In This Article Air Transport

  • Introduction
  • Logistics
  • General Overviews
  • World War I Era and Interwar Years
  • RAF/Commonwealth Forces
  • Berlin Airlift
  • Korean War
  • Vietnam War
  • Aircraft
  • Post–World War II

Military History Air Transport
by
John Plating
  • LAST MODIFIED: 06 February 2012
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199791279-0008

Introduction

The history of military air transport is largely an overlooked field of academic research. Within the field that is airpower studies, there is no shortage of literature on topics concerning strategic bombing or fighter/pursuit/attack aviation. But air transport is typically considered a subset of the broader study of logistics, and so—lacking the glitz and panache of lethal forms of the air weapon—it is usually reduced to the realm of tons carried, troops delivered, or sorties flown. This said, there is much room for growth in this important field of military history, especially as most of the extant literature on the topic lies in two clumps, during World War II, and during the Vietnam War. This being the case—and because the United States has consistently been the home of the world’s foremost air-transport services—most of the literature on the topic tends to cover American efforts, though occasional exceptions do exist. Also, because military air transport is so closely tied to commercial air transport, it is important to acknowledge the connection, which is something this bibliography strives to accomplish.

Logistics

Because air transport falls squarely within the realm of military logistics, it is important for researchers to establish a solid conceptual footing in this area before forging ahead. Several helpful works are listed below, but Hugill 1993 stands out among the pack, especially as it has an extended discussion on the impact of aircraft as initiating what the author deems a “transportation revolution.” Additionally, Thompson 1991 gives scant coverage to air transport in his survey, and both Van Creveld 1977 and Lynn 1993 provide solid overviews of the broader topic of logistics and warfare, a foundational point of departure for any discussion that extends to logistics via air transport.

  • Hugill, Peter J. World Trade since 1431: Geography, Technology, and Capitalism. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993.

    E-mail Citation »

    Written by a geographer, this book is a good starting point in forming one’s conceptual framework for the place of air transport in (early-modern to modern) world history. Chapter 7, “Aviation and the First Global System,” is a must-read for historians of military air transport.

    Find this resource:

    • Lynn, John A. Feeding Mars: Logistics in Western Warfare from the Middle Ages to the Present. Boulder, CO: Westview, 1993.

      E-mail Citation »

      A series of scholarly essays on logistics, spanning from the medieval period up through the two-and-a-half-ton trucks driven by the US Army during World War II. No mention of airpower, but it is an important contribution to the literature on logistics.

      Find this resource:

      • Thompson, Julian. The Lifeblood of War: Logistics in Armed Conflict. London: Brassey’s, 1991.

        E-mail Citation »

        A readable survey of the role of logistics throughout history, starting with the campaigns of Alexander and running through NATO operations at the height of the Cold War. Anglo-centric (a full chapter on the Falklands), with the role of airlift discussed in broad strokes in the book’s coverage of modern warfare.

        Find this resource:

        • Van Creveld, M. Supplying War: Logistics from Wallenstein to Patton. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1977.

          E-mail Citation »

          Helpful survey of military history written from the vantage point of logistics; author analyzes in chronological order seven campaigns, concluding that while pre-modern armies were limited by food supplies, modern armies are limited by the supplies demanded by weapons and vehicles. No discussion of air transport, but this is a work that provides a helpful conceptual framework for the general topic of logistics.

          Find this resource:

          General Overviews

          Overviews of military air transport come either in the form of institutional histories of units such as the US Military Airlift Command (the precursor to today’s Air Mobility Command), or its antecedents (see Burkard 1984, United States Air Force 1991, and Wragg 1987). Exceptions can be found in the memoirs of certain key individuals in the history of air transport, such as Tunner 1985, or a recent biography of the air-transport icon William Tunner found in Slayton 2010. William Tunner’s career included involvement in two of air transport’s more pivotal campaigns, the trans-Himalaya “Hump” airlift, and the Berlin Airlift, the first true military engagement of the Cold War, and his life is a nice companion to airlift doctrine fashioned at the same time, as covered in Miller 1988. Kennedy 1993 and Quarrie 1991 provide helpful nuances to these overviews by covering respectively—also for long chronological stretches—the histories of both flying route structures and paratroop operations.

          • Burkard, Dick J. Military Airlift Command: Historical Handbook, 1941–1984. Scott AFB, IL: Military Airlift Command, US Air Force, 1984.

            E-mail Citation »

            A handy institutional reference (devoid of analysis) on the world’s largest military airlift organization; most helpful is the first chapter, which provides a chronology of the Military Airlift Command’s first four decades of service.

            Find this resource:

            • Kennedy, Betty R. Air Mobility En Route Structure: The Historical Perspective, 1941–1991. Scott Air Force Base, IL: Headquarters, Air Mobility Command, 1993.

              E-mail Citation »

              Historical overview of the development of the US Air Force’s air-transport route structure network as it evolved during the half century during and after World War II; it is a good reminder that the system of routes and airways was just as essential as the development of aircraft and proficiency of pilots.

              Find this resource:

              • Miller, Charles E. Airlift Doctrine. Maxwell Air Force Base, AL: Air University Press, 1988.

                E-mail Citation »

                Survey of the US military’s airlift doctrine, beginning in the 1920s—with a helpful discussion of how air-transport ideas were shaped by the broader Air Corps air power debates—and moving through World War II and into the jet age. Focus of the book is troop carrier doctrine, with only brief coverage of airdrop operations.

                Find this resource:

                • Quarrie, Bruce. Airborne Assault: Parachute Forces in Action, 1940–91. London: Patrick Stevens, 1991.

                  E-mail Citation »

                  Carefully researched survey of airborne operations with a decidedly British emphasis. Looks at the history of parachute regiments—what they were, how they are recruited, their individual track records—and goes on to argue for the contemporary necessity of this military capability.

                  Find this resource:

                  • Slayton, Robert A. Master of the Air: William Tunner and the Success of Military Airlift. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2010.

                    E-mail Citation »

                    This is the only biography of this important figure in the development of military air transport following World War II. The book is something of an expansion of Tunner’s own published memoir (Tunner 1985), but it also elaborates on his efforts to institutionalize airlift capabilities within the US Air Force in the years following the Korean War.

                    Find this resource:

                    • Tunner, William H. Over the Hump. Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History, 1985.

                      E-mail Citation »

                      An important (albeit self-serving) memoir written by one of the most important American airlift commanders in the 1940s and 1950s. Discussion is largely focused on the trans-Himalayan “Hump” airlift, the Berlin Airlift, and airlift operations during the Korean War. Originally published in 1965.

                      Find this resource:

                      • United States Air Force. Anything, Anywhere, Anytime: An Illustrated History of the Military Airlift Command, 1941–1991. Scott Air Force Base, IL: Headquarters Military Airlift Command, 1991.

