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Four of the six surviving members of the legendary American Volunteer Group Flying Tigers will visit the National Infantry Museum on Friday. They will host a meet and greet with the public from 1 to 2 p.m. in Patriot Hall.
The public is invited to meet these courageous men, have a picture taken and get an autograph. AVG Flying Tigers commemorative coins will be available for purchase.
We are so pleased to host the Flying Tigers, said Ben Williams, National Infantry Foundation president. For them to be able and willing to share their own personal stories with our visitors really makes this museum come to life.
Prior to the Q&A forum, moderated by National Infantry Museum executive vice-president and chief development officer retired Col. Greg Camp, the original four AVG Flying Tigers will be presented a handmade quilt by the Quilts of Valor Foundation, a non-profit organization that aims to provide quilts to all combat service members and veterans touched by war.
Commemorative AVG Flying Tigers coins also will be sold for $12 in support of the Flying Tigers Association, to keep the legacy of these combat veterans and American heroes alive.
The American Volunteer Group Flying Tigers was formed to assist China from the invasion of the Japanese in 1941. With the help of President Franklin Roosevelt, approximately 100 pilots and 200 ground personnel were discharged from the Navy, Marines and Army and recruited for this venture around April 1941 about eight months before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
The AVG Flying Tigers first served in Burma around the time of Pearl Harbor, and after the surprise attack of the Japanese, became one of the only positive things in the Pacific Theatre at the beginning of World War II. Today, there are only six original AVG Flying Tigers still living.