Tan Kun file photo [25786]

Tan Kun

Given NameKun


ww2dbaseTan Kun was born in Wenshan County, Yunnan County, China in 1918. In 1937, he dropped out of Yunnan University to enroll in the Central Aviation Academy, graduating in 1939. He was initially assigned to 3rd Pursuit Group, and then was transferred to 4th Pursuit Group in 1941. After the US entry into WW2, he was assigned to the 7th Fighter Squadron of 3rd Fighter Group of Chinese-American Composite Wing (Provisional), a joint Chinese Air Force and US Army Air Forces wing. Flying US-built P-40N Warhawk fighters, he made ace in 1944 and scored in final WW2 victory in Jan 1944 while flying with 32nd Fighter Squadron also of CACW. While the victory over Wuhan was the victory that put him in ace status in USAAF records, the Chinese Air Force was more accepting of his claims and considered this victory as Tan's 8th. He completed the war as the deputy squadron leader of 32nd Fighter Squadron. He would ultimately retire at the rank of colonel and would pass away in 1988.

ww2dbaseSource: Raymond Cheung, Aces of the Republic of China Air Force

Last Major Revision: Jun 2016

Tan Kun Timeline

4 Mar 1944 Tan Kun, flying a P-40N fighter, attacked Qiongshan Airfield near Haikou, Hainan island, China, destroying one bomber on the ground and one Ki-43 aircraft in the air; he was given credit by the Chinese Air Force for the aerial victory but not by the US Army Air Forces.
11 May 1944 Tan Kun, flying a P-40N fighter, shot down one Ki-43-II aircraft and damaged another near Tanchu, Guangxi Province, China.
16 May 1944 Tan Kun, flying a P-40N fighter, conducted a reconnaissance mission over Luoyang, Henan Province, China. He shot down one Ki-44 aircraft of Japanese 9th Sentai and another Ki-44 aircraft of a different unit between Luoyang and Longmen to the south. Suffering a punctured fuel tank, he crash landed successfully in friendly territory. He was given credit to the two victories by the Chinese Air Force but not by the US Army Air Forces.
29 Aug 1944 13 P-40 fighters of the 3rd Fighter Group of the Chinese-American Composite Wing attacked Japanese shipping and dock facilities at Shayang, Hubei, China; in the return flight, 21 Japanese fighters intercepted the formation near Jiayu, Hubei, China; 1 Chinese fighter and 7 Japanese fighters were shot down in the engagement. One of the Chinese victories was scored by Tan Kun, flying a P-40N fighter, shooting down one Ki-43 or Ki-84 aircraft.
5 Jan 1945 28 P-40N and P-51D fighters of the US 14th Air Force and Chinese-American Composite Wing (Provisional) from Laohekou, Hubei, China attacked the Japanese airfield at Wuhan in the same province, destroying 50 Japanese aircraft in the air and on the ground. One Chinese fighter was shot down. Two of the Chinese victories was scored by Tan Kun, flying a P-40N fighter, against one Ki-43 aircraft and one Ki-44 aircraft at 1400 hours.

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