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William M. Leary Papers

 Collection
Identifier: CA021-06

Scope and Content

This collection consists of research notes, documents, photographs, publications, correspondence, interviews, manuscript and other material related to Dr. Leary’s work as an academic with the University of Georgia, as well as his research interests and publications. The William M. Leary Papers are housed in 223 boxes of various sizes totaling 64.1 linear ft.

The collection arrived in fair condition, and divided into different donations. Initial processing of the first donation occurred in 2006. Process of the second donation as well as the integration of material from the first donation occurred in 2010. This finding aid includes all the William Leary materials in the possession of the History of Aviation Collection. Although attempts to preserve original order were maintained, in order to ease access to the collection, the material was divided around a number of topics reflecting Dr. Leary’s research interests, with these topics serving as Series titles. The archivist identified twenty-seven series with the first series being the Personal Papers Series, which includes those materials related to Leary’s professional career including book reviews, work with students, fellowships, and awards, as well correspondence related to his position at the University of Virginia.

The second series is the Chinese National Aviation Corporation (CNAC) Series, which contains material related to the history of early aviation in China, American diplomats and their wives in China, as well as details of the operations of the Chinese National Aviation Company (CNAC). The bulk of this material was used in the production of Dr. Leary’s book The Dragon’s Wings which is a history of CNAC. The collection contains drafts of chapters and manuscripts of this book. The series is organized in twelve subseries: 1. Magazine and Newspaper Articles about China, 2. Correspondence about China/CNAC, 3. Aviation in China-Pre Sino-Japanese War, 4. American Volunteer Group (AVG)/ CNAC Reunions, 5. Pan American Airways (PAA) and CNAC, 6. Research Information on China, 7. U.S. Government Reports, 8. CNAC Operations, 9. Manuscripts and Articles about Aviation in China, 10. Articles about Chinese Aviation by William Leary, 11. The Dragon's Wings, and 12. CNAC Photographs.

Subseries 1: Magazine and Newspaper Articles about China contains copies of magazine articles about life in China pre-World War II.

Subseries 2: Correspondence about China/CNAC. Includes correspondence between William Leary and other scholars about CNAC, China, and The Dragon's Wings.

Subseries 3: Aviation in China - Pre Sino-Japanese War features material discussing the state of aviation in China prior to its invasion by Japan in the 1930s.

Subseries 4: American Volunteer Group (AVG)/ CNAC Reunions contains programs and guidebooks to reunions held by the AVG (Flying Tigers) and former CNAC personnel in the 1970s and 1980s.

Subseries 5: Pan American Airways (PAA) and CNAC features material related to Pan American Airways partial ownership stake in CNAC.

Subseries 6: Research Information on China consists of background research on condition in China in the 1920s and 1930s.

Subseries 7: U.S. Government Reports contains copies of official U.S. reports on aviation and military activities within China.

Subseries 8: CNAC Operations includes reports, documents, and other material illustrating the day to day operations of CNAC.

Subseries 9: Manuscripts and Articles about Aviation in China consists of unpublished manuscripts and published articles discussing aviation and China. Includes Dr. Leary’s reviews of material.

Subseries 10: Articles about Chinese Aviation by William Leary contains articles and publications written by Dr. Leary, discussing aviation in China.

Subseries 11: Includes Dr. Leary's draft chapters and manuscript ofThe Dragon’s Wings as well as outside reviews and correspondence.

Subseries 12: CNAC Photographs houses photographs of CNAC aircraft, locations, and personnel.

The third series is the Civil Air Transport (CAT) Series, which includes information about the operation of CAT in China, Asia, and Southeast Asia during the early phases of the Cold War. The bulk of this material was used by Dr. Leary in the writing of Perilous Missions, a history of CAT. This series is organized in twelve subseries: 1. Background on Post-World War II China/Legacy of CAT, 2. Letters and Diaries of Louise and Whiting Willauer, 3. CAT History, 4. CAT Personnel, 5. CAT Operations, 6. CAT Aircraft Accidents, 7. "Operation Tropic"/Death of Norman Schwartz and Robert Snoddy, 8. CAT in French Indochina/Death of James McGovern and Wallace Buford at Dien Bien Phu, 9. CAT Association/Reunions, 10. Perilous Missions, 11. Books and Articles about CAT/the Korean War/China/French Indochina, and 12. Oversize Material.

Subseries 1: Background on Post-World War II China/Legacy of CAT features documents addressing conditions in China at the immediate end of World War II as well as material reflecting CAT’s legacy and place in Chinese History.

