So, before the beginning of WWII under secret decree President Roosevelt established the American Volunteer Group to aid Madame Chiang Ka Shek in her fight against the Japanese. Please forgive the spelling.
The "Flying Tigers" under the leadership of Claire Chennault scored serious victories over the Japanese air forces despite the superiority of the Japanese aircraft. This was happening just after the war started and was just a glimpse of hope for the American homefront while our forces were suffering defeat across the globe.
Pretty soon we started winning and three years later despite our leadership we never could "figure out" this part of the world. Probably leading to the Vietnam War.