Vietnam War Dictionary

Air America

Air America originated with the CIA purchase of Civil Air Transport in August 1950. CAT, which had been started in China after World War II, continued to fly commercial routes, but was also used to conduct covert U.S. intelligence operations. Renamed Air America in March 1959, it provided air support throughout Indochina, but its role in assisting the forces of the Royal Lao government was particularly significant. Using a variety of aircraft, AAM flew weapons and ammunition to CIA trained Hmong tribesman, transported refugees, delivered foodstuffs and conducted medevac missions. After assisting in the evacuation of Saigon in April 1975, Air America was shut down on 30th June 1976.

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