The photographs above are provided by former CAT employees, their families, and the collections at the University of Texas at Dallas. These photos and more can be found with descriptions in the HISTORY sections of this website. Please note that all copyrighted photographs on this website can not be used without permission from the owner, so please CONTACT US to submit a request. Thank you!
The CAT Association is a 501(c)(3) Not-for-Profit Association registered in the state of California. Our members are veterans of Civil Air Transport and their families and friends. Formed in 1975 and served by volunteer officers, the Association has been operating continuously for over four decades. We remain dedicated to the preservation of our history while fostering the camaraderie and friendship that reflects the spirit of CAT. Three generations of “CATers” are drawn to our annual reunions. We begin the celebrations with moments of silence to recall the price of glory. More than 200 fellow employees died in action. The bones of our Missing In Action lie in unknown mountains and jungles.
John Hill, Curator of the San Francisco Airport Museum, wrote, “Unique among the airlines of the world, Civil Air Transport (CAT) operated against a backdrop of great political transition in China and throughout Asia from its formation in 1946 to its demise in 1968. The company and its remarkable personnel were at the center of much of the region’s major historical events as they boldly defined the power and influence of air transport in the post-WWII era.”
We were a cohesive Sino American operation. Dr. Wang Wen-san (Ph.D., Columbia) was Chairman of the Board. Y.L. Wang (B.A. Economics, University of Wisconsin and Ph.D., Columbia) was our first comptroller. Some of our pilots and mechanics came from the Chinese Air Force and China National Aviation Corporation (CNAC). All of us were inspired by the leadership of General Claire Lee Chennault, Whiting Willauer, and Chennault’s Flying Tigers who were the first American aces of WWII. CAT’s footprints are widespread. The manufacturing might of Taiyuan, capital of Shensi Province, with the heroism of its defenders, enabled an orderly withdrawal to the seat of the anti-Communist Chinese Government on Taiwan. Marshall Yen Hsi-shan, governor of the province became the Premier of Free China during the transition. Yen Hsi-shan said, “Without CAT we would be unable to continue our defense of Taiyuan.”
General Barr, U.S. Military observer and Chief of The American Military Group (AMG) said, “The morale and efficiency of CAT are so good, I don’t see how it is possible in view of the style of emergency existing over the past two years.”
William Casey, Director, Central Intelligence Agency, called us “Secret soldiers of the Cold War.” James Glerum, CIA Paramilitary Case Officer — Special Activities Division — wrote, “…we routinely asked them to undertake missions that we could not conduct ourselves, and to hardship and hazards we have only rarely asked our own people to face.”
The CAT – Air America – Air Asia complex closed down in 1975, the longest-lasting and most successful CIA proprietary in American history, yet the only one which had cost the U.S. Government nothing. As a matter of fact, it provided more than $23 million, which had been earned in sunlight.
Felix Smith, Permanent Honorary Chairman
Civil Air Transport (CAT) Association
My father, Eugene A. (Pat) Hildreth, my mother Dorothy (Dee) Hildreth and my brother Bill and I lived in Taiwan in the early 50’s – Dad worked for Western Enterprises and had interactions with C.A.T. and with the Madame. He was friends with several C.A.T. guys – Joe Rosbert, Bob Rousellet, and worked with Dr.John Tietjen. His primary assignment was Medical Operations. He passed away 2 years ago and we have found numerous photos from his time in country – some with the other Americans.stationed there. We would like to find a place to donate his Taiwan collection – suggestions appreciated?
I lived in Tainan from 59 to 63 (age 12-16). My dad was USAF. Being a small community, the military, CAT and Air America families were close.
Someone mentioned the CAT crash of 64 – my dad’s best friend was the pilot, Benji Linn (hope I spelled that right). I would like to know more about also.
When leaving in 63 we spent our last nights on the island at Benji’s house in Taipei with him, his lovely and gracious wife Vern (maybe Fern) and their two kids. A great “CAT” send off.
I miss Tainan to this day, it was such a great life experience. I’m sure I don’t qualify for membership to thisi site but if it can be considered, I will appreciate it.
I have a cigarette lighter I would like to donate. Can you send me an address if you would like. Thank you.
I am looking for information on several folks I flew with in 46-47 out of white Cloud in Canton. Jesse Stallworth, Ace Munson, and Merv Garrold.
I am searching for information on Maya Freeman, wife of William (Bill) Freeman an officer with CAT in China during the late 1940’s. In some circles it is purported that she worked for the OSS in WWII, however I haven’t been able to verify this fact. Any information on her and her time in China during and immediately after the war is greatly appreciate. I can be contracted directly at email@example.com.
Reply to Dave Paulding about the 1964 crash , 民航空運公司神岡空難
You can go to this link http://taiwanairpower.org/blog/?p=976
There is a CIA report about the crash.
I had an aunt who used to work for CAT ( administrative work ) in Taipei.