Subseries 2: Letters and Diaries of Louise and Whiting Willauer contains photocopies, transcripts, and notes of Louise Willauer, Whiting Willauer, and other Americans living in China during and immediately after World War II. Dr. Leary wrote an introduction to a book collecting Louise Willauer's correspondence and dairies, and materials related to that project are present as well.

Subseries 3: CAT History houses files about the history of Civil Air Transport, including official government timelines, personal recollections, and a copy of the CIA’s “Secret” History of Civil Air Transport.

Subseries 4: CAT Personnel includes material focusing on the men and woman who worked for CAT including interviews and correspondence.

Subseries 5: CAT Operations covers CAT’s operations including type of aircraft used, routes flown, maintenance, and activity reports, and contracts.

Subseries 6: CAT Aircraft Accidents covers aircraft accident incurred by CAT during its operation, including the fatal crash of the CAT 727 in 1968.

Subseries 7: "Operation Tropic"/Death of Norman Schwartz and Robert Snoddy contains material about “Operation Tropic,” a secret operation to China which resulted in the death of CAT pilot’s Norman Schwartz and Robert Snoddy, and the capture of CIA operatives Downey and Fectau.

Subseries 8: CAT in French Indochina/Death of James McGovern and Wallace Buford at Dien Bien Phu includes information pertaining to CAT’s support of French efforts at aerial resupply during the 1954 Battle of Dien Bien Phu in Indochina, including the fatal crash of CAT pilots James McGovern and Wallace Buford.

Subseries 9: CAT Association/Reunions features newsletters, programs, and membership rosters for the yearly reunions held by the CAT Association.

Subseries 10: Perilous Missions covers draft chapters, manuscripts, reader's reviews, and correspondence related to Dr. Leary's book about the history of CAT.

Subseries 11: Books and Articles about CAT/the Korean War/China/French Indochina consists of copies, excerpts, reviews, and correspondence focused on CAT and China, CAT and the Korean War, and the fall of French Indochina, as well as the early phases of The Cold War.

Subseries 12: Oversize Material includes a number of items too large to fit in the regular boxes of the collection including large prints, posters, and book galleys.

The fourth series is the Air America and The Vietnam War Series, which contains material related to Air America, its operations in South East Asia, as well as research Dr. Leary conducted in preparation of writing a book about the history of Air America (This would have completed the series started by his books about CNAC and CAT. It also includes material about the wider Vietnam War, and CIA covert activities including Indonesia, the Bay of Pigs, and Iran-Contra, as well as allegations of CIA drug smuggling. This series is organized in twenty-three subseries: 1. Air America Chronology, 2. Air America Incidents and Employee Casualties, 3. Air America/CIA Background, 4. Air America Corporate Documents, 5. Air America People, 6. Air America Locations, 7. Air America Operations and Equipment Maintenance, 8. Air America Topics, 9. Biographical Information and Interviews, 10. U.S. Military Command and Education Manuals, 11. Air America Correspondence, 12. Cambodia, 13. Laos, 14. Thailand, 15. North and South Vietnam, 16. Research and Writing about Air America, 17. Air America Club/Association, 18. Oral History Interviews, 19. Cold War Covert Operations and Related Actions, 20. Air Combat and Ordinance, 21. Photographs, 22. Multimedia, and 23. Oversize Material.

Subseries 1: Air America Chronology and Operations houses an in-depth, year by year chronology of the history of Air America and its operations.

Subseries 2: Air America Incidents and Employee Casualties contains documents reports on Air America aircraft crashes, casualties, and fatalities during the company’s operational life.

Subseries 3: Air America/CIA Background includes a number of histories describing the origins of Air America and its connections to CAT.

Subseries 4: Air America Corporate Documents features records relating to Air America's corporate activities including finical reports and activities.

Subseries 5: Air America People consists of documents, correspondence, and interviews with people who worked for Air America, as well as their families and dependants who lived in Southeast Asia.

Subseries 6: Air America Locations contains flight maps, navigational aids, and descriptions of the various locations from which Air America operated.

Subseries 7: Air America Operations and Equipment Maintenance includes reports, studies, and policies for the maintenance of Air America aircraft and equipment.

Subseries 8: Air America Topics includes information and documents related to Air America including commentary on the theatrical film Air America and allegations of drug smuggling by the CIA and Air America. Also discusses conferences and the legacy of Air America.

Subseries 9: Biographical Information contains Air America employee biographies and interviews, organized alphabetically by employees’ last name.

