Photographer Focus: Robert T. Smith and the Amazing Flying Tigers
Robert Tharp (R.T.) Smith, 1918 – 1995, was a World War II fighter pilot and ace, who's personal photographs document the everyday lives of the members of the remarkable 1st American Volunteer Group, nicknamed the Flying Tigers.
The Flying Tigers were part of the Chinese Air Force from 1941–1942 and were made up of pilots from the United States Army Air Corps (USAAC), Navy (USN), and Marine Corps (USMC), with the mission of defending China against Japanese forces. They were recruited under presidential authority and commanded by Claire Lee Chennault.
The shark-faced nose art of the Flying Tigers remains among the most recognisable image of any individual combat aircraft or combat unit of World War II.
Explore with us this rare image collection from World War II, in colour!