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Roy Williams at his drawing board, preparing the 23d Fighter Group patch. (All photographs illustrating this article courtesy of authors)

Walt Disney, the king of animation, had a big hand in perpetuating the memory of the legendary World War II pilots called the Flying Tigers. And Disney did it through artists like the late Roy Williams, who created the original insignia for the group

Captain Claire Lee Chennault, 47-year-old pilot from Waterproof, Louisiana, commanded a unique group of young men who were known as the American Volunteer Group. Their bold action in the air against the invading Japanese in China brought them instant fame at home.