Current Developments

There are significant events taking place that evidence interest in the Preemptive Strike story. An archive of these developments are shown below.

October 1, 2009 - Preemptive Strike Finalist in 2009 Movie Script Contest - Golden Brad Awards 

September 15, 2009 - Flying Tigers member passes away in US - 

By Thomas Kean

ONE of the last members of the Flying Tigers squadron that defended Myanmar from invading Japanese forces in World War II died on August 18, aged 94, an American newspaper reported last week.  Charles R Bond Jr, a retired US Air Force major general, died of dementia in Dallas, Texas, on August 18, according to an August 31 report in The Washington Post. Bond was one of about 400 pilots and ground personnel who served in the American Volunteer Group – nicknamed the Flying Tigers – under General Claire Chenault.  The group was tasked with protecting military supply routes between Myanmar and the Chinese government led by Chiang Kai-Shek, which was being supplied by the American government in its war against Japan.  “The group’s exploits became legend. Flying the P-40 aircraft, their fuselages painted with a toothsome tiger, the Flying Tigers were credited with shooting down 299 enemy planes and destroying 200 on the ground, even though the Japanese at times outnumbered Chenault’s group 15 to one. On one day in late February 1942, the Flying Tigers downed 28 Japanese planes while losing none,” the report said.  “During one of the 1942 engagements, General Bond destroyed three Japanese I-97 planes while piloting his P-40B. He was credited with nine kills in all.”  One of the reasons he eventually joined the Flying Tigers was the promise of US$500 for every Japanese plane he shot down, the report said, adding that he used the money earned as a flying ace to help his parents buy a house.  Bond was shot down twice while serving in Myanmar – on May 4, 1942, and again on June 12 of the same year. Later that year he returned to the US before serving as a commander in the Vietnam War. In 1984 he co-authored a book – A Flying Tiger’s Diary – that details his exploits in Myanmar and is described by one reviewer as “by far the best account currently in print from the point of view of one of the original Flying Tiger pilots”.

September 9, 2009 - Vision Fest Film Festival Article

Read Article written by Alan Armstrong about the public reading of his screenplay at the Vision Fest Film Festival  .PDF Article

Alan Armstrong, Frank Lewallen & 
Sarah Armstrong
Bruno Derling
Frank Lewallen and Mark Doyle
Bruno and Jana Derling & Alan Armstrong

JUNE 11, 2009 – Public Reading of Preemptive Strike    

There will be a public reading of my screenplay, Preemptive Strike, at the Vision Fest Film Festival in New York, Saturday, June 20, 2009, at 3:45 p.m. The reading is open to the public and free of charge. However, the location of the reading, The Cherry Pit Theater will seat only about 90 people. For that reason it is desirable to make a reservation via email: The reading is expected to take approximately 2 hours, will feature approximately 30 actors and actresses, and is being directed by Ari Taub. The Cherry Pit Theater is located at 155 Bank Street, New York, NY 10014. I am extremely grateful to the Vision Fest Film Festival for the opportunity to have this public reading of my screenplay.

The Preemptive Strike screenplay is based on the life experiences of General Claire Lee Chennault and his involvement in organizing “a guerilla air corps” known today as the American Volunteer Group or Flying Tigers. Contrary to popular culture, the AVG was to be more than a fighter group to defend China from the onslaught of Japanese invaders during the Sino-Japanese War which began on July 7, 1937. Chennault intended to bomb Japan with bombers that would be operated from Chekiang Province in southeastern China, only 700 miles from the Japanese home islands. Chennault’s audacious plan became officially endorsed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt who signed Joint Army/Navy Board 355 (“the Joint Board Plan”) on July 23, 1941, only two days before America imposed a total trade embargo on Japan. The Preemptive Strike story underscores Chennault’s struggle to organize his guerilla air corps in the jungles of Burma (a British colony) and the frustrations he experienced when the bombers promised by FDR failed to arrive by early November, as scheduled in the Joint Board Plan.

In 1991, Stone Philips of the ABC News Show 20/20 reported on the Joint Board Plan. Philips confessed, however, he did not know if the Japanese were aware of the American plan to bomb Japan. Today, we know that a Chinese national known only as “PA” betrayed the American bombing plan to the Japanese as early as May 29, 1941, months before FDR finally endorsed the Joint Board Plan. Radio messages from diplomatic offices in Japan intercepted by the American intelligence community and on file in America’s National Archives confirm not only that Japan knew of the American plan, but the American intelligence community knew that Japan knew of the American plan at least six months before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.      

