Monday, May 25, 2009

Ed Janski, 1917-2009

I'm told that Ed Janski of the Flying Tigers has died. He had one of those jobs that civilians have a hard time getting their minds around--he was a 'propeller specialist' for the American Volunteer Group. I believe that's him standing in the prop blast on the near side of the cockpit in John Shaw's painting Shark Sighting, showing an AVG P-40 being sighted-in at the AVG training base in Burma in the fall of 1941. Ed was among the ground crewmen who were commissioned in China after the AVG was disbanded in July 1942, and he served through the Korean War and rose to lieutenant colonel in the reserve. There's a recent article about him on the AVG veterans' website.

By my count, which is a bit different from that used by the veterans' group, Ed's death leaves 17 men and 1 woman still alive of the more than 200 who served with the American Volunteer Group in Burma and China. I maintain a list of survivors on the Annals of the Flying Tigers, though it has become such a lugubrious chore in recent years that I will probably take it down before long. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford


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