W. Langhorne Bond and James E. Ellis, ed.

This is the story of an aviation pioneer who developed a major airline in China in the 1930s and 1940s. W. Langhorne Bond was a Pan American executive in the days when Pan Am was achieving mastery of the skies. The book tells the story of Bond's efforts to set up and operate a fledgling airline, the China National Aviation Corporation (CNAC), while overcoming Chinese political machinations, attacks by invading Japanese forces, and changing and erratic American management and government policies.


It is also an excellent look at the forces that shaped China in the early to mid-twentieth century. Bond provides insightful explanations into Extraterritoriality Laws, which were forced upon the Chinese following the Boxer Rebellion. These laws effectively took away the sovereignty of the Chinese over foreign citizens doing business in their country, and Bond tells a personal story that shows the impact of these laws on China. These laws did much to shape Chinese attitudes that still impact world events today.


The book also tells the story of the indomitable spirit of the Chinese people falling back against superior Japanese forces invading their country. Bond's personal stories of lost children during the evacuations of Shanghai and Hankow, and of the successful but heartbreaking evacuation of Hong Kong following Pearl Harbor, are truly memorable.


Anecdotes on Bond's meeting with major historic figures of his time show both the good and sometimes the bad sides of many notables of his era, including Charles and Anne Lindbergh, Generalissimo and Madame Chiang Kai-shek, and writers Theodore H. White and Ernest Hemingway.


Bond's wartime efforts to keep CNAC flying and supporting China resulted in Bond's meeting with a variety of U.S. military leaders, such as General Douglas MacArthur and General Claire Lee Chennault, head of the Flying Tigers. Attempts to gain the support of General Henry "Hap" Arnold, head of U.S. Army Armed Forces in WWII, left Bond with a disdain for the general whom he viewed as arrogant and ill-informed.

9781611460292 (R&L)
0934223653 (AUP)
Lehigh University Press - Wings for an Embattled China