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Register of the China Defense Supplies Records
2008C96  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Arrangement
  • Administrative Information
  • Historical Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Collection Summary

    Title: China Defense Supplies records
    Date (inclusive): 1940-1947
    Creator: China Defense Supplies.
    Collection Number: 2008C96
    Repository: Hoover Institution Archives
    Stanford, California 94305-6010
    Collection Size: 50 manuscript boxes, 2 oversize boxes, 1 oversize folder (23.1 linear feet)
    Abstract: The collection contains correspondence, memoranda, reports, and financial and personnel records relating to procurement and shipment of war materiel from the United States to China during World War II, military operations in the China-Burma-India Theater, and wartime diplomatic relations between China and the United States. The office files of William S. Youngman, Jr., President of China Defense Supplies, can be found throughout the collection.
    Language of the Materials : The collection is in English.
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives

    Arrangement

    The collection is organized into 8 series: General office file, Departments file, Transportation fuel executive file, American Volunteer Group (AVG)/Central Air Manufacturing Company (CAMCO) file, Chinese National Aviation Corporation (CNAC) file, Speeches and writings, Subject file, and Oversize materials.
    Most folder headings are original

    Administrative Information

    Access

    Collection is open for research.
    The Hoover Institution Archives only allows access to copies of audiovisual items. To listen to sound recordings or to view videos or films during your visit, please contact the Archives at least two working days before your arrival. We will then advise you of the accessibility of the material you wish to see or hear. Please note that not all audiovisual material is immediately accessible.

    Publication Rights

    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], China Defense Supplies records, [Box:number], Hoover Institution Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 2008, with an addition in 2011.

    Accruals

    Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find the collection in Stanford University's online catalog at http://searchworks.stanford.edu/ . Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the online catalog is larger than the number of boxes listed in this finding aid.

    Related Materials

    William Sterling Youngman papers, Hoover Institution Archives
    Claire Lee Chennault papers, Hoover Institution Archives
    T. V. (Tzu-wen) Soong papers, Hoover Institution Archives
    Whiting Willauer papers, Princeton University Library Mudd Manuscripts Library

    Historical Note

    China Defense Supplies, Inc. was the main agency for coordinating Lend-Lease aid to China from the United States. Incorporated in the United States in 1941, China Defense Supplies was an organization of the Chinese government chaired by T. V. Soong, but staffed by Americans and based in Washington, D.C.
    In 1941, China Defense Supplies worked to improve transportation over the Burma Road, the main Lend-Lease supply route to China. When the Japanese invasion of Burma in 1942 impeded access to the Burma Road, China Defense Supplies initiated the Emergency Air Transport Program to fly goods from India to China and helped to develop an air transport route over a stretch of the Himalayas nicknamed "The Hump." China Defense Supplies also worked to secure supplies for the American Volunteer Group, also known as the Flying Tigers.
    As Soong spent increasingly less time in Washington during the latter years of the war, the decision was made to dissolve China Defense Supplies in 1944 and establish a successor organization, the Chinese Supply Commission, which was also active in obtaining reconstruction aid for China following the war. S. C. Wang became the chairman of this organization in September 1945, when the activities of the Chinese Supply Commission shifted from wartime supply to the procurement of materials needed to rebuild China's economy.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The collection contains correspondence, memoranda, reports, and financial and personnel records relating to procurement and shipment of war materiel from the United States to China during World War II, military operations in the China-Burma-India Theater, and wartime diplomatic relations between China and the United States. The office files of William S. Youngman, Jr., President of China Defense Supplies, can be found throughout the collection.
    The General office file contains administrative documents such as financial and personnel records, in addition to correspondence and files on individuals employed by or associated with China Defense Supplies. This series includes a history of China Defense Supplies that provides detailed information about its various projects and discusses strategy decisions in the China-Burma-India Theater. Also included are daily reports, weekly information letters, and meeting minutes of the Planning Committee, which give an in-depth look at the activities of China Defense Supplies. On July 1, 1944, the Chinese Supply Commission was established as a successor organization to China Defense Supplies. Material created by the Chinese Supply Commission can be found within the general office file, in the correspondence, and scattered throughout the collection; these materials can be identified by date. Material organized by the activities of various departments of China Defense Supplies can be found in the Departments file, which is divided into six departments: Aviation, Medical and Miscellaneous Supplies, Motor Transport/Transportation, Ordnance, Signal Corps, and Traffic. For more material concerning the Motor Transport/Transportation Department, see the Oversize materials.
    The Subject file contains information on projects that were central to the work of China Defense Supplies, such as Lend-Lease operations and supply routes. Included are documents on the Emergency Air Transport Program and the Burma Road. The reports by Gordon Tweedy and Don F. Harding (Box:42, folders 17-18 and Box:43, folders 1-3), mostly in the form of correspondence, discuss matters of interest in India. Materials created by various China Defense Supplies departments may also be found in this file.
    The Transportation fuel executive file documents projects involving the Kansu Oil Fields and other fuel operations. Since fuel was integral to the work of both the Motor Transport/Transportation Department and the Aviation Department, materials relevant to those departments can be found in this file.
    In addition to William Sterling Youngman's role as the president of China Defense Supplies, Youngman, who throughout the 1940s worked as an attorney in a firm headed by Thomas G. ("Tommy the Cork") Corcoran, also played a significant role in the American Volunteer Group (AVG). The American Volunteer Group, better known as the Flying Tigers, was a group that China Defense Supplies worked with to transport aid to the Chinese government prior to the U.S. entry into World War II. The pilots of the American Volunteer Group were paid through contracts with the Central Air Manufacturing Company (CAMCO), which also recruited pilots and acted as an intermediary between the Chinese government and the American Volunteer Group. The American Volunteer Group (AVG)/Central Air Manufacturing Company (CAMCO) file documents the financial relationship between CAMCO, the American Volunteer Group and China Defense Supplies. Materials include audits, financial documents, personnel files, and a roster of American Volunteer Group pilots. The general files consist mainly of correspondence, including letters from Claire Chennault and T. V. Soong.
    When the American Volunteer Group disbanded in July 1942, some of its members joined the Chinese National Aviation Corporation (CNAC). Pilots from the Chinese National Aviation Corporation transported Lend-Lease supplies from India to China over a treacherous stretch of the Himalayan Mountains known as "The Hump." This series contains telegrams between Harold M. Bixby, Vice President of Pan American Airways, and William L. Bond, who was employed by CNAC. Since the Aviation Department of China Defense Supplies was involved in the work of both of these groups, materials on the American Volunteer Group and the Chinese National Aviation Corporation can be found in the Departments file under the Aviation Department subseries and under air transport in the Subject file.
    The Speeches and writings series contains drafts of speeches by T. V. Soong, who served as chairman of China Defense Supplies. His correspondence can be found throughout the collection.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Youngman, William Sterling, 1907-1994.
    China--Foreign relations--United States.
    Lend-lease operations (1941-1945)
    United States--Foreign relations--China.
    World War, 1939-1945--Campaigns--Burma.
    World War, 1939-1945--Campaigns--China.
    World War, 1939-1945--China.
    World War, 1939-1945--Diplomatic history.
    World War, 1939-1945--Equipment and supplies.
    World War, 1939-1945--Transportation.
    World War, 1939-1945--United States.