An Alabama native had a front row seat to some of the most unique moments in aviation and world history, and for the first time the adventures of William C. McDonald Jr. are captured in a new book, The Shadow Tiger. The story provides a unique first-hand account of events leading up to and during World War II, based on more than 30,000 pages, letters and photos the aviator shared with friends and family during his 11 years as a pilot both in the United States and in China.
The Shadow Tiger traces McDonald’s flying career from its beginning at Maxwell Air force Base in Montgomery to his time as U.S. Army cadet and wingman in General Claire Chennault’s famed aerobatic flying group Three Men on a Flying Trapeze. Much of the book focuses on McDonald’s time in China where he worked hand in hand with Chennault to lay the foundation for what would become the Flying Tigers, served as a combat pilot, trained the Chinese Air force, and made hundreds of life saving flights through the Himalayas. Through McDonald’s own letters and photographs, readers will experience first-hand adventures including the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong, a harrowing landing in the middle of the Yangtze River, and countless flights ferrying world-famous passengers and high-value cargo for the China National Aviation Corporation.