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Lew Burridge, Jr. Papers

Identifier: CA071-98

Scope and Content

This collection contains business correspondence, personal correspondence, memoranda, radiograms, clippings, photographs, newsletters, and ephemera that were collected and/or created by Lew Burridge during his career with Civil Air Transport (CAT). The Lew Burridge, Jr. Papers are housed in two boxes of varying sizes, totaling 2.4 linear ft.

The collection arrived in good 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. The collection was reprocessed and the archivist identified four series with the first series being the Civil Air Transport (CAT) Series, which is further organized into eight subseries: 1. Lew Burridge Employee, 2. Lew Burridge/Gen. Claire L. Chennault, 3. Lew Burridge/Others, 4. Lew Burridge/Yan, Xishan, 5. Lew Burridge/CAT Administration, 6. CNRRA Air Transport, 7. Photographs, and 8. CAT Reunion.

Subseries 1. contains a pay book issued to Burridge in the position as Area Manager.

Subseries 2. includes correspondence between Burridge and Gen. Chennault regarding business matters, the lack of aircraft, Burridge’s plans to retire from CAT, letter of recommendation, radiogram from President Garcia about Winthrop Stearns, Inc. donating medication for flu epidemic, Chennault commenting about Burridge’s stay in Manila and family members, about World War I, and Gen. Chennault about his own, earlier career in the Far East.

Subseries 3. features a letter of an unidentified sender and addressee in narrative form describing the events after World War II in China, particularly about the Battle for Weihsien. The second letter is an accumulation of listings, narratives, and biographical sketches by Gordon Smith, Bob Schofield, John Oakes, and William McDonald, Jr., all are in relation to the Battle of Weihsien.

Subseries 4. comprises the original Chinese correspondence and their translations by Sammy Hsiao from Govenor Yan, Xishan to Gen. Chennault and Lew Burridge in his function as CAT’s Northern Area Manager; memoranda; and an image of Premier Yan, Xishan. Content covers the events during the military airlift support and airdrops to Taiyuan, China.

Subseries 5. contains copies of correspondence, radiograms, and sketches regarding CAT’s military support during the Battle of Weihsien, as well as the political and military situation at Tsingtao.

Subseries 6. consist of the first issue of the CAT Bulletin newsletter, which, next to articles, lists the employees of CAT.

Subseries 7. includes images depicting Bob Rousselot at Tsingtao, China, C. T. Wang at Tientsin, CAT-PAL Sino-Philippine Bilateral Agreement, Lew Burridge and his wife, Gen. Chennault with Col. Lee, and Whiting Willauer with others; and a set of calendar pages of CAT aircraft.

Subseries 8. Encloses a reunion kit and program.

The second series is the William M. Leary Series holding the correspondence, narratives, and articles between Lew Burridge and William M. Leary about the secret AVG project in 1948, and about Leary’s book Perilous missions: Civil Air Transport and CIA Covert Operations in Asia; and a donation letter to UTD.

The third series is the Civil Air Transport (CAT)/Air America Series holding a tribute to Civil Air Transport and Air America given by Representative J. Dudley Goodlette of the Florida House of Representatives.

The fourth series is the Publications Series containing clippings and articles about CAT’s and Air America’s activities in Southeast Asia, namely the Tsingtao Plan.


  • 1946 - 2008
  • Majority of material found within 1947 - 1958

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

Alvin Lewis (Lew) Burridge Jr. was born on June 18, 1920 to Alvin Lewis Burridge and Alberta Burridge, née Erikson. He had two brothers, Charles Kingsley Burridge and George Nau Burridge. After his formative years, on Dec. 7, 1941, the day of the Pearl Harbor Attack, Burridge, Jr. enlisted in the United States Marine Air Corps.

During World War II, Burridge worked as a flight instructor for North American B-25 Mitchell and Martin B-26 Marauder aircraft in North Carolina. Near the end of World War II, Burridge was transferred to the Pacific Theater flying under the command of Gen. Claire Lee Chennault and his Flying Tigers.

Burridge continued to fly for Chennault, this time for Civil Air Transport (CAT) that the latter had founded shortly after the war. Next to his pilot position, Burridge was an executive for CAT organizing the air support and transportation of goods in support of the Chinese Nationals and their fight against communism in the late 1940s. Burridge was also responsible for Public Relations and Advertising, Operations, Sales, and Traffic.

