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John Bahadurian
War: World War II
Branch: United States Army Air Force & Chinese Air force
Unit: 1st American Volunteer Corps (Flying Tigers) & XX Bomber Command
Highest Rank: Sergeant
Theater: China


John Bahadurian was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1925. When he turned 18, most of his friends were in the service. In high school, John took a class on Morse code. When he enlisted upon graduation, he was sent to Calcutta, India. Because of a myth circulated amongst the other soldiers about Calcutta - if you stayed in India for too long, you would not be able to have children - John asked to be reassigned.

He was sent to China with the Flying Tigers, a group of the American pilots attached to the Chinese Air Force. In China, John was transferred to and did cryptographic work for the XX Bomber Command including work as a finder that guided lost planes back to base through radar and as a decoder of messages from Washington. About once a week, his base was bombed by the Japanese from Nanking. John recalls meeting Chiang Kai-shek and his wife in Shang-tu. John was sent from Shang-tu to Shanghai where he awaited the boat home. John was 21 when he left China.