                        E-mail Citation »

                        Perhaps the best brief, one-volume history of the Military Airlift Command (and its antecedents), despite being an official unit history. Full of helpful pictures and organizational schematics.

                        Find this resource:

                        • Wragg, David W. Airlift: A History of Military Air Transport. Novato, CA: Presidio, 1987.

                          E-mail Citation »

                          Cursory survey of airlift operations, beginning in the 1920s and running up through Vietnam and the Falklands. Though dated, this serves as a good overview for novices.

                          Find this resource:

                          World War I Era and Interwar Years

                          The few quality works on early air transport consist largely of isolated case studies of specific events—the defense of Kut during World War I (Moore 1995) and the United States’ “punitive expedition” against Pancho Villa (Miller 2003), to name a couple—though there is still a need for a closer survey of aerial logistics during this period. Proctor 1983 is top notch, though its discussion of air transport is confined largely to the Nationalists’ strategic move against the Strait of Gibraltar during the Spanish Civil War. It was also during this interwar period that national air services were contemplating the most efficient use of transports, wondering as they did what the best use of airlift was, as detailed (in the American experience) in Miller 1998, and broadly surveyed in Taylor 1975.

                          • Miller, Roger G. “Air Transport on the Eve of Pearl Harbor.” Air Power History 45.2 (Summer 1998): 26–37.

                            E-mail Citation »

                            Important article detailing the state of the US Air Corps’ air-transport capability in the mid- to late 1930s. The most helpful aspect of this article is its coverage of how prewar air transport was relegated to the position of an unappreciated support role, making Air Transport Command’s eventual formation and expansion all the more impressive.

                            Find this resource:

                            • Miller, Roger. A Preliminary to War: The 1st Aero Squadron and the Mexican Punitive Expedition of 1916. Washington, DC: Air Force History and Museums Program, 2003.

                              E-mail Citation »

                              Brief discussion of the early role of airlift in serving as a key logistical component to the Punitive Expedition; highlights how these poor-quality early aircraft suffered constant maintenance problems despite being able to cover impressive distances in short periods.

                              Find this resource:

                              • Moore, Murdock. “Mesopotamia: Being the Cradle of Civilization and Airlift.” Airlift/Tanker Quarterly (Summer 1995): 5–8.

                                E-mail Citation »

                                History of the failed attempt to keep the British garrison at Kut Al Amara resupplied by air from December 1915 to the spring of 1916. Novel methods of resupply characterized this effort, the first of its kind in the history of military transport at war.

                                Find this resource:

                                • Proctor, Raymond L. Hitler’s Luftwaffe in the Spanish Civil War. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1983.

                                  E-mail Citation »

                                  A history of the efforts of Hitler’s “Condor Legion” in support of Francisco Franco’s forces during the Spanish Civil War. This monograph is included in this bibliography largely because of its chapter on the airlift of Franco’s army from Africa to Spain, an effort that has no contemporary rival in terms of strategic significance.

                                  Find this resource:

                                  • Taylor, John William Ransom, and Kenneth Munson. Air Transport before the Second World War. London: New English Library, 1975.

                                    E-mail Citation »

                                    Provides a thin overview of pre–World War II air transport in a large-format book full of photos and illustrations.

                                    Find this resource:

                                    World War II

                                    Despite being decidedly American in focus, the most comprehensive work on military air transport during World War II can be found in Craven and Cate 1983, taking up the bulk of Volume 7 of that collection. Other works, such as Cleveland 1946 and Dmitri 1944, are useful supplements; similarly, Gann 1961 offers snapshots of air-transport history that are both gripping and informative in opening the reader’s eyes to the distant hazards of the day. Arnold 1989 is a memoir that does not necessarily focus on air transport, but it does reveal two things: first, that the air force commander knew that air transport expertise lay elsewhere and second, that such expertise resided outside of the military—in the commercial sector. Finally, Bilstein 1998 serves as a helpful first stop for newcomers to World War II military air transport.

                                    • Arnold, Henry Harley. Global Mission. Blue Ridge Summit, PA: Tab, 1989.

                                      E-mail Citation »

                                      Arnold’s single-volume war memoir reveals an air-minded commander who understood that airpower needed to be considered on a global scale and not simply a theater-level scale. Understood in this light, the AAF’s wartime commander’s global perspective bleeds through in his understanding of air-transport requirements and capabilities.

                                      Find this resource:

                                      • Bilstein, Roger E. Airlift and Airborne Operations in World War II. Washington, DC: Air Force History and Museums Program, 1998.

                                        E-mail Citation »

                                        This work serves as a helpful précis (just over fifty pages in length) for those needing a brief yet reliable overview of American airlift and airborne operations during the war. Spanning the globe, this short monograph discusses planes and pilots and then traipses through operations in the Mediterranean, Italy, France, and Germany before moving eventually to Asia.

                                        Find this resource:

                                        • Cleveland, Reginald McIntosh. Air Transport at War. New York: Harper & Bros., 1946.

                                          E-mail Citation »

                                          Good overview written immediately after World War II. Sketchy and thin at points, indicative of the lack of in-depth archival material. Nevertheless, this is a good introduction to both Air Transport Command (for the USAAF) and the US Naval Air Transport service.

                                          Find this resource:

                                          • Craven, Wesley F., and James L. Cate. The Army Air Forces in World War II. Vol. 7. Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History, 1983.

                                            E-mail Citation »

                                            This final volume of Craven and Cate’s magisterial study is devoted to elements of airpower common to all theaters of the war. Contains 200+ pages on the history of American military air transport during the war, presented in a theater-by-theater manner.

                                            Find this resource:

                                            • Dmitri, Ivan. Flight to Everywhere. New York: Whittlesey House, McGraw-Hill, 1944.

                                              E-mail Citation »

                                              Published with both black-and-white and Kodachrome color pictures, celebrated photographer Dmitri compiles what is essentially a photographic essay of his journey with an Air Transport Command crew as it traveled from Brazil to Africa, India, and China, then to Italy, Morocco, and home across the Atlantic. Good companion to La Farge’s The Eagle in the Egg (see La Farge 1949, cited under US Army Air Forces).

                                              Find this resource:

                                              • Gann, Ernest Kellogg. Fate Is the Hunter. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1961.

                                                E-mail Citation »

                                                Classic memoir of the early days of commercial aviation, told with vivid descriptions and gripping color. Gann includes a few chapters on the hazards of air transport during World War II; provides a great picture of just how dangerous transport flying was in the 1930s and 1940s.

                                                Find this resource:

                                                US Army Air Forces

                                                In addition to Air Transport Command, the US Army Air Force air-transport capability also contained two other arms designed to accomplish unique roles. Troop-carrier squadrons typically carried paratroopers on airborne assault missions (discussed in Maguire 1998 and Wolfe 1989) and Combat Cargo units were designed to operate in a near-autonomous fashion very close to enemy lines (as discussed in Martin 1988). These works comprise three of the better memoirs of these types of units, in addition to Cave 1945 and La Farge 1949, which provide histories of Air Transport Command. Lorentz 1982 provides a videographic representation of many of ATC’s bases, as the film served as a training resource for flight crews during the war.

