Flying Tiger Line
Pilots Association

2021 Hood River Ambush

A gathering of Tigers (an Ambush) was successfully celebrated over a 3-day period beginning Sunday, September 26th.  A historic first-of-its-kind event, 107 members from the Flying Tiger Line Pilots Association, the AVG Flying Tigers Association, and the Flying Tigers Club celebrated our mutual legacies and good fortunes at the Ambush in Hood River - A Tribute to The Flying Tigers.  

The Columbia Gorge Hotel & Spa sold us the entire hotel which prompted a hoisting of the FTL Circle T flag. Others in attendance stayed next door at the Columbia Cliffs Hotel, an equally picturesque hotel on the Columbia River with the Way Gwin Gwin Falls between the two properties.  Attendees came by car, airline, RV, and their own personal aircraft.  Everyone in attendance (view list) agreed that the three groups have to do this again some day soon.

On Sunday evening, coincidentally Janie Chenoweth's birthday,  we were treated to a wonderful sunset enjoyed during a catered backyard BBQ on the west lawn of the hotel grounds.  It was truly a magical moment for those who have the good fortune to be called Tigers to be able to see each other in person once again.  Eric Lindner, author of the sensational new book, Tiger In The Sea, was able to attend as our Guest of Honor accompanied by his wife Ellen, the daughter of Captain John Murray and one of the main heroes on that fateful night.

Most of the day Monday was spent at the Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum.  Guests were treated to special tours of the restoration shop and antique automobile rides.  WAAAM President and Founder, Terry Brandt, gave a presentation of his vision and goals for the museum.  Lydia Rossi later presented him with a special book about the American Volunteer Group, signed by all of those in attendance during the Ambush.  A drive had been initiated to donate $1,500 or more to the museum in order to get "the Flying Tigers" on a dedicated wall.  Going well past that goal, John was able to present Terry with a donation of $1,736 on Wednesday morning (click to view donation letter)

On Monday night we met again for a buffet at the Columbia Gorge Hotel where the leaders of the three sponsoring groups, John Dickson, Lydia Rossi, and Helena Burke were able to explain the history and purpose of their associations and introduce those in attendance.  Sandy White and the Lindners were once again acknowledged, each taking the opportunity to acknowledge their appreciation.  Eric presented his perspective on why he thought the crew of Tiger 923 rose above all expectations to become such a remarkable true story of survival.

Many have asked me what the book boils down to for me.  I think of three things most of all:

  1. Duty - service above self, to one's higher power, to one's organization and colleagues.  Honoring commitments and, if necessary, going down with the ship.
  2. Courage - by letting their courage rise with danger, Ellen's father, chief flight attendant Betty Sims, Carol Gould Hansen, Hard Luck Sam, and the rest of the Tiger crew onboard inspired everyone to "rise above" and do things that seemed impossible.
  3. Fellowship - as exemplified at this Tribute to The Flying Tigers, camaraderie and fun anchored by a purpose and shared values.

Thank you everyone for all your kind words and offers of support.  Tiger in the Sea continues to gain traction and popularity as top stories in such media as Apple News, Popular Mechanics (Nov/Dec), American Heritage, and Sirius FM radio.

A small group who decided to stay over an extra day spent most of Tuesday driving around on the Fruit Loop, enjoying the farms and vineyards of the Hood River valley.  As a finale for a wonderful time, 16 from the group enjoyed dinner at the Stonehenge Gardens.

Many thanks to Jerry Kalman who is credited for most of the pictures in the galleries below.  You can view them individually or as a slideshow.   The images are sized for easy viewing and downloading on your electronic device. If you need a particular JPEG in higher resolution please email John Dickson with the file number (displayed when hovering over the thumbnail). Please scroll all of the way down to see all available galleries.

If you have a good picture that you would like added to those above then email it to John at and he'll get it added.

General Pictures

Sunday BBQ

Monday at WAAAM

Monday Dinner

Tuesday Fruit Loop Tour & Dinner