CHINESE 'SHORT SNORTER' SIGNED BY CHENNAULT TWICE, STILLWELL, OTHERS
A superb and very rare war-date 'short snorter', a 1943 Chinese ten dollar bank note signed in ink on both sides by 25 people, including some of the most important figures of the campaign in China. Among this signing the bill are: CLAIRE CHENNAULT (1890-1958). American Army aviator who established the volunteer-staffed Flying Tigers to fight the Japanese invasion of China. He has also been (unofficially) credited with over 40 'kills'. Chennault signs the bill on recto and verso; Gen. JOSEPH STILWELL (1883-1946) 'Vinegar Joe', American Army general who commanded all American forces in the China-Burma-India theater in World War II; a brilliant tactician and combat leader; Gen. ZHOU ZHIROU (1889-1986) Chinese Commander in Chief, Air Force Combat Command; Major Gen. EDWARD BERGIN (1892-1978) Chief of Staff, Headquarters Detachment, Chinese Training and Combat Command in C.B.I. Theater, also with 10th Army on Okinawa, 1945; Major Gen. THOMAS HEARN (1890-1980) Chief of Staff, C.B.I. Theater and China Theater of Operations, USAAF 14th Air Force, China, Burma, India theater of operations; Brigadier Gen. BENJAMIN FERRIS (1892-1982) Deputy Chief of Staff, C.B.I. Theater; Lt. Col. ALBERT J. MCELHOE (1908-2000) G-1 Chunking and later with the O.S.S.; Brigadier Gen. RUSSELL E. RANDALL (1902-1992) commanding general of the 312th Fighter Wing and the 312th Composite Wing of the 14th Air Force at Kunming; Col. THOMAS F. TAYLOR (1889-1982) G-3 Chunking and forward echelon C.B.I.; Col. CEDRIC M. POLAND (1911-1990) photographer; HOWARD R. ISAACS (1910-1986) journalist, and others either unidentified or of low rank. These autographs were signed in September 1944 in Kunming, China, and almost certainly at Kunming Airfield. In 1941, the airfield became the main base for the 1st American Volunteer Group 'Flying Tigers' (and later AVG's successor unit US 23rd Fighter Group, after the official US entry into the war), and as the war progressed several major US formations established headquarters at Kunming Airfield. It was also a hub for military and supply flights to and from India and Burma. Stillwell was made a four-star general a month before signing this, and was then relieved of command in October, 1944.