During the summer of 1941, Chennault helped form and train a small group of former Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps pilots. The American Volunteer Group (AVG) was popularly known as the Flying Tigers because of their aircrafts’ distinctive shark’s mouth paint scheme. The Flying Tigers did not see combat until December 18, 1941. On July 4, 1942, the AVG was disbanded, and many of the pilots left to return to their original military services. Those few who remained formed the cadre of the 23rd Fighter Group. This unit was part of the 14th Air Force, whose insignia shows its lineage..