Pottawattamie County

Cpt. Garry Anderson



“Pretty rough, pretty rough.”

That is how Capt. Garry Anderson of Gen. Chennault’s China American flying forces describe flying in the Asiatic theater. And that is just what he meant.

Range after range of high, treacherous mountains, long stretches between possible landing fields, and in one special spot through the ancient Himalayas, a pass at 12,000 to 14,000 feet with a towering mountain just 30 miles off the narrow course that sweeps up to a height of 21,000! “You gotta have 12,000 feet, but get 30,000 if you want to feel safe!” he advises.

Capt. Anderson, graduate of Abraham Lincoln high school in 1938, recently returned from his base in Karachi, India, where he joined Gen. Chennault’s command as a Mitchell bomber pilot, just at the time of the AVC, the original Flying Tigers, was broken up and incorporated into the army. About half the Tigers took up commission in the army, but the rest went to civilian jobs – some as pilots for the China National Airways at $1,500 per month and 2 weeks a month off, others to return to the States as test pilots or other high-priced flyers.

“Dangerous? Well, not exactly like flying Cubs on a Sunday afternoon,” he comments.

Capt. Anderson and Capt. Gus Gabler, also of Council Bluffs, former buddies in China, are both stationed as instructors at Reno, Nev. Among the local boys Capt. Anderson met in India are Bill Malick, now dead over Burma, who had been a bombardier with Anderson, and Bill Halpin, an air corps supply officer, whom he met in an officers club in Karacht.

Source: The Council Bluffs Nonpareil, Council Bluffs, Iowa, Monday, June 12, 1944, Page 1