By the way, they both, as well as the Hawk 75, had a bounty on their heads and 2 Japanese squadrons were assigned to take the Hawk down, they never did. They could be fined $2000.00, jailed and lose their citizenship. What did they say to that you ask— Chennault said, “I guess I am Chinese.” Mac wrote home (letter is in the book) that he could not leave the Chinese at the one time in history that they needed him the most. They stayed. Mac left in 1947.
- Mac dropped off his passengers at destination
- He was told Hong Kong could not be reached on radio and it was believed no CNAC planes were left
- Mac was instructed to NOT go to Hong Kong
- Mac arrived in Hong Kong at 1 am. CNAC personel were ok and 5 planes were not hit
- 274 people were evacuated by CNAC before the Japanese overran Hong Kong. Macs plane was the first and last flight out of Hong Kong. His plane was rated for 22 people and his last flight carried over 70 people, the plane barely made it off runway with gunfire behind them
- within 2 weeks Mac and 2 other CNAC planes went to Toungoo, picked up 3 ground crews of Flying Tigers and flew them to Kunming. The AVG planes arrived the next day.
- the following day the Japanese attacked Kunming (as usual) but they had angry Americans waiting for them, only 1 Japanese plane made it back to its base.
- They never attracted Kunming by air again.
- So what is my OPINION of what was said between Mac and Chennault? I think Chennault explained that he needed Mac to get 3 planes to get them out of Burma or the Japanese will destroy the AVG before they even get started. We will never know for sure but I do know Mac remained his wingman for the rest of Chennnaults life.
- To get the whole story, read my book! “The Shadow Tiger: Billy McDonald, Wingman to Chennault”
CNAC, the airline co owned by China and Pan Am had all their planes except 1 at the Hong Kong Airport when the Japanese attacked. Billy, Mac, McDonald, Jr was in route when reports came in that Hong Kong had been attacked. He had a plane load of passenegers. His decision was, did he go and deliver his passengers to their destination or divert and go to Toungoo Burma, where the Flying Tigers, (AVG) were training and check in with Claire Chennault to see if he needed his help. He went to Toungoo and was met with 66 AVG planes and pilots awaiting an attack from the Japanese. Mac stopped his plane, got out and started running towards Chennault. They had a 5 or so minute meeting, no one knows what was said but the actions of Mac in the next few weeks will strongly suggest what was said. Come back in a few days for more on the story.