COVERT OPERATIONS

By Region

Asia: Civil Air Transport and Air America

Leary, William M. "Aircraft and Anti-Communists: CAT in Action, 1949-52." China Quarterly 52 (Oct.-Dec. 1972): 654-669.

Leary, William M. Perilous Missions: Civil Air Transport and CIA Covert Operations in Asia. Tuscaloosa, AL: University of Alabama Press, 1984. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institute Press, 2003.

According to Motley, IJI&C 1.1, Perilous Missions is an "important and penetrating account that unites CAT's airline history, intelligence activities, and the Cold War." CAT operated 1946-1959 when it became Air America. Tovar, IJI&C 8.3, calls it "a serious study of the operations of CIA proprietary airlines" (fn. 5).

For Goulden, Washington Times, 8 Jun. 2003, Leary's is a "sound work, based on CAT's corporate archives." It serves as "a palliative for the wild yarns circulated about CAT and its successor organization, Air America, over the years." Bath, NIPQ 20.2, gives this work a "highly recommended" rating. The new edition has "a helpful new preface that summarizes CIA's proprietary air operations subsequent to the transformation of CAT into Air America.... Perilous Missions remains the best study of CAT and CIA's early involvement in the air over Asia."

Leeker, Joe F.

1. The Aircraft of Air America. 5th ed. (4 Mar. 2013), at: http://www.utdallas.edu/library/specialcollections/hac/cataam/Leeker/aircraft/index.html.

Research for this database was "especially done at the Air America Archives at McDermott Library, University of Texas at Dallas. All information contained in the sections entitled 'Types of missions flown', 'Statistics', and 'Service history' as well as the photos are exclusively based on archival material.... Additional information came from the USAF Aircraft Assignment Records preserved at the USAF Historical Research Agency at Maxwell AFB, the records of the Director General of Civil Aviation of the Republic of China at Taipei, and other archives."

2. The History of Air America. 2d ed. (4 Mar. 2013), at: http://www.utdallas.edu/library/specialcollections/hac/cataam/Leeker/history/index.html.

This is an "e-book that covers the operational history of Air America. It is intended to serve as a narrative supplement to the database entitled The Aircraft of Air America" (see above).

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Air America: Upholding the Airmen's Bond, at: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/historical-collection-publications/air-america/03431_Pub.pdf.

"Overview": "A fascinating assembly of documents revealing the role that Air America, the Agency's proprietary airline, played in the search and rescue of pilots and personnel during the Vietnam War. The collection has personal accounts by the rescued pilots and thank you letters as well as commendations from various officials. It includes, for the first time, direct information about Lima Site 85 in Laos and a possible hijacking attempt in the 1964 crash of Flight 908. Other elements include the airline's role in the final evacuations from Da Nang and Saigon in April, 1975."

See Jeff Carlton, "CIA Documents Shine Light on Secretive Air America," Associated Press, 15 Apr. 2009, for a report on the 18 April 2009 symposium ("Air America: Upholding the Airmen's Bond.") at the University of Texas at Dallas at which these documents were released.

See also, U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, Stories of Sacrifice and Dedication: Civil Air Transport, Air America and the CIA and CIA's Clandestine Services Histories of Civil Air Transport.

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. CIA's Clandestine Services Histories of Civil Air Transport, at: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/historical-collection-publications/clandestine-services-histories-of-civil-air-transport/index.html.

"[T]hese excerpts from the CIA's Clandestine Services Histories of Civil Air Transport were written by Alfred T. Cox[,]... President of CAT after its acquisition by the CIA. He guided the covert and commercial operations.... There are two related collections:  Stories of Sacrifice and Dedication: Civil Air Transport, Air America and the CIA and Air America: Upholding the Airmen's Bond."

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Stories of Sacrifice and Dedication Civil Air Transport, Air America, and the CIA, at: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/historical-collection-publications/stories-of-sacrifice-dedication/index.html.

"The booklet and DVD contains essays, speech transcripts, excerpts from the CAT Bulletin ... and other materials.... Lima Site 85 explores the construction, use, and fall of a covert radar site in Laos that allowed the United States to bomb North Vietnam.... A CAT flight to recover an agent inside Communist China ... resulted in the capture and 20 year imprisonment of Jack Downey and Richard Fecteau, whose story was documented in the video, Extraordinary Fidelity on the CIA's YouTube Channel. There are two related collections: Clandestine Services Histories of Civil Air Transport and Air America: Upholding the Airmen's Bond."

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