Subseries 10: U.S. Military Command and Education Manuals houses U.S. military manuals on conducting psychological operations (PSYOPS), leadership and command.

Subseries 11: Air America Correspondence contains e-mail and letter correspondence about the legacy and impact of Air America.

Subseries 12: Cambodia consists of photographs, reports, and documents about airlift operations in Cambodia, as well as the Khmer Rouge and Cambodian genocide.

Subseries 13: Laos includes reports, documents, contracts, airfield guides, articles and photographs about Air America and military operations in Laos. Also includes information about the Battle of Skyline Ridge and the Fall of Site 85.

Subseries 14: Thailand features reports, documents, photographs and information concerning Air America operations in Thailand, as well as the Royal Thai Air Force.

Subseries 15: North and South Vietnam includes reports documents, orders, and photographs covering Air America’s operations in North and South Vietnam. Also contains material concerning the U.S. and its allies' military actions in Vietnam, the Viet Cong, civilian life in Vietnam, and Air America’s participation in the evacuation and fall of Da Nang and Saigon.

Subseries 16: Research and Writing about Air America and the Vietnam War features articles, book chapters, manuscripts, research notes, documentary proposals, and book reviews of material related to Air America and various aspects of the Vietnam War. It also contains draft chapters and notes William Leary prepared for his unfinished manuscript on the history of Air America. Associated with this is correspondence between William Leary and parties interested in his research.

Subseries 17: Air America Club/Association includes rosters, newsletters, and reunion programs related to the activities of the Air America Club/Association and its members.

Subseries 18: Oral History Interviews consists of transcripts of oral history interviews with officers of the United States Air Force. These transcripts are official copies from The Air Force Historical Research Agency. Also includes a catalog of United States Navy official oral histories.

Subseries 19: Cold War Covert Operations and Related Actions contains documents, correspondence, reports and articles about Air America and other CIA related covert activities around the world, including Air America in Indonesia, The Bay of Pigs invasion, CIA flights to the Contras in Central America, and the Desert One hostage rescue mission.

Subseries 20: Air Combat and Ordinance includes instruction and education manuals for combat and formation flying, attack and interdiction of ground targets, operation of the AC-47 Gunship, C-47, and T-28. Also contains information from DuPont and technical reports about explosive and incendiary ordinance.

Subseries 21: Photographs contains photographs, slides, negatives, postcards, and other visual depictions of various aspects of Air America including operations, aircraft, locations, and personnel.

Subseries 22: Multimedia features video and film productions related to Air America, the Cold War and Covert Operations, as well as numerous audio tapes of oral interviews with various people associated with Air America. These interviews are arranged by the subject’s last name, and are on both standard and micro cassette tapes.

Subseries 23: Oversize holds other material too large to be placed in the standard boxes of the collection. This subseries holds three dimensional objects, posters, maps, and large size photographs.

The fifth series is the Project Cold Feet Series, which includes material discussing “Project Coldfeet”, a CIA action to seize a Soviet Arctic Drift station that had broken free from the Arctic pack ice, and abandoned. The pilots on the mission where CAT employees. There are documents, photographs, film material, notes and correspondence depicting the operation. William Leary used this material to write The Cold War in the North - Project Coldfeet. Also present is information on the Fulton Skyhook retrieval system, which was used to retrieve people on the ground without the aircraft needing to land.

The sixth series is the Allen Dulles Series, which consists of research notes, correspondence, documents, and photographs about the life and history of statesman, politician, and CIA Head Allen Dulles. This material was used by William Leary in preparation of an entry on Allen Dulles for The Encyclopedia of The Cold War.

The seventh series is the Air Mail Series, which contains historical reports, contracts, photographs, biographical material, book chapters, articles, correspondence and draft manuscripts depicting the history of the airmail service in America. William Leary used this material in the writing of several articles about the United States Air Mail Service.

The eighth series is the NASA Icing Research Tunnel Series, which features documents, reports, photographs, histories, interviews, and correspondence about the efforts to combat aircraft icing, as well as NASA’s icing research tunnel at NASA’s Glenn Research Center. There are also a number of NACA, NASA, FAA, and NTSB reports on icing and its effects on aviation.

The ninth series is the Aircraft Instruments Series, which holds histories, interviews, correspondence, documents, reports, articles and manuscripts about the early use if instruments in aviation. William Leary used some of this material in work about the development of radio as a navigational aid for aviation.