Where can I find a write-up of the 20 Jun 64, CAT air crash. I have tried various search terms but haven’t got any successful hits on it. Thanks
We lived in Tainan 62-63 My husband was an engineer and took the job when they delivered the 880 jet. he worked in the overhaul and repair shop near the air bas . unfortunately ,he passed away almost 11 years ago. great memories of Taiwan
My cousin was the manager of CAT in Taipei HQ
I’d like to become a member. My dad worked for Air Asia in Tainan, Taiwan for 4 1/2 years. When we moved to Taiwan in ’68 we flew into Taipei in the Convair 880. Dad got me up into the cockpit. I’ve still got my Dragon pin. I frequented the CAT pool in Tainan – anyone else from those days?
Hi Mike ~ Glad you touched base…I am emailing you separately for more info and to start the membership process.
Meanwhile, enjoy perusing the website. Mary
Mike, your name sounds vaguely familiar. My family was in Tainan from 1964 through mid 1967. I graduated from Wainwright (1967). Did you ever attend any of the JMW Reunions? I went back to Tainan in 2010 and again in 2014 and 2015 for vacations. The island is beautiful, the people are fantastic, and the food is beyond good! I am going back in October of this year for about 10 days to attend the 50th anniversary of the church my parents help to build and start. The church was located on the base road about 1 mile south of the base main gate.
Best Wishes………. Rick
I am from Taipei. Tainan is beautiful and a cultural county.. . Glad you all like there!
— Best Regards
Jamaes A. Newmes
I have been a long time admirer of Cat Airways, the Flying Tigers, & Air America. I spent 5 1/2 years in Thailand and really enjoyed talking with the Air America folks at Udorn RTAFB while I was there. Please let me know if it is possible to become a member of your fine organization as a friend. Thank You.
Thank you for your interest Jamaes, we will contact you directly in a few days.
James, please reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org for information about possibly joining our association. Thank you.
Valerie R Heflin
My dad was a pilot for CAT in the 60’s! “Tommy” Bernard Ferris Thompson. I was just at the Air America Reunion in Scottsdale, AZ ! I heard the Organization is having a reunion in Vegas in October. I live in Bullhead City, AZ, only 90 miles south of Las Vegas! Wondering if I could register for the Reunion!? It would mean so much to come. Also, my sister is thinking about coming. We’re second generation and looking for some information about our dad. Thank you so much !!!!!
Valerie ~ Please contact me directly at LACOPINE@COMCAST.NET so I can give you details about joining us in Las Vegas.
Cabaniss, Jo (Bradburn)
I received your sister’s membership application in the mail yesterday. I hope to have yours soon as well. Will be sending Cynthia our latest CAT bulletin with details about the reunion. Looking forward to meeting both of you at our CAT reunion in Las Vegas!!
Jamaes A. Newmes
I am interested in becoming a member of the Association. I am a long time admirer of the Flying Tigers, Cat Airways, & Air America. I served 5 1/2 years in Thailand and admired the personell of Air America when I came in contact with them. Please let me know if it is possible to become a member of your organization as a long time friend.
Cabaniss, Jo (Bradburn)
Jamaes, please contact me directly at email@example.com. I tried to respond to the email that you provided when you made your comment, but my response came back “undeliverable”.
The new CAT web is great!
Thanks Bob! Glad to know that you are enjoying the website. Carol Burridge has done a fantastic job!
Ann and Bob Rousselot were great friends. When I was with NACC 1976-1978 I often rode with Bill Welk and Doc Johhnson in the C-460 to our small base on Chinmen. And with Don Teeters and Connie Seachrist to Matsu in the PBY. Bob was very helpful to me when I moved onto other “company” things in the Far East. After retiring I visited the ranch several times and Bob managed to find things for me to do in the manual area. Like build a barn door. When escorting a Dutch official from Taipei to Tokyo Bob was flying check pilot on the 880. He invited my official to the cockpit. What a wonderful night time view my guest had flying over Osaka before returning to his seat. Many fond memories of Ann and Bob and with a great Thanksdiving dinner one time.
Cabaniss, Jo (Bradburn)
Found what you are looking for, I think, re: your post of memories about the Rousselots!
Jay D Levine
I am looking for my fathers background he was a C46 Pilot with CAT His name is Joseph D Levine ,He flew in the early 50,s as far as I know Can you help me find him he is deceased and is buried in Phoenix Arizona in 2004. any help would be appreciated
Webmaster - Carol Burridge
Hi Jay. I will circulate your inquiry and get back to you. Thanks!
Tommy A. Odiorne
All as the Buddha said, all things are impermanent. CAS, AAM personnel along with other support companies like CASI and Bird were outstanding. I had the privilege of seeing their work first hand when I was stationed in Laos 69/70 with ARMA. The pleasure was all mine in being able to know a few of you guys. Great job through the decades.
Are you the Tom I knew in Fulda, Germany in the mid-1980s. Is your wife – Loam – aka “windy”. I am retired in Clawson Mi and would like to get in touch if you are the Tom I knew back then.
Griffith, Charles M.
Glad to see the open publicity at long last.
This history of O U R S [I’m proud to say] should be broadcast from the rooftops, especially in light of this Mali situation developing with the French in their former colonial possession……review our earlier involvement at Dien Bien Phu.
Round and round we go……..