Did any of the Flying Tigers lead a US Navy squadron?

Did any of the Flying Tigers lead a US Navy squadron?

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I came across a couple of passages on the Flying Tigers, mercenary armies and famous volunteers

I saw how one pilot became an ace in Europe and another became a General in the 10th Air Force after they were disbanded. It seemed to me that as they are were very successful against Japanese pilots, by all accounts, the best use should have been with the US Navy as instructors or maybe front-line pilots. I haven't run across anything showing they ever served in the Navy. I think of the Thach Weave that made a huge difference against Zero pilots and wondered what tricks the Tigers must have used that would have also been helpful against the Japanese. Did the Navy ever incorporate any of the Tiger pilots? If so, did they ever distinguish themselves in the Pacific like they did in China?

It's my first question here so hopefully you will be gentle.

Short answer, Yes. A quick perusal of AVG pilot listings compared to USN or USMC postings after the AVG was disbanded shows some…

Noel R Bacon - Served in NAOTC at NAAS Green Cove Spring, LCDR USNR (post war he was a CDR and commanded VC-62) Bronze Star

Percy R Bartelt - served in NAOTC at NAS Pensacola, LT USNR, promoted to LCDR 5 November 1945

Lewis S Bishop - was a POW captured in 1942 while in the AVG. Escaped in May 1945, repatriated, July 1945. After a period of hospitalization was recommissioned LCDR USNR on 30 Oct 1945, released to inactive service 1 Jun 1946.

Gregory R Boyington - returned to USMCR served in several squadron eventually commanding VMF-214 as a MAJ USMCR. Captured POW, repatriated at end of war. Medal of Honor, Navy Cross

Herbert R Cavanah - a prewar NAP was commissioned ENS USNR in May 1943, ended the war a LTJG USNR, a patrol plane operational training instructor VPB-2 OTU-2 NAS Jacksonville

Edwin S Conant - ended the war as LCDR USNR, commanding VBF-17; real name was John Francis Perry, Conant was a name he assumed to enter USN flight training after washing out from AAF pilot training. Flew helicopters in the Korean War as XO of HU-1 under the Conant identity. Distinguished Flying Cross (4 awards)

Donald R Knapp - ended the war LT USNR, executive officer VF-60. Distinguished Flying Cross (2 awards)

Frank L Lawlor - ended the war LCDR USNR, commanding VBF-9. Distinguished Flying Cross (3 awards)

Edmund F Overend - Ended the war MAJ USMCR, commanding VMF-221. Distinguished Flying Cross

Curtis E Smith - ended the war MAJ USMCR MAG-14 Operations Officer. Returned to USMCR in October 1942 assigned to NAOTC; Observer RAF operations, September 1943; Empire Central Flying School, December 1943; MAG-14 October 1944.

Fritz E Wolf - ended the war LCDR USNR commanding VBF-3, prior the VBF-3 briefly served in VF-11. Distinguished Flying Cross.

Interesting to note that naval aviators, USN & USMC, made up a slim majority of pilots in the AVG.

As an aside, my father was an Ensign and a pilot in VF-42 on USS Ranger when the AVG recruiters came around. He, a USN regular, had no interest, but some USNR reservists, having served to near the end of their commitment with only rumors of prospects in sight, were interested. I know for certain that among those to go from the Ranger Air Group were Noel Bacon and John G Bright (VF-41); John Armstrong (VF-42); Allan B Christman, David Hill, and Edward Rector (VS-41); John Petach and Peter Wright (VS-42). Armstrong was killed, Bacon went back to the Navy, Bright went to the AAF, Christman was killed, Hill went to the AAF, Petach was killed, Rector went to the AAF, and Wright went to civil aviation.

USN USMC information drawn from my listing of some 50,000 US naval aviators and known duty assignments.

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