                                                • Cave, Hugh B. Wings Across the World: The Story of the Air Transport Command. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1945.

                                                  E-mail Citation »

                                                  Thinly written narrative history of ATC (published immediately after the war), giving glimpses of the challenges discovered in each of the command’s main theaters of operation (North and South Atlantic, the Aleutians, the Pacific, and the CBI). Closes with an optimistic forecast for the future impact of air transport.

                                                  Find this resource:

                                                  • La Farge, Oliver. The Eagle in the Egg. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1949.

                                                    E-mail Citation »

                                                    Published unit history from one of Air Transport Command’s historians. Heavy on anecdotes and thus lacking in strategic analysis; nevertheless, the monograph still stands as one of the few histories of that command.

                                                    Find this resource:

                                                    • Lorentz, Pare. North Atlantic Run Greenland Alternative for BW-1. Oshkosh: Television Center, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, 1982.

                                                      E-mail Citation »

                                                      Reedited copy of a training film used to familiarize aircrews with use of motion pictures and still images of what airfields, runways, and flight lines looked like at Air Transport Command bases in the North Atlantic, including Greenland.

                                                      Find this resource:

                                                      • Maguire, Jon A. Gooney Birds & Ferry Tales: The 27th Air Transport Group in World War II. Atglen, PA: Schiffer, 1998.

                                                        E-mail Citation »

                                                        The 27th ATG supported both the 8th and 9th Air Force in Europe, among other things playing a key role in hauling gasoline to support Patton’s eastward drive toward Germany in 1944. A reprint of the 302nd’s official history with over 600 photos and a nice compliment to Wolfe’s Green Light!

                                                        Find this resource:

                                                        • Martin, J. G. It Began at Imphal: The Combat Cargo Story. Manhattan, KS: Sunflower University Press, 1988.

                                                          E-mail Citation »

                                                          Narrative history of the United States’ first true tactical airlift wing and its operations in the Pacific and China-Burma-India theater. The Combat Cargo—nicknamed “ComCar”—mission was started in 1943, designed to operate autonomously in the most austere conditions. Author traces the histories of these four ComCar groups through World War II and up through the Korean War.

                                                          Find this resource:

                                                          • Wolfe, Martin. Green Light! Men of the 81st Troop Carrier Squadron Tell Their Story. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1989.

                                                            E-mail Citation »

                                                            A meticulously observed war memoir written by a veteran of the 81st Troop Carrier Squadron: covers training in the United States to operations in Italy, France, Holland, Belgium, and Germany. Provides a vivid picture of the paratroop airdrop mission from the vantage point of an aircrew member.

                                                            Find this resource:

                                                            Europe

                                                            In terms of general European air transport, investigations of Stalingrad lead the pack, seeing as that German effort failed because of—at least ostensibly— a failure of aerial resupply. Hayward 1998 and Bergstrom 2007 are the most comprehensive sources, while Backlund 1970 poses a thoughtful comparison. Lebedev 1997 covers the role of US Lend-Lease transports on the war on the Eastern Front, and Morzik 1961 details German air-transport operations in general, with Sweeting 2001 homing in on the specifics of Hitler’s personal executive air-transport unit.

                                                            • Backlund, Donald R. “Stalingrad and Dien Bien Phu: Two Cases of Failure in Strategic Resupply.” Aerospace Historian 17 (Summer–Fall 1970): 60–68.

                                                              E-mail Citation »

                                                              A concise comparison and analysis on the airlifts at Stalingrad and Dien Bien Phu; somewhat dated, but a worthwhile conceptual starting point for studies on airlift and airdrop operations.

                                                              Find this resource:

                                                              • Bergstrom, Christer. Stalingrad: The Air Battle: November 1942–February 1943. Hinckley, UK: Midland, 2007.

                                                                E-mail Citation »

                                                                Covers the numerous air battles occurring over Stalingrad from August to November 1942. Discusses the Luftwaffe’s aerial resupply effort supporting the 6th Army, as well as German air operations during the Soviet counterattack of 1943.

                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                • Hayward, Joel A. S. Stopped at Stalingrad: The Luftwaffe and Hitler’s Defeat in the East, 1942–1943. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1998.

                                                                  E-mail Citation »

                                                                  Discusses the aerial resupply effort of Stalingrad as part of the Luftwaffe’s broader campaign against Soviet forces. Author’s chief contribution is in displaying the vital role of airpower (and airlift and airdrop) in the eventually failed sustainment of the city. An analytical companion to Morzik’s German Air Force Airlift Operations.

                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                  • Lebedev, I. P. Aviation Lend-Lease to Russia: Historical Observations. New York: Nova Science, 1997.

                                                                    E-mail Citation »

                                                                    Covers the use of the DC-3 (in its Soviet variation) in support of both Red Army ground forces as well as partisan forces arrayed against the Germans on the Eastern Front.

                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                    • Morzik, Fritz. German Air Force Airlift Operations. Introduction by Telford Taylor. USAF Historical Studies 167. New York: Arno, 1961.

                                                                      E-mail Citation »

                                                                      Written by the Luftwaffe’s chief of air transport after the war, this study discusses the role of air transport as an adjunct supply method for armor and mechanized infantry. Author shows how airlift was usually only considered when all other modes failed, as in the case of Stalingrad.

                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                      • Sweeting, C. G. Hitler’s Squadron: The Fuehrer’s Personal Aircraft and Transport Unit, 1933–45. Washington, DC: Brassey’s, 2001.

                                                                        E-mail Citation »

                                                                        Interesting look at Hitler’s executive air-transport squadron. Full of pictures but short on a discussion of the unit’s organization, the author shows how committed Hitler was to using aircraft for propaganda purposes, while also discussing the specifics of his specially outfitted FW 200 and the exploits of Hans Bauer, Hitler’s personal pilot.

                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                        The Hump

                                                                        Because it operated over the world’s most uninviting terrain and in its most fickle weather, the trans-Himalayan “Hump” airlift from eastern India to western China attracts special attention in the realm of air-transport literature. This section includes Histories as well as Memoirs of the airlift effort.

                                                                        Histories

                                                                        Plating 2011 is unique in that it is the first academic study of the airlift effort. Koenig 1972 provides a second comprehensive survey, with proper focus on the airlift’s early days. Thorne 1965 and Martin 1983 provide narratives based largely on anecdotes, with Quinn 1989 providing a chronological compilation of three-and-a-half years of aircraft losses in the theater. Lorentz 1982 provides a copy of a training film produced to familiarize aircrews with the local area.

                                                                        • Koenig, William J. Over the Hump: Airlift to China. Ballantine’s Illustrated History of the Violent Century, Campaign Book 23. New York: Ballantine, 1972.

