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Bob Rousselot Collection

Identifier: CA033-92

Scope and Content

This collection contains ephemera, booklets, images, clippings, and personal correspondence that were created and/or collected by Robert E. Rousselot during his career with CAT. The Bob Rousselot Collection is housed in two boxes of varying sizes totaling 1.8 linear ft.

The collection arrived in fair condition and was initially processed with only a container list as description. Due to a change of the content management system, further description proved to be necessary.

Box 1, Folder 1 contains CAT calendars, travel brochures for Bangkok, Taiwan, and Hong Kong; Rousselot’s business cards, a booklet titled Claire Lee Chennault. An Appreciation. Delivered in Chinese at a Memorial Service Held at the International House, Taipei by George K. C. Yeh, obituary; Unveiling Ceremony of Memorial Statue of Lt. Gen. Claire Lee Chennault by Her Excellency Madame Chian Kai-Shek, invitation to the memorial ceremony; and a Taiwan Gold and Country Club membership directory.

Folder 2 contains images depicting the CCAA Aircraft Dispatchers Ground School and their graduation class of 1963 during the ceremonies; the Weihsien rescue mission; Vice President-AGM, Tsingtao Airport Tower; stranded CAT pilots; the Stewardess Exchange Program; Rousselot at the controls of a C-46; Rousselot with the Nelson Rockefeller family; James McGovern; Luichow Base; Joseph Rosbert; in-flight wedding; head office staff; Haichow Survey Flight; Grand Hotel in Taipei; Gen. Claire L. Chennault; DC-6 flight crew; Dave Hickler; Col. Hsiao and Col. H. Y. Lai; CAT staff; CAT milestone: 24,000 miles of continuous flying; Cheelo University Cattle Airlift; Bob and Ann Rousselot; Bell Model 47 helicopter; the 5th Annual CAT Traffic and Sales Conference; and negatives of the Operations personnel’s party in honor of Capt. R. E. Rousselot, VPO by Richard Hsieh.

Folder 3 contains an investigation report regarding a typhoon hitting CAT’s Tainan, Taiwan Weather Station, including a note from Rousselot to former Dean of UT Dallas Libraries, Dr. Larry Sall.

Folder 4 contains personal correspondence between Rousselot and his parents Lelia and Thomas Rousselot, and other individuals, as well as Lelia Rousselot to Felix Smith. Topics are family matters, the China and Hong Kong uprising, the status of CNAC and CAT airline in China. Some letters have Rousselot’s notes about the content; a narrative “The Ballad of Earthquake McGoon,” and ephemera.

Folder 5 contains clippings about CAT, Gen. Claire L. Chennault, and Bob Rousselot, as well as a picture depicting Rousselot, Planke, CAT Director of Public Relations, and members of the Wally Buford family.

Folder 6 contains a note describing an image. Image is missing.

Folder 7 contains articles, newsletters, and excerpts about Whiting Willauer, George Doole, James McGovern, and Wallace Buford.

Folder 8 and 9 contain clippings about CAT’s 15th anniversary, the 1st anniversary of Mandarin Jet service, Rousselot, and other world events.

Folder 10 contains a note to Jim Kelly.

Folder 11 contains images, articles, clippings, correspondence, an obituary, and narrative about Bill Yarbrough’s death.

Folder 12 contains an obituary about Rousselot.

Box 2, Folder 1 contains an issue of Collier’s magazine including an article “World’s Most Shot-at Air Line” by John Denson and Charlotte Knight telling the story of CAT.

Folder 2 contains two images: One, 1RER-2-2-PB1, depicts participants of a Christmas party commemorating Gen. Chennault’s last trip to Taiwan in 1948. The back of the image identifies people and location. The other, 1RER-2-2-PB2, is a sketch by Henry Jonbioux from 1951, depicting James McGovern’s likeness holding his belly and having wings attached to his back implicating McGovern being in heaven.

Folder 3 contains a 1950 CAT Calendar.

Folder 4 contains images depicting members of CAT.


  • 1940 - 2007
  • Majority of material found within 1940 - 1967

Language of Materials

Collection is in English and Chinese.

Access Restrictions

Materials in this collection are open for research.

Literary Rights Statement

Permission to publish material from this collection in any form, current or future, must be obtained from the Special Collections and Archives Division, Eugene McDermott Library, The University of Texas at Dallas.

Biographical Sketch

Robert E. "Bob" Rousselot was born on March 19, 1922 as the first child to Thomas Edward Rousselot and Lelia Verne Rousselot, née Howard in Noel, MO. Bob Rousselot had four younger siblings: Dorothy Davis, Caroline Kendrick, Richard, and Leona Kelly.

He attended college in Joplin, MO to pursue a medical career. However, when the United States entered World War II, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps and trained as a fighter pilot. He flew combat missions in the Pacific Theater in a Vought F4U Corsair. Rousselot was a member of the American Volunteer Group (AVG) in the Chinese Air Force (Flying Tigers).

