In honor of my uncle, Donald Yockey, who served with the Flying Tigers in World War II, and in memory of my late life partner, who was quadriplegic the last 10 years of her life due to multiple sclerosis, I have joined the Air Force team of the Valour IT campaign to raise money to buy laptop computers and Wii consoles for soldiers who have been wounded, especially those whose injuries have resulted in lifelong disability due to brain injury, spinal cord injury or amputation. Look to your right for the donation widget — click on it to open the page for making donations.
I just Googled to see if I could find something to link about the Flying Tigers and found that my uncle’s name is not listed on the official Web page of the Flying Tigers AVG (All-Volunteer Group). Since Uncle Donald volunteered on May 26, 1941, he appears to meet their criteria for inclusion — I’ll follow up to see why his name isn’t listed and whether they will add it. After the AVG was disbanded, Uncle Donald was part of the 529th squadron of the 14th Air Force. He was an airplane mechanic and is now retired.
John Wayne’s first war movie was Flying Tigers in 1942. Director John Woo announced in July 2009 he will direct a film about the Flying Tigers featuring (gag) Tom Cruise.
Update, 10/29/09: I am aware that claiming service you can’t prove is bad. However, I have memorabilia from my uncle’s service in China and I’m thinking the reason he was invited to — and attended — all those Flying Tiger reunions is that he was a Flying Tiger. I am waiting on more specific information from my cousins so I can characterize his service correctly.