Claire Lee Chennault

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World War I
Sino-Japanese War
World War II

Lieutenant General Claire Lee Chennault (September 6, 1893 – July 27, 1958), was an American military aviator. A contentious officer, he was a fierce advocate of "pursuit" or fight-interceptor aircraft during the 1930s when the U.S. Army Air Corps was focused primarily on high-altitude bombardment. Chennault retired in 1937, went to work as an aviation trainer and adviser in China, and commanded the "Flying Tigers" during World War II, both the volunteer group and the uniformed units that replaced it in 1942. His family name is French [N 1] and is pronounced shen-auw.


Early life

Claire Chennault was born in Commerce, Texas, to John Stonewall Jackson Chennault and Jessie (Lee) Chennault. He was reared in the towns of Gilbert in Franklin Parish and Waterproof in Tensas Parish in northeastern Louisiana. He seems to have begun misrepresenting his birth date as September 1890, perhaps as early as the middle of 1909. (He was too young to attend college after he graduated from high school, so his father added three years to his age.[2] The 1900 US Census record from Franklin Parish, LA, Ward 2 states that C L Chennault was age six in 1900, with a younger brother age three (born in Louisiana).[3])

Military career

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