Air America Association
Air America’s tenure in Asia began when Civil Air Transport (CAT) crossed the river into Shanghai in 1946. It ended on a rooftop in downtown Saigon in 1975. First in, last out. That was CAT and Air America in China, Korea and in Southeast Asia. The Air America Association is composed of former employees Air America, their families. and their affiliates. The purpose of this website is to capture that experience and present it in historical context. To learn more about Air America, you can also browse or search the CAT/Air America Archive and Vietnam Archive collections.
Flying Tigers Association
In April, 1937, Claire L. Chennault, then a captain in the United States Army Air Corps, retired from active duty and accepted an offer form Madame Chiang Kai-shek for a three month mission to China to make a confidential survey of the Chinese Air Force. At that time China and Japan were on the verge of war and the fledgling Chinese Air Force was beset by internal problems and torn between American and Italian influence. Madame Chiang Kai-shek took over leadership of the Aeronautical Commission in order to reorganize the Chinese Air Force. This was the beginning of Chennault’s stay in China which did not terminate until 1945 at the close of World War II. Chennault’s combat and other experiences between 1937 and 1941 in China are another story, but it was these experiences together with the knowledge he attained of combat tactics and the operations of Japanese Air Force over China that laid the ground work for the organization of the American Volunteer Group in 1941. The Flying Tigers Association is composed of former Flying Tigers, their families and their affiliates.
University of Texas at Dallas (UTD), Eugene McDermott Library, History of Aviation Collection
The History of Aviation Collection is the official repository for Civil Air Transport (CAT) and Air America. The archive has considerable material about the operations of both airlines. The collection also includes a memorial commemorating the personnel who gave their lives while serving with CAT and Air America. Additional information on the CAT Association and the Air America Association can be found here along with a guide to the collection.
The San Francisco Airport Commission Aviation Library and Louis A. Turpen Aviation Museum
Providing unique opportunities for learning about the development of commercial aviation and the role it plays in our everyday lives. Located in the International Terminal, it is an architectural adaptation of the Airport’s 1930s passenger lobby. The collection focuses on air transport with an emphasis on the West Coast and the Pacific region. Exhibitions, research services, and educational programs are offered to the public free of charge. John Hill, the museum’s curator, serves on the Advisory Board of the CAT Association.
Monte and Klaire Markham, Filmmakers
Establishing their independent production company in 1992, Monte and Klaire Markham, with their son Jason, immediately went into production on 26 hours of Air Combat and Masters Of War for A&E broadcast and U.S.News’ “Definitive Military Library”. Over the next two decades, with innovative style and production quality, they quickly evolved as multi-disciplined filmmakers, producing series documentaries, specials, and live Hi-Def sports broadcasts on locations throughout the world. Their 10 premiere “Epic” Biographies, inaugurated A&E’s landmark Biography series and their 35-hour series, The Great Ships, launched The History Channel. With over 250 Hours of international location filming and network programming their reputation for “no-agenda professionalism” and willingness to take on any challenge has given them unprecedented invitation, cooperation, and access to film at all levels-from the highest to the most remote–of military, civilian, governmental, and industrial establishments and peoples of the world. The CAT Association has entrusted Monte and Klaire to produce a full featured documentary film about Civil Air Transport.
Jeff Bass, Artist
Jeff Bass sold his first painting—a depiction of Chesapeake Bay as viewed from a family residence in Virginia—at age fourteen. Before he graduated from high school, he was selling prints of his artwork and working as a professional illustrator. Today, Jeff Bass completes fine art portraits as well as historical subject paintings for private collections and museums. His work is represented in the Central Intelligence Agency, the International Spy Museum, The National World War II Museum, the National Museum of Naval Aviation and the Smithsonian Institute to name a few. He was painted luminaries including President George H. W. Bush and Florida Governor Jeb Bush. His paintings have been licensed for publication in books, magazines and journals all over the world. His work has also been featured in domestic and international media including CNN, Fox News, France 2 Television, The Times of London, the Associated Press and Reuters. Jeff Bass is an elected, signature member of the National Watercolor Society. He also serves on the Advisory Board of the CAT Association.
The Flying Tiger Heritage Park (The Flying Tiger Historical Organization, Inc.)
A new website dedicated to raising funds for the preservation, restoration, and creation of an historical site at the Flying Tigers airstrip, Yang Tang, in Guilin, China (formerly known as Kwelin). This site will recognize and commemorate the accomplishments and friendships forged between the Flying Tigers and the Chinese during WW ll. The Flying Tiger Historical Organization, Inc, was founded for the purpose of fund raising. All donations are tax deductible. Along with raising funds, we will be seeking memorabilia related to the Flying Tigers (both AVG and 14th AAF) which will be displayed in the Flying Tiger Heritage Park Museum.