                                                                          E-mail Citation »

                                                                          Koenig packs a wealth of information (and photos) into the book’s 150 pages, covering the Hump’s history from start to finish. He emphasizes the early days of the lift, as it is the operation’s growth up to the summer of 1944 that was the most significant part of the story. Based on secondary English-language sources, the book overlooks Chinese and Japanese perspectives.

                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                          • Lorentz, Pare, dir. India-China Division: The Hump to Kunming, China. VHS. Oshkosh: Television Center, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, 1982.

                                                                            E-mail Citation »

                                                                            Training film used to familiarize aircrews with use of motion pictures and still images of airfields, runways, and flight lines at Air Transport Command bases around the world.

                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                            • Martin, John G. Through Hell’s Gate to Shanghai: History of the 10th Combat Cargo Squadron, 3rd Combat Cargo Group, C.B.I. Theater, 1944–1946. Ashland, KY: J. G. Martin, 1983.

                                                                              E-mail Citation »

                                                                              A unit history of the 10th Combat Cargo (“ComCar”) Squadron from operations at Imphal to the brief US occupation of Shanghai. Interesting introduction into how ComCar units operated in a short-notice, self-contained manner, often in support of direct combat on the ground.

                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                              • Plating, John D. The Hump: America’s Strategy for Keeping China in World War II. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2011.

                                                                                E-mail Citation »

                                                                                First academic study of the trans-Himalayan “Hump” airlift, whereby the author argues that while the first two years of the airlift were designed to serve as a display of American moral support of China, its final two years saw the airlift used to prepare Chinese supply depots with needed equipment for an eventual invasion of Japan.

                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                • Quinn, Chick Marrs. The Aluminum Trail: China-Burma-India, World War II, 1942–1945: How & Where They Died. Privately printed, 1989.

                                                                                  E-mail Citation »

                                                                                  Chronological compilation of American military aircraft crashes (of all types of aircraft) in the CBI from 1942 until the end of the war. Author’s information came from wartime Missing Aircrew Reports, many of which were subsequently destroyed in the fire at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis in 1973, making this resource all the more valuable.

                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                  • Thorne, Bliss K. The Hump: The Great Military Airlift of World War II. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1965.

                                                                                    E-mail Citation »

                                                                                    An early attempt at a full history of the Hump airlift, held together largely by a series of personal anecdotes that discuss day-to-day operations. There is little assessment of the larger strategic picture in either East Asia or the Pacific.

                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                    Memoirs

                                                                                    Hump memoirs are typically full of hair-raising tales written by veterans who survived the day-to-day ordeal of transporting supplies over that route. Researchers will glean little in the way of strategic vision but will instead be regaled by a steady stream of anecdotes. White 1984 and Spencer 1992 are somewhat exceptional: the former covers an in-depth look at General Thomas Hardin’s leadership, and the latter is one of the better memoirs of the airlift. Smith 1995 and Genovese 1945 offer perspectives from pilots who would later fly for the postwar Nationalist government, while King 2004 offers the unique perspective of a fuel transport pilot. Constein 2002 is a hodgepodge of anecdotes, and Ethell and Downie 2004 and Lindgren 1990 both provide helpful images and video footage of various aspects of the airlift.

                                                                                    • Constein, Carl Frey. Tales of the Himalayas: Letters from WWII Airmen Who Flew the Hump and from Other Veterans of the CBI. Bloomington, IN: 1stBooks, 2002.

                                                                                      E-mail Citation »

                                                                                      Compilation of letters written by various airmen to wives, parents, and girlfriends during the war, recounting daily events encountered while flying the Hump airlift. Helpful primary source for researchers of the airlift, as well as the China-Burma-India theater in general.

                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                      • Ethell, Jeffrey L., and Don Downie. Flying the Hump: In Original World War II Color. St. Paul, MN: Motorbooks, 2004.

                                                                                        E-mail Citation »

                                                                                        Book contains a cursory history of the Hump, but its real value comes in the more than 170 color photos related to the airlift, along with attendant stories from veterans of the airlift.

                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                        • Genovese, J. We Flew without Guns. Philadelphia: John C. Winston, 1945.

                                                                                          E-mail Citation »

                                                                                          Colorful account of an American Air Corps attack-aircraft pilot who volunteers for duty with the Royal Air Force (prior to formal US involvement in World War II). The author leaves the UK after the Blitz and becomes a transport pilot for the China National Aviation Corporation. Full of lively dialogue.

                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                          • King, Steven C. Flying the Hump to China. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2004.

                                                                                            E-mail Citation »

                                                                                            Hump veteran’s account of flying B-24s modified as fuel transports in support of US effort to bomb Japan with China-based B-29s. Contains over 150 black-and-white photos from the author’s personal collection, which complement his exciting anecdotes: e.g., flying gas-laden transports through thunderstorms over the Himalayas.

                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                            • Lindgren, Arthur H., and Robert David, dirs. Flying the Hump. VHS. Seattle, WA: Memorymaker Productions, 1990.

                                                                                              E-mail Citation »

                                                                                              Ninety-minute video on the Hump airlift with narrated original black-and-white film footage of the route across the Himalayas; contains numerous interviews with veteran pilots conducted some forty-five years after the war.

                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                              • Smith, Felix. China Pilot: Flying for Chiang and Chennault. Washington, DC: Brassey’s, 1995.

                                                                                                E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                Lively memoir from a pilot who flew the Hump during World War II then flew for Claire Chennault’s Civil Air Transport (the Nationalists’ first commercial airline) after the war. Valuable source of interesting anecdotes.

                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                • Spencer, Otha Cleo. Flying the Hump: Memories of an Air War. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1992.

                                                                                                  E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                  Written by a Hump veteran pilot turned university professor of journalism, this memoir chronicles the airlift’s final year, emphasizing the leadership exploits of William Tunner, the airlift’s theater commander by that point in the war. The book is well written, although it does contain much information easily obtainable elsewhere. But this is a good introduction nonetheless.

                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                  • White, Edwin Lee. Ten Thousand Tons by Christmas. St. Petersburg, FL: Valkyrie, 1984.

                                                                                                    E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                    A veteran’s account of his time as a trans-Himalayan “Hump” transport pilot. The book’s value is best found in the author’s discussion of how Roosevelt’s late-1943 monthly goal of carrying 10,000 tons of supplies to China was attained. The book is unique in that most memoirs on the Hump only discuss the airlift’s final two years, while this covers the airlift’s middle years.

                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                    RAF/Commonwealth Forces

                                                                                                    Because the bulk of air-transport literature is dominated by US efforts, the Royal Air Force (and Commonwealth) forces deserve special consideration. Often paralleling US efforts, though on a smaller scale, RAF air transport was no less significant to the war’s outcome. Wynn 1996 is an official history that provides an overview of RAF air-transport efforts, while Grant and Cole 1979 provides a closer look at that arm’s earlier days. Christie and Hatch 1997 and Curtis 1971 focus on the role of ferry pilots, the former concentrating on the exploits of aviatrixes who fulfilled this vital role. Lastly, Clark 2008 discusses the oft-overlooked role of Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) air transport in the Berlin Airlift.