The tenth series is the Mohawk Airlines Series, which consists of interviews, reports, histories, photographs, correspondence, and articles about Mohawk Airlines, an airline that operated in the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. from 1940 until 1972. These materials were made available by Russell V. Stephenson -President and Chief Executive Officer of Mohawk Airlines until July 16, 1971- to William Leary who used this material to write a history of the airlines operations.

The eleventh series is the Yugoslav Partisans and Special Operations in World War II Series, which contains oral interviews, histories, reports, articles, book excerpts, and photographs, depicting United Special Operations efforts to support Yugoslav partisans in fighting the Axis and rescuing downed Allied pilots during World War II. William Leary used this material to write an article about aerial resupply efforts to these partisans.

The twelfth series is the Military Use of Helicopters Series, which contains reports, articles, book excerpts, and documents examining the United States Military’s use of helicopters as attack and transport platforms in warfare. The bulk of the material focuses on the use of the helicopter during the Vietnam War.

The thirteenth series is the Sino-Japanese War/World War II in China/American Volunteer Group Series, which contains photographs, diaries, reports, correspondence, histories, oral interviews, book excerpts and articles, and government documents related to military activity in China prior to World War II. The materials examines both the Japanese invasion of China, as well as the history and career of the American Volunteer Group (AVG, famously known as “The Flying Tigers”) fighting the Japanese before the official American entry in World War II. Aerial resupply of the Chinese by flying over the Himalaya’s (The Hump) is also described. This material connects to both China National Aviation Corporation and serves as the foundation for the later formation of Civil Air Transport.

The fourteenth series is the Japanese Aviation in World War II Series, which consists of official government reports, histories, and articles examining Japanese military aircraft during World War II. This collection distinctly addresses Japanese aircraft, but overlaps with the material about Sino-Japanese War in Series thirteen.

The fifteenth series is the Combat Cargo Command Series, which includes reports, histories, oral interviews, documents, research notes and correspondence about the United States Air Force’s special operation airlift command during the Korean War, the Combat Cargo Command. It also discussed briefly the history of air transport as well as General William Tunner and The Berlin Airlift. William Leary used this material to prepare a commemorative book for the United States Air Force on the 50th Anniversary of the Combat Cargo Command’s establishment.

The sixteenth series is the Air Commandos Series, which contains oral histories, documents, photographs, articles, correspondence, newsletters and rosters, related to the military operations of the Air Commandos. The bulk of the material focuses on Brigadier General H. C. Aderholt, and his command staff.

The seventeenth series is the American Intelligence Organizations Series, which houses correspondence, reports, legislation, memoranda, and other documents related to Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and its predecessors: The Office of Strategic Services (OSS), and The Cabinet Intelligence Group (CIG).

The eighteenth series is the MacArthur and His Generals (World War II in the Pacific) Series, which includes oral histories, paper proposals, documents, lists related to General Douglas MacArthur and his command during World War II. William Leary used this information to write an article about MacArthur and his commanders.

The nineteenth series is the Bernt Balchen Series, which consists of manuscript chapters, oral histories, interviews, historical sketches and correspondence connected to pioneer polar aviator Bernt Balchen. William Leary used material in writing a manuscript about Bernt Balchen's Life and Career.

The twentieth series is the Aviation Personalities Series, which contains biographical information about a number of famous people involved in aviation. The biographies are organized alphabetically by the person’s last name.

The twenty-firth series is the Aircraft Series, which includes information about a number of aircraft from a variety of time periods. The files are organized alphabetically by the aircrafts name.

The twenty-second series is the Aeromarine Airways Series, which houses reports, correspondence, histories, notes, and book and article excerpts documenting Aeromarine Airways, an airline partially owned by Pan Am and operating out of the Caribbean.

The twenty-third series is the Airlines Series, which includes information about a number of different airlines, both active and discontinued. Folders are arranged alphabetically by the airlines name.

The twenty-fourth series is the Negatives Series, which contains photographic negatives of images pulled from the other series. The places from where these negatives were removed from the other series are marked by materials removed from collections notes.

The twenty-fifth series is the Microfilm Series, which includes several rolls of microfilm of American diplomatic reports from a number of countries during the 1920s and 1930s.

The twenty-sixth series is the Oversize Series, which houses large size documents that were unable to fit in other parts of the collection. There are several large maps and posters, as well as few large format documents.

The twenty-seventh series is the General Research Materials Series, which reflects various research interests such as Air safety, World War II, correspondence with the University of Nebraska Press, Hughes Committee on War Expenditures, Technology and Commerce, Business History Conference, and images taken under the Arctic.