It is worth noting that after the Second World War Chennault organized a company known as Civil Air Transport that supported Chiang Kai-shek during the Chinese Civil War, and, in time, performed services for the CIA. Eventually, the CIA bought Civil Air Transport and renamed it “Air America.” Chennault’s activities in organizing a guerilla air corps lived on as “Air America” was engaged in covert operations in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War.   

A project related to the Preemptive Strike screenplay is my book by the same title published by Lyons Press. For further information, interested parties may contact the undersigned.

January 30, 2009

November 13, 2008 - Press Release - Alan Armstrong

Tomoko Nagano, a newscaster for Asahi Television, traveled from Tokyo to interview Atlanta attorney and writer, Alan Armstrong about the findings published in his book, Preemptive Strike. Published first in America in 2006, Preemptive Strike appeared in bookstores in Japan on November 13, 2008, and was translated by veteran Japanese journalist, Ko Shioya.

The premise of the book is that America had formed a secret air force to operate in China officially called the “American Volunteer Group.” The unit had to be formed in secret because America was officially at peace with Japan and the majority of Americans were not in favor of becoming involved in what is known today as the Second World War. Under the guise of a “loan” of $100,000,000, America financed what secret documents referred to as a “guerilla air force.”

The blue print for this plan of secret air warfare against the Japanese Empire was officially called Joint Army/Navy Board 355, Serial 691 (the Joint Board Plan). In the first phase, the Plan would ensure the vital supply line known at the Burma Road was kept open with an air defense umbrella of American fighter planes flown by American pilots purportedly in the employ of a private business concern, the Central Aircraft Manufacturing Company (CAMCO). The second phase would entail attacking Japanese targets in central China and French Indo-China. The third phase involved attacking Japanese troop concentrations and staging areas in southern China and bombing industrial centers of the Japanese home islands themselves. The mainspring behind the Plan was Claire Lee Chennault, a former Air Corps fighter pilot and instructor in fighter tactics who pitched the audacious scheme to Henry Morgenthau, Secretary of the Treasury on December 21, 1940, almost one year before the attack on Pearl Harbor.  

While ABC’s 20/20 reported on this unorthodox American military initiative in 1991, Stone Phillips who covered the story confessed he did not know whether Japan knew of the Chinese-American bombing plan. Mr. Armstrong’s research confirms not only did Japan know of the Plan as early as May 29, 1941, but even more extraordinary, American cryptographers intercepted and translated a Japanese “Purple Code” (diplomatic) message on June 3, 1941, revealing Japan had learned of the Plan—a full six months before Japan attacked Pearl Harbor.

Directing the filming of the interview that took place in Atlanta, Georgia were Yasuyuki Ide and Ken Sawarati. Asahi Television’s documentary program on the American Joint Board Plan will air in Japan on Sunday, December 7, 2008.


Preemptive Strike, which tells the story of Joint Army/Navy Board 355 (the Joint Board Plan) -- the secret American plan to bomb Japan before Pearl Harbor -- goes on sale in Japan in two weeks. The book is presently published in America by Lyons Press. The Joint Board Plan was authored by Claire Chennault, Chiang Kai-shek, and President Roosevelt’s aide, Dr. Lauchlin Currie during the year before Japan attacked Pearl Harbor.

Forced into early retirement in 1937, Chennault answered the call to adventure becoming a soldier of fortune in the service of Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang Government as it battled invading Japanese forces during the Second Sino-Japanese War. Since it was apparent to Chennault that the Japanese ambitions extended to vast territories of Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific, he devised a plan to strike Japanese interests in China, French Indo-China and the Japanese home islands and preempt Japanese military initiatives. The plan initially was looked upon favorably by FDR and his cabinet until Chief of Staff George C. Marshall objected, ostensibly because it was too dangerous. In time, proponents for the plan prevailed. However, this did not occur before precious time was lost.

Equally intriguing is the fact that the Joint Board Plan was betrayed by a member of Chiang’s government known only as “PA” in a “Purple Code” message from Tokyo to Japanese headquarters in Southeast Asia that American cryptographers decoded on June 3, 1941. To be clear, the American intelligence community knew that the Japanese knew of the Joint Board Plan before the attack on Pearl Harbor. On July 23, 1941, forty-eight hours after receiving a plaintive telegram from Madame Chiang urging delivery of the American bombers, President Roosevelt finally endorsed the Joint Board Plan – a group of American airmen led by Chennault along with 100 American fighter planes already having arrived in the British colony of Burma where they could train without being harassed by the Japanese Air Force. On the same day, Roosevelt’s trusted aide, Dr. Lauchlin Currie dispatched a confidential telegram to the American Embassy in Chungking relating that American bombers would be provided to China immediately. The plan envisioned American bombers ostensibly under the command of the Chinese Air Force would be launched from one or more airfields in Chekiang Province in Southeastern China—only about 700 miles from  Japan. However, Lockheed Hudson bombers that were to go to the Chinese were acquired by the British and flown across the border to Canada. The net effect of political infighting and confusion was to deprive Chennault of the resources he required to strike Japan before the attack on Pearl Harbor. The book is being published in Japan by Nikkei Publications and the translator is Ko Shioya, a veteran Japanese journalist with extensive international experience. 

