Military History Q&A Series Q15

As for today, my friend Brett has asked over 20 questions! But again, every now and then, I help him along.

The question: How did Americans die in World War 2 before December 7, 1941?

Before Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Americans were already fighting and dying in combat.

In China and Burma, there was the American Volunteer Group, better known as the Flying Tigers. I will post separately about the AVG in the PTO section because the Flying Tigers were fighting the Japanese with the Chinese.


In Europe, Americans had joined the RAF in the 1940 and 1941, fighting under British command. They were grouped together in what was known as Eagle Squadrons. These were on an individual basis. (When the US Army Air Force formally joined the war, they transferred to the US forces).


Around the same time, the US Navy began Neutrality Patrols and escorting the freighters, tankers, and transports carrying materiel for the British in the 1940-41. These were part of the Lend-Lease Agreement. One US Navy destroyer, the USS Reuben James, was torpedoed and sunk by the Germans on Oct 31, 1941.


Picture 3: USS Reuben James, April 1939. She was torpedoed by the Germans.

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