). Subsequently he flew with the Second and Third Squadrons, became an ace and was credited with 6.25 kills. Finally when the AVG was disbanded in 1942, Rossi joined the China National Aviation Corporation. Flying supplies from India to China, He flew a record 735 trips across the Himalayas, known as the Hump. Furthermore note that he is wearing a G-1 flight jacket in the P 40 Warhawk.
The Flying Tigers Line
After the war, with his adventurous spirit Rossi founded the freight carrier company, the Flying Tiger Line. He flew as a captain for 25 years, logging a lifetime of over 25,000 flight hours before retiring. Can you imagine? He was also the president of the Flying Tigers Association for sixty years until his passing in 2008. Most noteworthy he was the recipient of many awards from the Chinese government, and furthermore numerous medals and citations from the US government, including two Distinguished Flying Crosses. The AVG was inducted into the Confederate Air Force Hall of Fame in 1998.
Thank you Letter from Dick Rossi
Flying Tigers Print
In appreciation for recreating his flight jacket, Dick Rossi sent Sgt. Hack a print of the Flying Tigers with actual signatures of 55 Flying Tiger pilots by Stan Stokes .
Sgt Hack and the Flying Tigers, a relationship began in 1958.