Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Document created: 20 November 02
Air & Space Power Journal- Winter 2002
China Pilot: Flying for Chennault during the Cold War by Felix Smith. Smithsonian Institution Press (http://www.sipress.si.edu), 750 Ninth Street NW, Suite 4300, Washington, D.C. 20560-0950, 2000, 336 pages, $17.95 (softcover).
Exotic locations throughout post–World War II Asia; vivid, larger-than-life characters; adventures good enough for the next Indiana Jones movie: China Pilot promises all this and more! Felix Smith flew for Gen Claire Chennault’s Civil Air Transport (CAT) for nearly 30 years, transporting supplies and troops for the Nationalists during China’s civil war, and then flew in French Indochina, Korea, and Vietnam for the CIA. China Pilot describes Smith’s experiences as a CAT pilot in amazing detail, simultaneously providing the reader a memoir and history lesson. Smith introduces the reader to CAT’s pilots, a unique mix of former military and civilian aviators, and describes their missions in harrowing detail. His unique cast of supporting characters kept me turning the pages- their exploits brought this piece of Cold War history to life. I recommend this entertaining and educational memoir to anyone interested in Cold War history or military aviation.
Maj Kristina M. O’Brien, USAF
Hurlburt Field, Florida
The conclusions and opinions expressed in this document are those of the author cultivated in the freedom of expression, academic environment of Air University. They do not reflect the official position of the U.S. Government, Department of Defense, the United States Air Force or the Air University.