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AIR America and CIA aid to CHINA against JAPAN

Monday, May 9, 2011

AIR America and CIA aid to CHINA against JAPAN

Once the largest unofficial airline in the world, Air America evolved from a makeshift operation in the 1930s when Gen. Claire Chennault’s “American Volunteer Group” was dispatched to aid CHINA in its long war against JAPAN. In December 1941 the PEARL HARBOR attack eliminated any vestiges of feigned U.S. neutrality, but the covert tradition died hard.
In 1947, the CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY (CIA) and the State Department used the framework of Chen nault’s old group to create Civil Air Transport (CAT), operating a fleet of aircraft to assist Nationalist Chinese forces in their war against the communist troops of MAO ZEDONG. With the Red victory, CAT moved its headquarters to TAIWAN, continuing support for “Free China” while operating routine passenger flights throughout Southeast Asia.
The Korean War (1950–53) found CAT pilots flying more covert missions on behalf of “democracy.”

The end of that “police action” brought diversification , with CAT elements operating as Southern Air Transport,Air America, and Air Asia Ltd. Mercenary pilots hired with U.S. taxpayers’ money flew various illicit (and unrecorded) missions, including support for FRANCE in its losing battle to maintain control of Indochina (today VIETNAM, LAOS, and CAMBODIA).

In the 1960s, as the United States assumed the French imperial burden in Vietnam, the CIA consolidated its various client airlines under the single logo of Air America. Most of the pilots were military veterans, responding to advertisements for “the most highly skilled, adventurous, and patriotic aviation personnel who could be found.” Air America’s motto was “Anything, Anytime, Anywhere”—a catchall that included illegal supply flights from Vietnam into Laos and Cambodia, as well as transportation of HEROIN shipments from Asia’s “Golden Triangle” to the United States.

Air America officially disbanded in 1975 with the fall of Saigon. Twelve years later on May 30, 1987, former CIA Director William Colby dedicated an Air America Memorial at the University of Texas in Dallas.


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