                                                                                                    • Christie, Carl A., and F. J. Hatch. Ocean Bridge: The History of RAF Ferry Command. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1997.

                                                                                                      E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                      Superb history of an overlooked aspect of World War II airpower: the role of RAF Ferry Command in delivering US-built aircraft across a seldom-benign North Atlantic for use in the UK and elsewhere. Researchers of air transport as well as those of Canada’s role in the war will find this book useful.

                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                      • Clark, Chris. Operation Pelican: The Royal Australian Air Force in the Berlin Airlift, 1948–1949. Tuggeranong, Australia: Air Power Development Centre, 2008.

                                                                                                        E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                        Following World War II, the RAAF’s transport capability had largely been shut down and turned over to commercial carriers who supplied Dominion forces in former Japanese possessions. Despite this, in September 1948 an unnumbered transport squadron joined the Allied effort to keep Berlin supplied by air.

                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                        • Curtis, Lettice. The Forgotten Pilots: A Story of the Air Transport Auxiliary, 1939–45. Henley-on-Thames, UK: Foulis, 1971.

                                                                                                          E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                          Memoir written by one of Air Transport Auxiliary’s female pilots recounting the dangers of serving as a ferry pilot during the war, especially as ATA was often tasked with flying damaged aircraft back to repair depots. Provides a unique gender perspective.

                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                          • Grant, Roderick and Christopher Cole. But Not In Anger: The RAF in the Transport Role. London: Ian Allan, 1979.

                                                                                                            E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                            A history of the early days of the RAF’s air-transport arm, chronicling that service’s search for effective air routes.

                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                            • Wynn, Humphrey. Forged in War: A History of RAF Transport Command 1943–1967. London: Stationery Office, 1996.

                                                                                                              E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                              RAF Air Historical Branch’s concise official history of Transport Command, from its creation in 1943 until it was renamed Air Support Command in 1967. Chapters include condensed narratives of the command’s key turning points, and back matter contains helpful charts of active transport units, aircraft in service, and maps of basing locations.

                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                              Berlin Airlift

                                                                                                              If the Hump is considered to be the most significant sustained airlift effort of World War II, then the Berlin Airlift rightly earns that label for the early Cold War period. A number of monographs are extant on the topic, though each mines different sets of sources in crafting the airlift’s history. Cherny 2008 is the most recent and comprehensive monograph, with Haydock 1999, Collier 1978, and Donovan 1968 all covering the lift’s accomplishments in descending order of accuracy. Tunner 1998 contains an uncritical look at the lift from the vantage point of its celebrated commander, and Halvorsen 2002 contains a firsthand—and quite charming—account of the airlift’s celebrated “Candy Bomber.” Lastly, Clarke 2007 offers the perspective of a former RAF pilot, including parallel accounts of Berliners who suffered through the event.

                                                                                                              • Cherny, Andrei. The Candy Bombers: The Untold Story of the Berlin Airlift and America’s Finest Hour. New York: Penguin, 2008.

                                                                                                                E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                Retelling of the airlift’s history from the vantage point of Washington, DC politics, the diplomatic angle between the United States and the Soviets, as well as coverage of the actual operation itself. Based on secondary sources, declassified documents, and unpublished letters and diaries. The most comprehensive treatment of the airlift to date.

                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                • Clarke, Bob. The Berlin Airlift: 10 Tons for Templehof. Stroud, UK: Tempus, 2007.

                                                                                                                  E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                  An account of the airlift written by a former member of the RAF; contains a fair number of personal accounts, including those of aircrew members as well as Berliners trapped behind the Soviet blockade. Begins with the fall of Germany at the end of the war and traces the effort until completion in 1949.

                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                  • Collier, Richard. Bridge across the Sky: The Berlin Blockade and Airlift, 1948–1949. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1978.

                                                                                                                    E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                    Popularly written history of the airlift based on interviews conducted by the author—has interviews of some 450 people involved in the airlift. As such, the author relies little on official histories or documents. Also, because the book was written some three decades after the event, one must be wary of fickle memories. Nevertheless, this is a lively account with a helpful chronology.

                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                    • Donovan, Frank Robert. Bridge in the Sky. New York: D. McKay, 1968.

                                                                                                                      E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                      Popular history of the airlift based primarily on press reports, news magazine articles, and a few official (State Department) documents/official reports. Coverage of the airlift comes in broad strokes here, but the account is very readable. Although this lacks overall scholarly depth, there is a helpful section of photographs from the operation.

                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                      • Halvorsen, Gail S. The Berlin Candy Bomber. Bountiful, UT: Horizon, 2002.

                                                                                                                        E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                        Detailed account of the effort as told by “Uncle Wiggly Wings,” Berlin’s famed “Candy Bomber.” Heartwarming story that includes narratives from Berliners who were on the receiving end of the Allied airlift, and who—with great delight—eagerly awaited Halvorsen’s candy airdrops.

                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                        • Haydock, Michael D. City Under Siege: The Berlin Blockade and Airlift, 1948–1949. Washington, DC: Brassey’s, 1999.

                                                                                                                          E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                          First-rate history that focuses on the experiences of aircrew, politicians, and West Berliners. The author provides a primer on the early days of the Cold War while recounting the monumental airlift effort designed to save the city while “defeating” the Soviets.

                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                          • Tunner, William H. The Berlin Airlift. Ramstein Air Base, Germany: Office of History, United States Air Forces in Germany, 1998.

                                                                                                                            E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                            US Air Force’s republication of the chapter on the Berlin Airlift contained in Tunner’s memoir, Over the Hump. Largely celebratory, the booklet is helpful as it provides a history of the historic lift from the perspective of its commander, though with little in the way of (needed) self-criticism.

                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                            Korean War

                                                                                                                            If the Korean War is called the “forgotten war,” then this oversight extends to the realm of air-transport studies, with only a few to choose from. Leary 2000 is a helpful primer on the topic—and this from a top-notch historian of air-transport airpower. Lanius 1990 provides only article-length coverage, while Peifer 1957 details the advancements in airdrops realized during the war. Thompson 1954 is a compilation of wartime anecdotes as recounted by veterans shortly after the war.

                                                                                                                            • Lanius, Roger. “Korean War Airlift.” Airlift (Summer 1990): 16–21.

                                                                                                                              E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                              A précis of the US’s military airlift effort during the Korean War, as written by the Military Airlift Command’s Command Historian. Assesses the effort in mixed tones, lauding the command for its overall performance but chiding it for its lack of preparedness at the start of the war. Contains no source references.

                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                              • Leary, William M. Anything, Anywhere, Any Time: Combat Cargo in the Korean War. Washington, DC: Air Force History and Museums Program, 2000.