Dates

  • 1875 - 2006
  • Majority of material found within 1946 - 2005

Language of Materials

Collection is in English and Chinese.

Access Restrictions

Materials in this collection are open for research.

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

Dr. William M. Leary was born in 1935 in Newark, New Jersey. He joined the Air Force and served in the Korean War. Upon completion of his military service, Dr. Leary pursued an academic career as an aviation historian, earning a doctorate from Princeton University. Dr. Leary taught at a number of universities and colleges including Princeton University, San Diego State, and the University of Victoria in Canada. Finally, he settled at the University of Georgia, where he taught for 32 years, after which he retired as the E. Merton Coulter Professor of History.

In addition, Dr. Leary was a sought after expert on aviation history who taught classes in both Europe and the Far East, received four Fulbright Grants for research, and held the Charles A. Lindberg Chair in Aerospace History at the National Air and Space Museum in 1996 and 1997. Dr. Leary also received numerous awards for his scholarly work and research, including the Central Intelligence Agency’s Studies in Intelligence Award for 1995. Dr. Leary participated in many lectures, symposia, conferences, throughout his career and was interviewed for television documentaries in support of his aviation research.

Dr. Leary’s primary research interest was aviation and he wrote about a variety topics ranging from the U.S. Air Force’s Combat Cargo Command and Bernt Balchen and Polar Aviation to studies of Aerial Re-supply of Yugoslav Partisans in World War II and the American Air Mail system. One of Dr. Leary’s main research interests was aviation in China and the Far East, and this led to him documenting the history of China National Aviation Corporation (CNAC), Civil Air Transport (CAT) and Air America, and their connections to the United States intelligence establishment. Dr. Leary wrote two books about these airlines The Dragon’s Wings (about CNAC) and Perilous Missions (about CAT), while leaving a third book about Air America unfinished with his death. Dr. Leary passed away in Watkinsville, Georgia on February 24, 2006, at the age of 71.

Sources

Source
"William M. Leary Papers," Folder 1, Box 1, Series I, History of Aviation Collection, Special Collections Department, McDermott Library, The University of Texas at Dallas.
Source
Air Force Historical Agency. "William M. Leary". "Airpower History" (Summer 2006). http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_hb3101/is_2_53/ai_n29269277/pg_2/?tag=content;col1 (Accessed October 28, 2010).

Extent

64.1 Linear Feet (One-hundred and thirty-eight manuscript boxes, five half-size manuscript boxes, five non-standard boxes (9.5x12x3), one non-standard box (25x19.5x2), two video storage boxes (6.9x16.4x4.9), two microfilm boxes (4x4x11), and one Audio/Film Canister, 16mm x 800ft, (10x1).)

Abstract

Dr. William M. Leary taught at the University of Georgia focusing on a variety topics of aviation related events. This main subject was the study of aviation in China and the Far East, cumulated in documenting the history of China National Aviation Corporation (CNAC), Civil Air Transport (CAT) and Air America, and their connections to the United States intelligence establishment.

Series Description

The William M. Leary Papers are arranged in twenty-seven series:

Series I. Personal Papers 2.5 linear ft. (five manuscript boxes), 1875-2005.

Arranged topically.

Series II. Chinese National Aviation Corporation (CNAC) 4.5 linear ft. (nine manuscript boxes), 1919-2004.

Arranged into twelve subseries: 1. Magazine and Newspaper Articles about China, 2. Correspondence about China/CNAC, 3. Aviation in China-Pre Sino-Japanese War, 4. American Volunteer Group (AVG)/ CNAC Reunions, 5. Pan American Airways (PAA) and CNAC, 6. Research Information on China, 7. U.S. Government Reports, 8. CNAC Operations, 9. Manuscripts and Articles about Aviation in China, 10. Articles about Chinese Aviation by William Leary, 11. The Dragon's Wings, and 12. CNAC Photographs.

Subseries 1. Magazine and Newspaper Articles about China 0.2 linear ft. (four folders), 1928-1947.

Arranged by date.

Subseries 2. Correspondence about China/CNAC 0.2 linear ft. (five folders), 1967-1979.

Arranged alphabetically by recipient.

Subseries 3. Aviation in China-Pre Sino-Japanese War 0.1 linear ft. (two folders), 1930-1969.

Arranged topically.

Subseries 4. American Volunteer Group (AVG)/ CNAC Reunions 0.2 linear ft. (four folders), 1962-2004.

