History of the
American Fighter Ace.
Spanish Civil War
By Bill Hess with expanded text by Bill Martin
The next opportunity for American fighter pilots to enter into
combat came in the mid-1930s during the Spanish Civil War.
In 1937 a number of pilots from the US cast their lot with the
Loyalist forces and did battle in the air with the Nationalists
forces and the German Luftwaffe’s Condor Legion that
abetted their cause.
One American became a fighter Ace in that conflict. Frank Tinker
downed eight aircraft and Albert J. “Ajax” Baumler was credited
with four. Baumler went on to score another four victories flying
with the 23rd Fighter Group in China in World War II.
During the same period in China, three Chinese-Americans
became aces flying for Chiang kai-shek against the
Japanese - Shui-Tin “Art” Chen, Pan-Yang “John” Wong
and Sun-Shui “Buffalo” Wong.