                                                                                                                                E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                Official US Air Force pamphlet chronicling the efforts of Combat Cargo during the Korean War. Author extols the command’s effectiveness and supports Tunner’s contention that “ComCar” was underutilized as a unit tasked to support the 8th Army’s proposed advance to the Yalu—an advance that may have shortened the war by staving off a Chinese invasion in late 1950.

                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                • Peifer, William H. Supply by Sky: The Quartermaster Airborne Development, 1950–53. Washington, DC: Historical Branch Office of the Quartermaster General, 1957.

                                                                                                                                  E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                  Detailed history of aerial resupply efforts during the Korean War, with full discussion of pitfalls that resulted from equipment shortages, rocky interservice relationships, and supply depot problems.

                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                  • Thompson, Annis. The Greatest Airlift: The Story of Combat Cargo. Tokyo: Dai-Nippon, 1954.

                                                                                                                                    E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                    A compilation of Korean War airlift stories by veterans, published just a year after the war. Full of photos not available elsewhere; short on analysis and long on anecdotes culled from then-fresh memoires.

                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                    Vietnam War

                                                                                                                                    Three genres of air transport histories dominate the Vietnam War: French air transport efforts prior to American involvement (Courtenay 1953, Cedergren 1955, Leary 1984, and Plating 2000), US military air transport in general (Bowers 1983 and Tokar 1998), and the activities of covert “airlines,” shrouding purposes behind a CIA-sanctioned veil (Robbins 1990 and Lert 1998).

                                                                                                                                    • Bowers, Ray L. Tactical Airlift. Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History, U.S. Air Force, 1983.

                                                                                                                                      E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                      Focuses on the twenty-five-year period of US involvement in Vietnam, from the advisory years to the Saigon evacuation. Highlights the role of C-123s, C-130s, and C-7s in order to demonstrate how airdrop and air-land operations on the tactical level impacted the war.

                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                      • Cedergren, Ernie, Jr. “I Flew at Dien Bien Phu.” Flying (February 1955): 26–28.

                                                                                                                                        E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                        Firsthand account from an American pilot who flew transport missions in support of the beleaguered garrison at Dien Bien Phu. Good source of anecdotes.

                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                        • Courtenay, William. “Air Power in Indo-China.” The Aeroplane (4 December 1953).

                                                                                                                                          E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                          Brief overview of the French Air Force’s air order of battle just after the French established the garrison at Dien Bien Phu. Cursory discussion of organization and capabilities but no in-depth analysis of doctrine or effectiveness.

                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                          • Leary, William M. Perilous Missions: Civil Air Transport and CIA Covert Operations in Asia. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1984.

                                                                                                                                            E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                            The only academic monograph on Civil Air Transport (CAT), Chennault’s postwar Chinese commercial airline with strong Guomindang allegiances that moved to Taiwan in 1949 and eventually transferred ownership to the OSS and then the CIA. Essential for anyone researching postwar Chinese air transportation.

                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                            • Lert, Frédéric. Wings of the CIA. Paris: Histoire & Collections, 1998.

                                                                                                                                              E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                              Journalistic attempt to chronicle the CIA’s numerous air transport efforts, though rife with errors of omission and commission. Translated from French, the author relies solely (and uncritically) on secondary sources in an effort to string together a number of fascinating anecdotes, true or otherwise.

                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                              • Plating, John David. Failure in the Margins: Aerial Resupply at Diên Biên Phu. MA diss., Ohio State University, 2000.

                                                                                                                                                E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                Detailed study of Dien Bien Phu’s airdrop sustainment effort where the author argues that Viet Minh forces profited as much as the garrison itself from the often inaccurate drops by French aerial resupply. Of particular help to researchers studying the France’s war in Indochina.

                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                • Robbins, Christopher. Air America. New York: Avon, 1990.

                                                                                                                                                  E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                  First published in 1979, Robbins’s work is intended to serve as a journalistic exposé of the otherwise “secret” CIA airline, but the book misses on a number of fronts, being insufficiently researched and containing numerous errors. Nevertheless, it is the first of its kind on this topic and can be used—with great care—as a sequel to Leary’s Dragon Wings.

                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                  • Tokar, John. “Provide by Parachute: Airdrop in Vietnam, 1954–1972.” MA diss., Ft. Leavenworth, Army Command and Staff College, 16 December 1998.

                                                                                                                                                    E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                    Paper analyzes airdrop efforts at Dien Bien Phu (1954), Khe Sanh (1968), and An Loc (1972) in an effort to discern operational continuities and the effectiveness of lessons learned or overlooked. Based largely on secondary sources but thoughtful in analysis nonetheless.

                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                    Aircraft

                                                                                                                                                    The following are sources on some of the more significant air-transport aircraft employed in the mid-20th century. Davis 1995 and Pearcy 1982 focus on the militarized version of the Douglass DC-3, and Davis, et al. 1978 provides the most comprehensive look at the Curtiss C-46. Jessen 2002 surveys the exploits of the Junkers Ju 52, the German workhorse, and Grandolini 1996 introduces readers to the Fairchild C-119, the first aircraft designed specifically to airdrop supplies.

                                                                                                                                                    • Davis, John M., Harold G. Martin, and John A. Whittle. The Curtiss C-46 Commando. Tonbridge, UK: Air-Britain, 1978.

                                                                                                                                                      E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                      The most comprehensive history of the C46 with over thirty pages of diagrams, drawings, and photographs. Provides a helpful overview of the aircraft’s production, though it lacks coverage of the problems initially encountered.

                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                      • Davis, Larry. C-47 Skytrain in Action. Carrollton, TX: Squadron/Signal, 1995.

                                                                                                                                                        E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                        Full of photos and illustrations of the C-47, inducing a very brief description of the aircraft’s long and distinguished history.

                                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                        • Grandolini, Albert. ‘French Packets’: Fairchild C-119 Boxcars in French Indochina. Air Enthusiast 66 (November/December 1996): 52–60.

                                                                                                                                                          E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                          Article discussing the C-119—the first intentionally designed airdrop platform—at the battle of Dien Bien Phu.

                                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                          • Jessen, Morten. The Junkers Ju 52: The Luftwaffe’s Workhorse. London: Stackpole, 2002.

                                                                                                                                                            E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                            Surveys the use of the Ju 52 over the span of its many fronts of usage by the Luftwaffe during World War II. Full of previously unpublished photos, the book is helpful to researchers new to the aircraft.

                                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                            • Pearcy, Arthur. Dakota at War. London: I. Allan, 1982.

                                                                                                                                                              E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                              Authoritative account of Douglass’s airliner-turned-airlifter, known in the United States as the C-47 “Skytrain” after its transformation from the DC-3. The author highlights (mostly) the history of the aircraft’s usage by American, British, and Commonwealth forces in World War II, Korea, Malaysia, and Vietnam. Well-illustrated with good photos.