Arranged topically.

Subseries 5. Pan American Airways (PAA) and CNAC 0.3 linear ft. (seven folders), 1935-1984.

Arranged topically.

Subseries 6. Research Information on China 0.75 linear ft. (one box and fifteen folders), 1919-1991.

Arranged topically.

Subseries 7. U.S. Government Reports 0.25 linear ft. (two folders), 1920-1935.

Arranged topically.

Subseries 8. CNAC Operations 1.0 linear ft. (two boxes), 1921-1992.

Arranged topically.

Subseries 9. Manuscripts and Articles about Aviation in China 0.25 linear ft. (nine folders), 1930-1983.

Arranged chronologically.

Subseries 10. Articles about Chinese Aviation by William Leary 0.25 linear ft. (seven folders), 1960-1972.

Arranged chronologically.

Subseries 11. “The Dragon's Wings” 0.75 linear ft. (one box and thirteen folders), 1969-2001.

Arranged topically.

Subseries 12. CNAC Photographs 0.25 linear ft. (nine folders), 1931-1999.

Arranged topically.

Series III. Civil Air Transport (CAT) 8.0 linear ft. (sixteen boxes), 1930-2005.

Arranged into twelve subseries: 1. Background on Post-World War II China/Legacy of CAT, 2. Letters and Diaries of Louise and Whiting Willauer, 3. CAT History, 4. CAT Personnel, 5. CAT Operations, 6. CAT Aircraft Accidents, 7. "Operation Tropic"/Death of Norman Schwartz and Robert Snoddy, 8. CAT in French Indochina/Death of James McGovern and Wallace Buford at Dien Bien Phu, 9. CAT Association/Reunions, 10. Perilous Missions, 11. Books and Articles about CAT/the Korean War/China/French Indochina, and 12. Oversize Material.

Subseries 1. Background on Post-World War II China/Legacy of CAT 0.5 linear ft. (one box), 1930-2001.

Arranged topically.

Subseries 2. Letters and Diaries of Louise and Whiting Willauer 1.0 linear ft. (two boxes), 1946-1967.

Arranged chronologically.

Subseries 3. CAT History 1.75 linear ft. (three boxes and three folders), 1946-1963.

Arranged chronologically.

Subseries 4. CAT Personnel 0.75 linear ft. (one box and four folders), 1942-2000.

Arranged alphabetically.

Subseries 5. CAT Operations 0.25 linear ft. (fifteen folders), 1944-2002.

Arranged topically.

Subseries 6. CAT Aircraft Accidents 0.75 linear ft. (one box and eight folders), 1946-2001.

Arranged topically.

Subseries 7. "Operation Tropic"/Death of Norman Schwartz and Robert Snoddy 0.75 linear ft. (one box and nine folders), 1951-2005.

Arranged topically.

Subseries 8. CAT in French Indochina/Death of James McGovern and Wallace Buford at Dien Bien Phu 0.75 linear ft. (twelve folders), 1948-2005.

Arranged topically.

Subseries 9. CAT Association/Reunions 0.5 linear ft. (five folders), 1978-2005.

Arranged chronologically.

Subseries 10. Perilous Missions 0.5 linear ft. (one box), 1971-1985.

Arranged by chapter draft number.

Subseries 11. Books and Articles about CAT/the Korean War/China/French Indochina 1.0 linear ft. (two boxes), 1964-2005.

Arranged topically.

Subseries 12. Oversize Material 1.0 linear ft. (one box), 1950-2005.

Arranged topically.

Series IV. Air America 28.5 linear ft. (fifty-seven boxes), 1933-2006.

Arranged into twenty-three subseries: 1. Air America Chronology, 2. Air America Incidents and Employee Casualties, 3. Air America/CIA Background, 4. Air America Corporate Documents, 5. Air America People, 6. Air America Locations, 7. Air America Operations and Equipment Maintenance, 8. Air America Topics, 9. Biographical Information and Interviews, 10. U.S. Military Command and Education Manuals, 11. Air America Correspondence, 12. Cambodia, 13. Laos, 14. Thailand, 15. North and South Vietnam, 16. Research and Writing about Air America, 17. Air America Club/Association, 18. Oral History Interviews, 19. Cold War Covert Operations and Related Actions, 20. Air Combat and Ordinance, 21. Photographs, 22. Multimedia, and 23. Oversize Material.

Subseries 1. Air America Chronology 1.5 linear ft. (three boxes), 1958-2001.

Arranged chronologically.

