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Adair, Claude Bryant, 1909-1992


Biographical Note

Claude Bryant "Skip" Adair (1909-1992) was a member of the 1st American Volunteer Group, nicknamed the "Flying Tigers."

Claude Bryan Adair was born in South Carolina on April 19, 1909. He graduated from Columbia High School in 1928 and the University of South Carolina in 1932. He graduated from the Kelly Field Advanced Flight School Class of 1935 in the bombardment section. Adair served on active duty at Langley Field, Virginia, until September 24, 1937, when he went to inactive status with the reserves. Upon leaving active duty he flew as pilot for Eastern Air Lines until early 1938.

Adair was recruited by Colonel Claire Lee Chennault in 1938 to serve as an instructor for the Chinese Air Force. He landed at Hong Kong on November 3, 1938 for a 2 year contract. Adair returned to the States in February 1941 and a few months later, Chennault requested that Adair assist in the procurement of American personnel for service in China. Adair recruited pilots and ground personnel for the AVG prior to its formation and by September 1941 he was in Burma to greet the recruits. Various orders appoint him as Group Executive Officer and Group Commander in absence of General Chennault.

On July 4, 1942, Adair accepted a commission as Major and remained in China on General Chennault’s China Air Task Force staff as Operations Officer. He left China near the end of 1942. After China, he was stationed at the Pentagon and at Mitchell Field, New York, eventually attaining the rank of Colonel. He received an Honorable Discharge from the Air Force on December 16, 1947, by reason of physical disqualification.

Following his discharge from the Air Force, Adair returned to Greenville, South Carolina. He worked in various sales positions until becoming an agent for Aetna Life. Claude Bryant Adair died in 1992 survived by his wife, Jeanette S. Adair and their three children.


Biography derived from collection materials and online biography found at the AVG Flying Tigers.


Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Flying Tigers Association Collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: 2001-04-27-A
Contents of the Collection The collection contains materials related to the 1st American Volunteer Group (AVG), also known as the "Flying Tigers." Materials from various members include logs, correspondence, identity cards, and photographic prints. Most of the material is from dates of active service, 1941-1942, but some items are commemorative, primarily lithographs and reunion materials, circa 1990s.

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