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Civil Air Transport Souvenir Bag

Artifact Details

A black zippered bag with the CAT logo printed in gold on the side

The CIA used Civil Air Transport to covertly provide transportation for secret operations, such as airdropping supplies.

In August 1950, the CIA secretly purchased the assets of Civil Air Transport (CAT), an airline that had been started in China after World War II by Gen. Claire L. Chennault and Whiting Willauer. CAT would continue to fly commercial routes throughout Asia, acting in every way as a privately owned commercial airline. At the same time, under the corporate guise of CAT Incorporated, it provided airplanes and crews for secret intelligence operations.

CAT travelers received these flight bags as complementary gifts.

Artifact Specs

30.3 cm x 12.8 cm x 23.6 cm

(L x W x H)

Additional Photos

'The backside of a black zippered bag with "The Mandarin Jet" printed in gold

Learn More

CIA Air Operations in Laos, 1955-1974: Supporting the “Secret War”

Recollections of a Case Officer in Laos, 1962-1964