Flying Tiger Ace

Flying Tiger Ace

The story of Bill Reed, China’s Shining Mark

General Aviation
  • Author: Carl Molesworth
  • Short code: GNA
  • Publication Date: 20 Feb 2020
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About this Product

Bill Reed had it all ­- brains, looks, athleticism, courage and a talent for leadership. After a challenging childhood in Depression-era Iowa, Reed joined the US Army Air Corps, but the outbreak of World War II saw him give up his commission. Instead, he travelled to China to fly for the American Volunteer Group - the legendary Flying Tigers. After a brief return to America, he resumed the fight as a senior pilot and later squadron commander in the Chinese-American Composite Wing. Soon afterwards, Reed tragically lost his life in a desperate parachute jump late in the war, by which point he was a fighter ace with nine confirmed aerial victories. His obituary was front-page news throughout the state of Iowa.

This book is a biography of his extraordinary life, focusing on his time spent flying with some of the famous aerial groups of World War II. It draws heavily on Reed's own words, along with the author's deep knowledge of the China air war and years of research into Reed's life, to tell his compelling story.

Biographical Note

Carl Molesworth is a former newspaper and magazine editor now working as a freelance writer and editor. A graduate of the University of Maryland with a BA in English, Molesworth served as an enlisted man in the USAF from 1968 to 1972 before becoming an award-winning journalist for 35 years and then transitioning to full-time book writing. He has been researching and writing about fighter operations in World War II for nearly 30 years. His 14 previous titles include three books in Osprey's Aircraft of the Aces series, three in the Aviation Elite Units series and two in the Duel series. He is best known for his writing about the China-Burma-India theatre and the Curtiss P-40 fighter. He lives in Washington, USA.


Part One: The Making of a Man
1 "Everything anyone would ever want to be”
2 "Justifiable homicide”
3 "Three of us passed out of 47”
Part Two: A Grand Experiment - the AVG
4 "Day after day passed by uneventfully”
5 "Don't be too much concerned, will you?”
6 "I dove and attacked them head-on”
7 "This is no time to take a runout”
8 "A pretty good day's work”
9 "I might have stayed over there”
Part Three: Back to China
10 "I felt a hit in my engine”
11 "Some scheme afoot in Washington”
12 "Time we stopped fooling around”
13 "Stay in there and try a little harder”
14 "Just one of those Goddamned nights”
15 "The most staggering blow”
Appendix: Chinese place names
List of Illustrations

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