Also, written by Atlanta aviation attorney and air show pilot, Alan Armstrong, the author of the book, a Preemptive Strike screenplay recently won first prize at the Vision Fest Film Festival in New York in the screenwriting competition. There will be a dramatic reading of the screenplay in New York next spring.   

In association with the release of the book by Nikkei, Asahi Television is producing a documentary television program to be aired on December 7, 2008, dealing with the American plan to bomb Japan before Pearl Harbor. The television documentary is anticipated to include interviews of Alan Armstrong, Ko Shioya and other people familiar with the Joint Board Plan.

September 22, 2008 - Preemptive Strike Wins Vision Fest 2008 Screenwriting Competition 

Alan Armstrong's PREEMPTIVE STRIKE wins the Vision Fest 2008 Best of the Feature Screenwriting Competition.  The Official Press Release may be viewed HERE.

August 3, 2008 - FDR Plans Sneak Attack...20/20 TV Coverage 2 Parts

July 24, 2008 - Preemptive Strike Synopsis - 

A World in turmoil - 1941.  Germany had conquered much of Western Europe.  Japan had conquered Manchuria and all of the coastal ports of China.  The World was poised to descend back into the Dark Ages with mass executions, genocide and tyranny - - but America was still officially neutral and most Americans wanted to keep it that way.  President Roosevelt’s hands were tied. Or...were they???

What if America quietly allowed pilots and technicians to resign from the U.S. Military and fly and fight for China as she sought to stave off the Japanese invaders? 

In a shroud of secrecy and intrigue, the American Volunteer Group was born.  Adventurers, soldiers of fortune and idealists, these rough and ready men are known in the annals of history as the “Flying Tigers, “Yankee Bandits” and “gangsters.” 

In the tradition of blockbuster political thrillers, "Hunt for Red October" and "Patriot Games", author/historian Alan Armstrong cleverly weaves historical fact, intrigue, and vivid characterization into his thrilling novel and companion screenplay, "Preemptive Strike".

Preemptive Strike follows icon Claire Chennault, the AVG commanding officer and his soldiers of fortune. Forced into early retirement, Chennault finds employment with a foreign warlord and flies combat missions in the undeclared Sino-Japanese War, eventually enlisting assistance from Roosevelt’s cabinet members, establishing a guerilla air corps with the money laundered through a series of “front” corporations. The catch? The guerilla air corps will be manned by American pilots flying in combat without the protection of the Geneva Convention, with the ultimate objective of bombing Tokyo and other Japanese cities – all BEFORE the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor.Their story and exploits are woven into the fabric of American folklore as a shining example of men who did “the right thing" in PREEMPTIVE STRIKE.  (Alan Armstrong with revisions by John Lage)

July 3, 2008 - Alan Armstrong was a featured guest on the Gold Seal Live radio program.  You can listen to his interview here:

July 3, 2008 - Magazine publication Air Power History has reviewed 'Preemptive Strike'.  The review can be viewed HERE

July 2, 2008 - Alan Armstrong's novel 'Preemptive Strike' has been listed on Google's Book Search.  It may be viewed HERE

February 25, 2008 - Tora! Tora! Tora! Aircraft First Airshow

September 12, 2007 - Preemptive Strike DVD Coming Soon!  Check back soon for an official release date!

July 10, 2007 - Japanese Bomber Kate Replica featured on YouTube

June 1, 2007 - The Writers Place (TWP) Screenplay Contest Finalists

The Writers Place is pleased to announce the finalists, in both the full-length and teleplay/short competitions, for the period of November 2006 through April 2007.  Alan Armstrong's 'Preemptive Strike' is one of fourteen screenplays in the running.

Competition winners (1st, 2nd & 3rd), in both the full-length and teleplay/short categories, will be announced on July 1, 2007.

April 20, 2007 - Alan Armstrong's Book Review from Armchair General

December 26, 2006 - Book review by James Van Etten of the London Morning News.Read Review

September 13, 2006 -

September 12, 2006 - Air & Car Show Flies into Rome in October.

June 13, 2006 - Anthony Paul, a journalist for the Strait Times, published a review of Preemptive Strike - the Book. You may view the .PDF document HERE.

November 13, 2008 - Press Release - Alan Armstrong
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