Burridge served in the early 1950s in the United States Reserves. After discharge from the forces, Burridge worked for the State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) as an advisor during the Korean War and the Vietnam War.

After his military career, Burridge founded the Asian division of the Sterling Drug Company in Japan and served as its president for thirty years.

In 1951, Burridge married Ann Patricia Kuzniar. Kuzinar worked for the State Department in Tokyo, where the couple met. They had three children, son Alvin Lewis Burridge, III; and daughters Carol Ann Burridge and Laura Burridge Nute.

Burridge finally retired in the 1980s and after living most his life in the Far East with his wife and children, the couple moved back to the United States, taking up residence in Ripton, VT. Burridge lost his wife Ann Patricia after more than fifty years of marriage in 2006.

Lew Burridge passed away on Nov. 16, 2011 at the age of ninety-one being survived by his brother Charles Kingsley Burridge, children, and grandchildren.


Anonymous, "Alvin Lewis Burridge, 1920-2011, Obituary" Sanderson Funeral Service, Nov. 20, 2011, online May 3, 2019,
Lew Burridge, Jr. Papers, Letter of Recommendation, Folder 2, Box 1, Series I, Subseries 2, History of Aviation Archives, Special Collections and Archives Division, Eugene McDermott Library, The University of Texas at Dallas.


2.4 Linear Feet (One manuscript box and one non-standard box (20.0x25.0x2.0).)


Lew Burridge flew with the American Volunteer Group (AVG) before being hired by Gen. Claire L. Chennault and his Civil Air Transport (CAT) air carrier. Burridge mainly worked as an executive and a pilot in China supporting the Chinese Nationals in their fight against communism.

Series Description

The Lew Burridge, Jr. Papers are arranged in four series:

Series I. Civil Air Transport (CAT) 2.8 linear ft. (eleven manuscript folders and one oversize folder), 1946-1984.

Arranged in eight subseries: 1. Lew Burridge Employee, 2. Lew Burridge/Gen. Claire L. Chennault, 3. Lew Burridge/Others, 4. Lew Burridge/Yan, Xishan, 5. Lew Burridge/CAT Administration, 6. CNRRA Air Transport, 7. Photographs, and 8. CAT Reunion.

Subseries 1. Lew Burridge Employee 0.1 linear ft. (one folder), 1949.

Arranged by topic.

Subseries 2. Lew Burridge/Gen. Claire L. Chennault 0.1 linear ft. (one folder), 1952-1958.

Arranged chronologically.

Subseries 3. Lew Burridge/Others 0.1 linear ft. (two folders), 1948, 1990s.

Arranged by topic.

Subseries 4. Lew Burridge/Yan, Xishan 2.0 linear ft. (one manuscript folder and one oversize folder), 1948-1949.

Arranged by chronologically.

Subseries 5. Lew Burridge/CAT Administration 0.2 linear ft. (three folders), 1947-1952.

Arranged by topic.

Subseries 6. CNRRA Air Transport 0.1 linear ft. (one folder), 1947-06-24.

Arranged by topic.

Subseries 7. Photographs 0.1 linear ft. (one folder), 1946-1948.

Arranged by topic.

Subseries 8. CAT Reunion 0.1 linear ft. (one folder), 1984-10.

Arranged by topic.

Series II. William M. Leary 0.1 linear ft. (one folder), 1979-2008.

Arranged by topic.

Series III. Civil Air Transport (CAT)/Air America 0.1 linear ft. (one folder), Undated.

Arranged by topic.

Series IV. Publications 2.0 linear ft. (one manuscript folder and one oversize folder), 1949-1999.

Arranged chronologically.

Provenance Statement

The Lew Burridge, Jr. Papers were donated to the History of Aviation Archives, Special Collections and Archives Division, Eugene McDermott Library, The University of Texas at Dallas, by Lew Burridge, Jr. in multiple accessions from 1998 through 2010.

Additional Sources

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

CAT/Air America Archives.

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: 1ALB-1-1-PB1

1 = CAT/Air American Archives

ALB= Lew Burridge, Jr. Papers

= 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

Rusted fasteners were removed and the images housed in polypropylene sleeves.

Material Removed List

0.2 linear ft. (two items) of duplicate and damaged materials were recycled.
Guide to the Lew Burridge, Jr. Papers, 1920-2011
Patrizia Nava, CA
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. 2019-05-03.

Revision Statements

  • 2019-05-03: 1st revision was a migration to ArchivesSpace and a reprocessing of the collection 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)