CHENNAULT (LT. GENERAL CLAIRE LEE) FAMILY PAPERS

(Mss. 3042)

Inventory

Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections

Special Collections, Hill Memorial Library

Louisiana State University Libraries

Baton Rouge, Louisiana State University

Reformatted 2003

Revised 2011

CONTENTS OF INVENTORY

SUMMARY .................................................................................................................................... 3
BIOGRAPHICAL/HISTORICAL NOTE ...................................................................................... 4
SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE ................................................................................................... 4
CROSS REFERENCES .................................................................................................................. 5
CONTAINER LIST ........................................................................................................................ 6

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SUMMARY

Size.

111 items

Geographic locations.

Louisiana, China

Inclusive dates.

1943-1956

Bulk dates.

N/A

Language.

English

Summary.

Collection includes letters from Lt. Gen. Chennault to his son David. Also includes letters of David to his wife during WWII and their correspondence while he was working in China for the CAT Aviation Co. during the Korean War. Also includes 1 black-and-white photo of Lt. Gen. Chennault.

Restrictions on access.

If microfilm is available, photocopies must be made from microfilm.

Related collections.

Dille Elizabeth Young Chennault Papers, Mss. 3769

James A. Noe Collection, Mss. 4117

Copyright.

Copyright of the original materials is retained by descendants of the creators in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Citation.

Lt. General Claire Lee Chennault Family Papers, Mss. 3042, Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections, LSU Libraries, Baton Rouge, La.

Stack locations.

W:30

BIOGRAPHICAL/HISTORICAL NOTE

Lt. Gen. Claire Lee Chennault (1893-1958) was born in Texas to Jessie (Lee) and John Stonewall Jackson Chennault, and grew up in Franklin Parish and Tensas Parish, Louisiana. He attended Louisiana State University (1909-1910), graduated from Officer’s School at the beginning of World War I, and was transferred to the Aviation Division of the Army Signal Corps. He resigned from the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1937, went to China and joined a small group of American civilians training Chinese airmen. In 1941 he was made a brigadier general in the Chinese Air Force and put in charge of recruiting pursuit pilots for the American Volunteer Group who became known as the Flying Tigers.

Chennault was recalled to active duty by the Army Air Force in 1942 as a colonel and promoted to brigadier general a week later. He became commanding general of the U.S. Air Force in China and in 1943 was promoted to major general and named to command the 14th Air Force in China. In 1950, Chennault became president of Civil Air Transports in China.

Chennault was married twice and had a total of ten children, eight by the Nell Thompson Chennault (1893-1977), and two by his second wife, Chen Xiangmei (known as Anna Chen). His children by Nell Thompson include John Stephen Chennault (1913-1977), Max Thompson Chennault (1914-2001), Charles Lee Chennault (1918-1967), Peggy Sue Chennault Lee (b. 1919), Claire Patterson Chennault Keyes (d. 1945), David Wallace Chennault (1923-1980), Robert Kenneth Chennault (1925-2006), and Rosemary Louise Chennault Simrall (b. 1928). His children by Anna Chen include Claire Anna Chennault (b. 1948) and Cynthia Louise Chennault (b. 1950). He died in New Orleans in 1958.

SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE

Letters of Claire Lee Chennault written chiefly to his son, David W. Chennault are primarily personal, with occasional references to Civil Air Transport, Inc. and world and Louisiana politics. Correspondence of David, his wife, Mary, other relatives and friends also contains observations about life aboard a ship in the Pacific Fleet during the Second World War (1944-1945), and describes conditions in Nationalist China during the Korean War (1952-1954), and the Civil Air Transport Aviation Company and its operations in China, Hong Kong, and other Far East locations (1950-1954). Letters from Chennault to Louisiana Governor James A. Noe and to Judge Robert F. Kennon concern alleged kickbacks to the Earl Long-Spaht campaign fund by members of the Louisiana State Police (March, 1952). A black and white photograph of Chennault taken in Taipei, Formosa, on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22, 1951, showing him in shirtsleeves, picking beans, is included.

CROSS REFERENCES

Subject

Date

Description of relevant documents

Aeronautics--Taiwan.

1950-1954

Observations on the CAT Aviation Company and its operations in China, Hong Kong, and other locations in the Far East.

Franklin Parish (La.)

1943-1956

Letters and personal observations of General Claire Lee Chennault and his family while resident in China (Nationalist).

Louisiana--Politics and government--1951-

1952

Two letters of General Claire Lee Chennault to Governor James A. Noe (Mar. 18); and to Judge Robert F. Kennon (Mar. 3), concerning alleged kickbacks or kickins to the Earl Long-Spaht campaign fund by members of the Louisiana State Police.

Photographic prints.

Nov. 22, 1951

Black/white photograph of General Chennault taken in Taipei, Formosa, on Thanksgiving Day, showing him in shirtsleeves, picking beans.

Taiwan--History--1945-

1952-1954

Letters containing personal observations about life in China (Nationalist) during the Korean War.

United States--History, Military--20th century.

1944-1945

Personal observations of life aboard ship during last two years of war by an enlisted man in the navy sent to his wife in Louisiana.

CONTAINER LIST

Stack

Location

Box

Folders

Contents

W:30

1

1

Photograph, Nov. 22, 1951

2a

May 1943-Sept. 1944.

2b

Mar. 1945-Nov. 1951.

3

Jan. 1952-Oct. 1952.

4

Oct. 1952-Dec. 1952.

5

Jan. 1953-Nov. 1953.

6

Jan. 1954-Mar. 1956, undated.