Dear friends from the Air America,
Since 24 August 2015, the final versions of my 2 e-books about CAT and Air America are on the web. You can find the final version of the 5th edition of The Aircraft of Air America and the final version of the 2nd edition of The History of Air America.
So what is new?
This final version of the fifth edition of The Aircraft of Air America, dated 24 August 2015, contains the following new information:
- The C-130 file has been completely revised, as more details about the aircraft used in the Tibetan airlift have come to light from the log books of Merrill D. (“Doc”) Johnson.
- The files about the Khmer Air Force and RLAF T-28s and O-1s have been revised thanks to material coming from the National Archives, provided by Sid Nanson and Steve Darke
- The identities of the “Peace Rotor” UH-34s prepared by Air America’s maintenance base at Udorn and delivered by Air America pilots to Indonesia have come to light.
- 3 new files have been added to the RLAF section: T-6s, Sikorsky SH-19s, and Alouette IIs
This final version of the second edition of The History of Air America, dated 24 August 2015, includes 4 new files published here for the first time:
- Company Management I – 1947-59
- Company Management II – 1959-73
- Company Management III – 1973-77
- Air America in Thailand – since the days of CAT
While the file about Air America in Thailand follows the same pattern as the files about Air America in Laos or South Vietnam, so is arranged by contracts, types of operations, and periods of time, the 3 new files called Company Management, Administration, and Ground Support I, II, and III try to explain how CAT, Air Asia, and Air America were functioning behind the visible world of the flight crews – at Washington, at Taipei and on the level of an Air America base or station. At the same time, these files try to list all people who worked at a certain position at a certain place. As these lists are not based on any official Company roster of employees, but only on those documents that were available to me, this information is necessarily incomplete.
What else is new in this “final” version of my History of Air America?
- There are several new chapters in Air America in Laos. One of them (in Humanitarian work, part 2) deals with Air America working in USAID’s anti-narcotics programs and also tries to disprove the false allegations of drug running; another one (in Humanitarian work, part 1) gives new details about Air America’s SAR work; still another one of them (in Military aid, part 1) deals with the Seaboard World Services episode; and to all of them, many details about the historical background have been added.
- The file Missions to Tibet now has new details extracted from the log book of Merrill D. (“Doc”) Johnson.
- A new chapter (about Air Ventures) and many details (mostly about CASI) have been added to the file Cooperation with other airlines.
- The file CAT, Air Asia, Air America – the Company on Taiwan III: Work for the US Government now contains details about the B-17s used by CAT and the RoCAF.
- The file CAT, Air Asia, Air America – the Company on Taiwan IV: Technical Services Division now has, at its end, a summary of the history of Air Asia from its sale to E-Systems in 1975 to today.
So have fun!
Dr. Joe Leeker
The association was recently contacted by Karen Weissenback Moen. She is the widow of AFS Edward Weissenback, who along with Capt. Ritter, FO Townley, and AFD Khamphanh Saysongkham, remains listed as MIA (AA #293 crash).
"The American families are interested in trying to locate the family of Mr. Khamphanh Saysongkham, who we believe was a Thai national. We may have news to share with them within the next year or two. We are wondering if there is a way to put a notice on the Air America website and/or in the next newsletter that we are trying to locate the family of Mr. Khamphanh Saysongkham and, if whereabouts are known, to please contact either Phillipe Ritter or me. Working through the Air American Association may offer the best chance of trying to locate Mr. Saysongkham's family members.
The association was recently contacted by a member of the Bonafonte family looking for stories or individuals who know José Francisco ´Joe´ Bonafonte or Carlos ´Charles´Bonafonte. They were both working for Air America, in Pakse, Bangkok, Udorn Thani, Vientiane...
Please email the webmaster with information.
CAT/AIR AMERICA ORAL HISTORY PROJECT
You can now view CAT/Air America Oral History Interviews online on the following web page: CAT/Air America Oral History Project. In addition to information about online transcripts and ongoing interviews, you can also find out how you can participate in this project. CAT/Air America employees and their family members are all welcome to participate in this project. In addition to being online as part of the Virtual Archive at TTU, copies of interviews will also be made available at UTD. We hope you will participate in this project to preserve and make available the individual and collective history of Civil Air Transport and Air America through the voices of those who were there. Thank you.