                                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                              Post–World War II

                                                                                                                                                              Covering an eclectic array of topics, researchers could find sources on an assortment of topics, from involvement in Africa to support missions in Antarctica. Many of the histories make no reference to wider-ranging sources and deal chiefly with one particular aspect of military airlift. Haulman 1998 and Hope 1990 cover humanitarian relief operations. Matthews, et al. 1986 and Van Nederveen 2001 write on US air transport in Africa, while Wallwork and Wilcoxson 2006 covers airlift to, from, and within Antarctica. Owen 1992 ties doctrinal threads together, tracing the US military’s conceptual lineage of air-transport usage. Lastly Schembor 1963 provides a dated though unique look at the dynamics impacting the mechanics of aerial delivery.

                                                                                                                                                              • Haulman, Daniel L. The United States Air Force and Humanitarian Airlift Operations, 1947–1994. Washington, DC: Air Force History and Museums Program, 1998.

                                                                                                                                                                E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                An exhaustive reference guide for those researching humanitarian relief operations (HUMRO) that contains entries for every natural disaster—from Alaskan forest fires to Zimbabwean agricultural famines—that have prompted responses by the US Air Force during the period in question. Encyclopedic in coverage and divided regionally.

                                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                • Hope, Bob. Humanitarian Airlifts, 1963. VHS. Washington, DC: National Audiovisual Center, 1990.

                                                                                                                                                                  E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                  Video documentary narrated by Bob Hope covering the humanitarian side of the Military Airlift Command’s history. Includes scenes of the Berlin Airlift, Operation Haylift, Kinderlift, and the so-called Air Pilgrimage to Mecca.

                                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                  • Matthews, James K., Thomas P. Ofcansky, and Rita M. Markus. Military Airlift Command Operations in Subsaharan Africa, 1960–1985: A Case Study of Airpower in the Third World: Military Airlift Command Historical Office Special Study. Scott AFB, IL: The Command, U.S. Air Force, 1986.

                                                                                                                                                                    E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                    Official government history surveying USAF efforts in Sub-Saharan Africa over a twenty-five-year period. Discusses challenges operating in austere locations while highlighting the role of air transport as a form of power-projection in the region.

                                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                    • Owen, Robert Charles. “Creating Global Airlift in the United States Air Force, 1945–1977: The Relationship of Power, Doctrine, and Policy.” PhD diss., Duke University, 1992.

                                                                                                                                                                      E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                      Largely a doctrinal discussion of USAF efforts to expand airlift capabilities following World War II and develop air transport in such a way as to use it as a form of military power: exploiting its strengths of speed and range in redefining the role of logistics in war.

                                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                      • Schembor, Edward H. Bibliography of Technical Reports and Articles Covering Complete Aerial Delivery Research Activities at the Armed Forces Food and Container Institute. Chicago: Armed Forces Food and Container Institute, 1963.

                                                                                                                                                                        E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                        Compilation of abstracts of over 200 technical reports written by the US Armed Forces Food and Container Institute on the topic of aerial delivery, covering the period of 1954 through 1962. Of use to researchers wanting to learn more about the state of the US military’s airdrop capability during the narrow period in question, albeit from a purely technical standpoint.

                                                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                        • Van Nederveen, Gilles K. USAF Airlift into the Heart of Darkness, the Congo 1960–1978: Implications for Modern Air Mobility Planners. Maxwell Air Force Base, AL: Air University, 2001.

                                                                                                                                                                          E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                          Report written by a student at the USAF’s School of Advanced Air and Space Studies (SAASS) analyzing historical airlift operations in the Congo beginning in the 1960s. Written to serve as a source of insight for US efforts on the continent a half-century later.

                                                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                          • Wallwork, Ellery D., and Kathryn A. Wilcoxson. Operation Deep Freeze: 50 Years of US Air Force Airlift in Antarctica, 1956–2006. Scott Air Force Base, IL: Office of History, Air Mobility Command, 2006.

                                                                                                                                                                            E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                            Chronicles a half-century of US Air Force missions in support of research conducted on Antarctica. Highlights the contributions of various aircraft, beginning with C-124s, moving up though ski-equipped C-130s, and ending with C-17s in delivering nearly 80,000 tons of cargo and transporting over 90,000 people.

                                                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                            Commercial Airlines

                                                                                                                                                                            This section covers the relationship between commercial and military transport (see Conducting Military Air Transport and Commercial Ventures), as well as other more eclectic aspects of commercial air transport (see Commercial Miscellanea).

                                                                                                                                                                            Conducting Military Air Transport

                                                                                                                                                                            So long as there has been commercial and military air transport, there has been a link between the two. Sometimes it is formalized, as in the US under the auspices of the Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF), and sometimes it is—as with China’s National Airline Company—the case of a commercial venture dedicated fully to a wartime mission. American Airlines 1944 and Mangan 1990 both cover that airline’s direct support of World War II airlift operations. Crackel 1998 covers the development of the US Civil Reserve Air Fleet, while Leary 1976 covers the formation of an airline that was (nearly) completely devoted to supporting military operations in China during World War II.

                                                                                                                                                                            • American Airlines. The Education of an Airline: Here, There, Anywhere; How an Airline Became a Lifeline Round the World; The Story, Up to October, 1944, of American Airlines’ War Assignments Including Its Global Operations under Contract to the Air Transport Command. New York: American Airlines, 1944.

                                                                                                                                                                              E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                              Published paper on American Airlines’ wartime operations, to include both transoceanic routes and in-theater support.

                                                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                              • Crackel, Theodore J. A History of the Civil Reserve Air Fleet. Washington, DC: Air Force History and Museums Program, 1998.

                                                                                                                                                                                E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                Unpublished Military Airlift Command research study on the US Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF), a capability that was first conceptualized prior to World War II but remained just that—an idea—while it slowly weaved its way through the maze of American bureaucracy, finally maturing to be enacted—with great success—during the Gulf War in the 1990s.

                                                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                • Leary, William M. The Dragon’s Wings: The China National Aviation Corporation and the Development of Commercial Aviation in China. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1976.

                                                                                                                                                                                  E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                  While the US Air Transport Command was flying the Hump, a much smaller Chinese company was doing the same with impressive results. CNAC would then go on to lay the foundation for Nationalist (and eventually Taiwanese) postwar air transport.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Mangan, James M. To the Four Winds: A History of the Flight Operations of American Airlines Personnel for the Air Transport Command, 1942–1945, Including Project 7A. Paducah, KY: Turner, 1990.

