Last living AVG Flying Tiger passes away

Frank Losonsky / Source: The Chennault Aviation & Military Museum

MONROE, La. (KNOE) - The last living American Volunteer Group Flying Tiger has passed away.

99-year-old Frank Losonsky passed away on Feb. 6, 2020. The Chennault Aviation & Military Museum shared the news on Friday.

Losonsky was a crew chief responsible for three to four aircraft at a time, the museum said in a news release, which continues below:

As the crew chief, he maintained the P-40s and would test the engines on aircraft prior to take off. He was honorably discharged from the AVG and returned home to Detroit, Michigan where he married. He then returned to China as a mechanic with Chinese National Aviation Corporation. Later, he returned home to build B-24 Liberators. After the Air Corps, he took a civil service job at Clark Field in the Philipines. Frank and his son would eventually write a book about his time with the American Volunteer Group called Flying Tiger: A Crew Chief’s Story.

Losonsky’s legacy lives on at Chennault Aviation & Military Museum. Museum volunteer, Gary Vieaux, had a working relationship with the Crew Chief. Vieaux builds planes and ships out of recycled wood, and some of those were modeled after those navigated by notable people. Vieaux built a series of P-40Bs and reached out to Losonsky to sign them. The signed planes were sold with one-hundred percent of the proceeds benefiting the Museum. Of Losonsky, Vieaux said, “He kept on giving. He’d sign planes and donate books with full profit going to the Museum. He was still serving.”