Subseries 2. Air America Incidents and Employee Casualties 0.75 linear ft. (one box and six folders), 1963-2003.

Arranged Chronologically.

Subseries 3. Air America/CIA Background 0.5 linear ft. (ten folders), 1949-2004.

Arranged topically.

Subseries 4. Air America Corporate Documents 0.5 linear ft. (eight folders), 1949-1974.

Arranged topically.

Subseries 5. Air America People 0.65 linear ft. (ten folders), 1948-1993.

Arranged alphabetically by subject's last name.

Subseries 6. Air America Locations 0.15 linear ft. (eight folders), 1949-1979.

Arranged topically.

Subseries 7. Air America Operations and Equipment Maintenance 0.9 linear ft. (one box and eleven folders), 1954-2004.

Arranged chronologically.

Subseries 8. Air America Topics 1.5 linear ft. (three boxes), 1933-2000.

Arranged topically.

Subseries 9. Biographical Information and Interviews 3.25 linear ft. (six boxes and ten folders), 1967-2004.

Arranged alphabetically by subject’s last name.

Subseries 10. U.S. Military Command and Education Manuals 0.25 linear ft. (six folders), 1961-1974.

Arranged topically.

Subseries 11. Air America Correspondence 0.25 linear ft. (nine folders), 1972-2004.

Arranged alphabetically by subject’s last name.

Subseries 12. Cambodia 0.25 linear ft. (six folders), 1973-2001.

Arranged topically.

Subseries 13. Laos 2.5 linear ft. (five boxes), 1959-2005.

Arranged topically.

Subseries 14. Thailand 0.5 linear ft. (one box), 1966-2004.

Arranged topically.

Subseries 15. North and South Vietnam 1.0 linear ft. (two boxes), 1975-2005.

Arranged topically.

Subseries 16. Research and Writing about Air America 3.0 linear ft. (six boxes), 1962-2005.

Arranged topically.

Subseries 17. Air America Club/Association 0.5 linear ft. (one box), 1965-2006.

Arranged chronologically.

Subseries 18. Oral History Interviews 0.75 linear ft. (one box and two folders), 1975-1989.

Arranged alphabetically.

Subseries 19. Cold War Covert Operations and Related Actions 2.25 linear ft. (four boxes and seven folders), 1945-2003.

Arranged topically.

Subseries 20. Air Combat and Ordinance 1.0 linear ft. (two boxes), 1947-1974.

Arranged topically.

Subseries 21. Photographs 2.0 linear ft. (four boxes), 1955-1993.

Arranged topically.

Subseries 22. Multimedia 9.0 linear ft. (nine boxes), 1960-2004.

Arranged alphabetically by interview subjects last name.

Subseries 23. Oversize Material 2.0 linear ft. (two boxes), 1947-1973.

Arranged topically.

Series V. Project Coldfeet 2.0 linear ft. (four boxes), 1913-2001.

Arranged topically.

Series VI. Allen Dulles 1.0 linear ft. (two boxes), 1954-1992.

Arranged topically.

Series VII. Air Mail 5.0 linear ft. (ten boxes), 1912-1996.

Arranged chronologically.

Series VIII. NASA Icing Research Tunnel (IRT)/Icing Research 5.0 linear ft. (ten boxes), 1945-2000.

Arranged chronologically.

Series IX. Aircraft Instruments 4 linear ft. (eight boxes), 1916-1994.

Arranged topically.

Series X. Mohawk Airlines 3.5 linear ft. (seven boxes), 1940-2002.

Arranged topically.

Series XI: Yugoslav Partisans and Special Operations in World War II 0.5 linear ft. (one box), 1940-2000.

Arranged topically.

Series XII: Military Use of Helicopters 0.5 linear ft. (one box), 1964-1986.

Arranged topically.

Series XIII. Sino-Japanese War / World War II in China / American Volunteer Group (Flying Tigers) 2.5 linear ft. (five boxes), 1911-1995.

Arranged topically.

Series XIV. Japanese Aviation in World War II 1.0 linear ft. (two boxes), 1927-1985.

Arranged topically.

Series XV. Combat Cargo Command 1.25 linear ft. (two boxes and three folders), 1931-2000.

Arranged topically.

Series XVI. Air Commandos 0.25 linear ft. (three folders), 1967-1995.

Arranged topically.

Series XVII. American Intelligence Organizations 1.0 linear ft. (two boxes), 1945-1989.

Arranged topically.

