Flying Tiger Squadron

February 18, 2010

Flying Tiger Squadron (飛虎隊) usually refers to the Hong Kong Police’s Special Duties Unit (SDU), which is pretty much Hong Kong’s version of the American SWAT team or the British CO19. Except instead of names like SWAT or CO19 the one in Hong Kong is called Flying Tiger. Because their emblem is a tiger. And Flying Tigers are awesome.

As you’ll probably notice the picture I posted is neither a tiger with wings Photoshopped on to it or even a bunch of guys holding assault rifles ready to arrest some drug lords or the Triad or whatever.

The name 飛虎隊 actually originally came from the Republic of China Air Force American-National Volunteer Great Squadron (中華民國空軍美籍志願大隊), or American Volunteer Group in English, established during World War II (in 1940, actually, which basically means that American pilots were fighting the Japanese before Pearl Harbor). According to <a href=”“>The Official AVG page</a> these guys were well paid (salaried plus a bonus that is worth $6,000 in 2008 money per confirmed destruction of a Japanese plane) and were pretty epic even without the nickname Flying Tigers. The name came, according to legends, because the AVG painted shark decals on their planes but Chinese peasants who have never seen sharks before (presumably because they live inland where tigers dwell) thought the planes had tigers painted on them.

And now you know.


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