He was hired by General Chennault on January 11, 1947 to fly for Civil Air Transport (CAT). In 1948, Rousselot assumed the position of Chief Pilot and was later promoted to the position of Vice President of Operations in Taiwan, from which he retired on October 31, 1963.

Because CAT was purchased by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in the 1950s as a proxy airline, Rousselot also flew and operated covert missions in Indochina - namely the First Indochina War to support the French at Dien Bien Phu – as well as Central America, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

In the first half of the 1950s, Rousselot met his future wife, Ann (Annabell), who was also working for the CIA in Japan. The couple married on July 30, 1954 in Fayetteville, AR. They had two sons, Robert Wade and Richard Jason. Rousselot moved his family to Wagoner County, OK and farmed his own ranch. He played an active part in his community and donated about 40 acres of land to the Okay Public School system. Rousselot was furthermore active in numerous organizations such as the Wagoner Lions Club, and the Wagoner County Cattlemen’s Association.

In 2001, Rousselot was recognized with a special award from the CIA for “his extraordinary leadership and distinguished service.” In 2003, he was inducted into the Oklahoma Aviation and Space Hall of Fame.

Robert E. “Bob” Rousselot passed away peacefully at his home in Gray Oaks Ranch, on March 5, 2007 at the age of eighty-four, fourteen days before his eighty-fifth birthday. He is survived by his wife Ann of fifty-two years; his two sons and their respected family; two grandchildren and one step-grandchild.


"Jerry Fink Collection," Air America Roster, Folder 1, Box 32, History of Aviation Archives, Special Collections and Archives Division, Eugene McDermott Library, The University of Texas at Dallas.
"Bob Rousellot Collection," Obituary, Folder 12, Box 1, History of Aviation Archives, Special Collections and Archives Division, Eugene McDermott Library, The University of Texas at Dallas.


1.8 Linear Feet (One manuscript box and one non-standard box (17.5x12.0x3.5).)


Bob Rousselot was a member of the American Volunteer Group (AVG) in the Chinese Air Force (Flying Tigers). From January 11, 1947, he served as a Chief Pilot and Vice President of Operations for CAT, until his resignation on October 31, 1963.

Series Description

The archivist kept the original organization intact without any further arrangement.

Provenance Statement

The Robert E. "Bob" Rousselot Collection was donated to the History of Aviation Archives, Special Collections and Archives Division, Eugene McDermott Library, The University of Texas at Dallas, by Bob Rousselot in multiple accessions from 1992 through 2000.

Additional Sources

Additional information can be found in the History of Aviation Archives in the following collections:

CAT/Air America Archives

Books and Magazines

Books and magazines were pulled and cataloged to be included into the HAC monograph and magazine collection.

Image ID

It is the researcher's responsibility to secure permission from copyright holders of materials to which this institution does not own copyright.

Images in this collection are identified by a unique number that provides information about the format, record group, collection, series, box, folder, and image numbers. Please use this number when ordering reproductions of images from this collection.

Record Group Code

1 = CAT/Air American Archives

2 = Doolittle Archives

3 = Lighter than Air Archives

4 = George H. Williams, Jr., World War I Aviation Library

5 = History of Aviation Archives

6 = University Archives

7 = HAC Stacks

8 = WPRL Stacks

9 = Cecil H. and Ida M. Green Collection

10 = Belsterling Collection

11 = Closed Stacks

12 = Unidentified

13 = Chance Vought Archives

14 = Twirly Birds Archives

Image Format Code

P = Photograph/Postcard

S = Slide

N = Negative

T = Positive Transparency

B = Black and White

C = Color

Example: 1RER-1-1-PB1

1 = CAT/Air American Archives

RER= Robert E. "Bob" Rousselot Collection

= Series Number

1 = Box Number

1 = Folder Number

P = Photograph/Postcard

B = Black and White

1 = Image Number

Images archived in plastic image holders may also have a location code in the format: 1/TL. In this example, the number is the sheet number and the letters indicate the top left position on the sheet. Position indicators are T = top, L = left, R = right, M = middle, and B = bottom. Position indicators may be combined to describe the position on the sheet, as shown in this example.

Note to the Researcher

One DVD containing images is currently missing. 2018-12-18, Na.

The images in Box 2, Folder 4 are very heavily bent and cannot be flattened without being distroyed. No Image ID numbers assigned. Do not handle. Ask curator for assistance.
Guide to the Bob Rousselot Collection, 1922-2007
Nava, Patrizia, 1960-
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
English (eng)
Edition statement
First revision by Patrizia Nava, CA. 2018-12-18. Second revision by Patrizia Nava, CA. 2019-09-02.

Revision Statements

  • 2018-12-18: 1st revision was a migration to ArchivesSpace by Patrizia Nava, CA.
  • 2019-09-02: 2nd revision was an update of the collection number by Patrizia Nava, CA.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives Division, History of Aviation Archives. Repository

3020 Waterview Pkwy
Suite 11.206
Richardson Texas 75080 US
972-883-4590 (Fax)