                                                                                                                                                                                    E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                    A narrowly focused history of the very interesting merger of American Airlines and Air Transport Command during World War II. Includes Project 7A, AA’s effort to augment the Hump airlift with additional men and airplanes in an effort to meet the President’s Hump airlift goal at the end of 1943.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                    Commercial Ventures

                                                                                                                                                                                    The connection between civil and military air transport is sometimes in name only, as in the case of World War II when the majority of men in uniform serving the US air-transport system were in fact men who had taken indefinite leaves of absence from their regular jobs as airline executives. Alexander 1941 and Serling 1985 have the preponderance of biographical information on C.R. Smith. Smith 1954 provides a neat summary of American Airlines, while Smith 1991 is slightly more objective in its approach. Davies 1964, Davies 1989, and Davies 1998 are authoritative sources on, respectively, airlines around the world, Lufthansa, and US carriers. Smith 1991 also surveys US commercial aviation, with Wachtel 1975 providing an insider’s look at the history of Lufthansa.

                                                                                                                                                                                    • Alexander, Jack. “Just Call Me C. R.” Saturday Evening Post, February 1941, 2.

                                                                                                                                                                                      E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                      Biographical sketch of one of the pivotal commercial (and soon-to-be military) air- transport leaders on the eve of the US entry into World War II.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                      • Davies, R. E. G. A History of the World’s Airlines. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1964.

                                                                                                                                                                                        E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                        An encyclopedic volume with histories of all of the world’s airlines; as with other works on commercial aviation, the value of this volume is that the author provides context for the state of commercial aviation before, during, and (immediately) after World War II, though lacking an overarching narrative or analysis.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                        • Davies, R. E. G. Lufthansa: An Airline and Its Aircraft. New York: Orion, 1989.

                                                                                                                                                                                          E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                          Complete with attractive illustrations, this non-academic history places Lufthansa in a global context. Prewar connections will be of interest to military air-transport researchers.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                          • Davies, R. E. G. Airlines of the United States since 1914. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1998.

                                                                                                                                                                                            E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                            An updated companion to Davies’s 1964 history of the world’s airlines. Chronicles the history of the US commercial aviation industry as it began prior to World War I. Discusses the important role of air mail, as well as the development of trunk lines and the air-cargo industry.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                            • Serling, Robert J. Eagle: The Story of American Airlines. New York: St. Martin’s, 1985.

                                                                                                                                                                                              E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                              A well-written corporate history that covers that airline’s (and airline president C. R. Smith’s) relationship with Air Transport Command during World War II. While the book is very interesting, only two to three chapters will be of help for those researching military air transport.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                              • Smith, C. R. “A.A.”: American Airlines since 1926. New York: Newcomen Society in North America, 1954.

                                                                                                                                                                                                E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                A three-decade retrospective on American Airlines’ history, written by the company’s president. Thin discussion of the company’s wartime operations in augmenting military air-transport capacities.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                • Smith, Henry Ladd. Airways: The History of Commercial Aviation in the United States. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1991.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Devoid of any discussion of military air transport, this work stands as the most recent and helpful work on the subject of commercial aviation, a story that is essential to understanding alongside its military counterpart. Full of helpful photos, and starting with the Wrights at Kitty Hawk, the monograph contains a chronology that researchers will find helpful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Wachtel, Joachim. The History of Lufthansa. Cologne: Lufthansa German Airlines Public Relations, 1975.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                    A brief and (fairly) objective history of Lufthansa (published by Lufthansa) that is helpful to military air-transport researchers by virtue of its coverage of the company’s prewar military connections.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Commercial Miscellanea

                                                                                                                                                                                                    The following list of eclectic works is important to crafting a full picture of the state of (commercial) air transport, especially in the early 1940s. Davies 1994 provides a thoughtful critique of some of air transport’s more fantastic ventures. Davies 1987 covers many of the noteworthy personalities who played pivotal roles in the mid-20th century, while Davies 2001 covers the rise of one of the more important and groundbreaking airlines of the 20th century. C. R. Smith’s three published lectures (Smith 1947, Smith 1953, and Smith 1971) all concern themselves with varying challenges confronting civil aviation during the nearly quarter of a century in question. Finally, Van Zandt 1940 provides an important analysis of the state of worldwide commercial aviation on the eve of World War II.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Davies, R. E. G. Rebels and Reformers of the Airways. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1987.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Compiles biographical sketches of twenty-five “mavericks” who successfully built commercial airline companies against conventional odds. Of interest to researchers of military air transport, as several of these men also had influential careers in their respective nations’ wartime air-transport groups.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Davies, R. E. G. Fallacies and Fantasies of Air Transport History. McLean, VA: Paladwr, 1994.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                        A thoughtful appraisal of some of commercial air transport’s more noteworthy “busts” (such as the Dornier DoX). Also highlights the value of some often-overlooked projects (e.g., Il’ya Muromets). Military air-transport researchers will find the chapter on the replacement of the DC-3 to be of particular help.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Davies, R. E. G. TWA—An Airline and Its Aircraft: 75 Years of Pioneering Progress. McLean, VA: Paladwr, 2001.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                          First-rate history of one of the most influential airlines of the early days of air transport, especially as TWA marked firsts in the category of passenger service (with the help of aviation icons Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart) while later sponsoring the prototype of the Douglas twin-engine transport series, of DC-3/C-47 fame. Example of a commercial airline with wartime influence.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Smith, C. R. The Turbine Engine and Air Transportation. Syracuse, NY: s.n., 1953.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Proceedings of an address given at the Syracuse Transportation Conference, Syracuse University, by the then-president of American Airlines, extolling the necessity of developing jet turbine engines so as to boost the efficiency and capability of the commercial air-transport structure.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Smith, C. R. Safety in Air Transportation Over the Years. New York: Wings Club, 1971.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Transcript of an address given by Smith three years after leaving American Airlines. Smith outlines the safety hazards he foresees in the air-transport world that would result from technologically advanced aircraft flying higher, faster, and for longer periods of time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Smith, C. R., and Frederick Trubee Davison. Air Transportation and National Defense. Washington, DC: Library of Congress, 1947.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                An address given by Smith (with introductory remarks by acclaimed New York politician/airman, Trubee Davison) on the importance of bolstering US aviation capability, especially in the face of the postwar drawdown.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Van Zandt, J. Parker. European Air Transport on the Eve of War—1939: A Lecture Delivered by J. Parker Van Zandt, Ph.D. Northfield, VT: Norwich University, 1940.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A comparison of various European airline companies with each other and US companies in the late 1930s. Lecture is chock full of numbers and tables showing US dominance in commercial aviation during that period.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  back to top

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content on this page. Please subscribe or login.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  How to Subscribe

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Oxford Bibliographies Online is available by subscription and perpetual access to institutions and individuals. For more information or to contact an Oxford Sales Representative click here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Purchase an Ebook Version of This Article

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ebooks of the Oxford Bibliographies Online subject articles are available in North America via a number of retailers including Amazon, vitalsource, and more. Simply search on their sites for Oxford Bibliographies Online Research Guides and your desired subject article.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  If you would like to purchase an eBook article and live outside North America please email onlinemarketing@oup.com to express your interest.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Article

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Up

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Down