Series XVIII. MacArthur and His Generals (World War II in the Pacific) 0.5 linear ft. (one box), 1920-1987.

Arranged topically.

Series XIX. Bernt Balchen 1.5 linear ft. (three boxes), 1941-1999.

Arranged topically.

Series XX. Aviation Personalities 1.5 linear ft. (three boxes), 1904-2003.

Arranged alphabetically by subject's last name.

Series XXI. Aircraft 1.0 linear ft. (two boxes), 1911-2001.

Arranged alphabetically by aircraft name.

Series XXII. Aeromarine Airways 0.25 linear ft. (one box), 1918-1976.

Arranged topically.

Series XXIII. Airlines 2.0 linear ft. (four boxes), 1925-2000.

Arranged alphabetically by airline name.

Series XXIV. Negatives 0.5 linear ft. (one box), undated.

Arranged topically.

Series XXV. Microfilm 1.0 linear ft. (two boxes), 1918-1993.

Arranged topically.

Series XXVI. Oversize 2.0 linear ft. (one box), 1942-1994.

Arranged by item size.

Series XXVII. General Research Material 0.2 linear ft. (one half-size manuscript box), 1930-2002.

Arranged topically.

Custodial History

The materials in Series X. Mohawk Airlines belonged to Russell V. Stephenson, who was the President and Chief Executive Officer of Mohawk Airlines until July 16, 1971. Mr. Stephenson made his materials available to William Leary for conducting research on this airline.

Provenance Statement

The William M. Leary Papers were donated to the History of Aviation Collection, Special Collections and Archives Division, Eugene McDermott Library, The University of Texas at Dallas, by Margret Leary on February 27, 2006 with a second donation occuring on July 16, 2007.

Existence and Location of Copies

All the oral history tapes in Boxes 80-85 have been digitized made available by a grant from the Haddaway Foundation. To access these audio files, view this link: https://www.utdallas.edu/library/ under this term: Audio tapes from the William M. Leary Papers

Additional Sources

The William M. Leary Papers cover a broad array of topics connected to other collections in the History of Aviation Collection.

For more information about China, CNAC, CAT, Air America, and Project Cold Feet researchers are encouraged to consult the collections found in the CAT/Air America collections. Finding aids for these collection are available, and many of the people Dr. Leary interviewed in his collection also have their own collections individual material in the archive.

For more information about Aviation History, Air Mail, Bernt Balchen researchers are directed to the remaining collections of the History of Aviation Collection, some of which discuss these topics in greater depth.

Additionally, copies of much of Dr. Leary's work are present in the book and journal holdings of the History of Aviation Collection. Please consult the Library Catalog to locate these volumes.

Books and Magazines

Books and magazines were pulled and catalogued to be included into the HAC monograph and magazine stacks.

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: 1WML-150-11-PC1

1 = Civil Air Transport/Air America (CAT/AAM)

WML = William M. Leary Papers

= Series Number

150 = Box Number

11 = Folder Number

P = Photograph/Postcard

C = Color

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

Images were rehoused in polypropylene sleeves or interleafed with acid-free paper. Rusted fasteners were removed.

Materials Removed List

0.1 linear ft. of books, floppy disk, Saigon street map, magazines, and newsletters were de-accessioned and send to surplus.
Title
Guide to the William M. Leary Papers, 1935-2006
Status
Completed
Author
Processed by Paul A. Oelkrug, CA, Thomas Allen, Ph.D, CA, and Randall P. Hinshaw. Described by Paul A. Oelkrug, CA, 2006-07-01.
Date
2006-07-01
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
English (eng)
Edition statement
First revision by Randy Hinshaw, CA. 2010-12-07. Second revision by Patrizia Nava, CA. 2017-08-11. Third revision by Patrizia Nava, CA. 2019-07-26. Fourth revision by Patrizia Nava, CA. 2021-03-31.

Revision Statements

  • 2010-12-07: 1st revision was an incorporation of additional materials and an update of the finding aid by Randy Hinshaw..
  • 2017-08-11: 2nd revision was a migration to ArchivesSpace by Patrizia Nava, CA.
  • 2019-07-26: 3rd revision was an update of the top containers to current standards and an update of date ranges in the Series Description by Patrizia Nava, CA.
  • 2021-03-31: 4th revision was an update of the Provenance Statement and other style elements of the finding aid by Patrizia Nava, CA.

Repository Details

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

Contact:
3020 Waterview Pkwy
SP2
Suite 11.206
Richardson Texas 75080 US
972-883-2570
972-883-4590 (Fax)