Saturday, January 07, 2017

Three Flying Tigers come home (or were here all along!)

Seventy-five years after they died, three Flying Tiger pilots have come home -- or more accurately, they've been home since 1947, only nobody seemed to know about it. At left is John Armstrong, killed September 8, 1941. The others are Maax Hammer, killed September 22, and Peter Atkinson, killed October 25, 1941. Each was on a training flight in a Curtiss Tomahawk, similar to the US Army P-40B. They were buried at St. Luke's anglican church in Toungoo. Unknown to their families, the remains were exhumed after the war, taken to India, then reburied at the Punchbowl Cemetery on Oahu, Hawaii. And there they have rested ever since, while the next generation of relatives tried to find out what happened to them. Only last summer were the graves were dug up and the remains removed to the US military lab in Hawaii for DNA testing. Finally, a week or so ago, the word came back: Armstrong, Hammer, and Atkinson have all been positively identified. For more, go to the Annals of the Flying Tigers online. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford

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