Scarecrow Posted August 5, 2021 Share #1 Posted August 5, 2021 These are some China National Aviation Corp. (CNAC), visor caps and sun helmets. CNAC was mainly a passenger and mail service airline before the war. Owned 55% by the Nationalist Chinese Government and 45% by Pan-Am. During the war it was pressed into service as a transport and cargo/supply airline and were the main source of supply for the AVG, once the Burma Road was closed by the Japanese. CNAC was flying these supply missions through out the war over the "Hump" from India to China. Flying the Hump is considered some of the most dangerous flying in the world. With many CNAC as well as US ATC aircraft, ending up on Himalayan mountain hillsides. Their trail of crash sites is referred to as the "Aluminum Trail". The pilots of CNAC were represented by many nationalities, however they were primarily American and Chinese pilots and co-pilots. In fact approximately 19 (sources vary on the exact number, I've seen anywhere from 16-21 mentioned) AVG/Flying Tigers joined and flew for CNAC after the AVG disbanded in July 1942. One of the sun helmets shown does not have any CNAC insignia (the CNAC Chinese symbol is called a "Chung"), it however is named inside on the sweatband to Capt. Charles Sharkey. Sharkey is one of the better known CNAC pilots, flying through the war for CNAC. He was even the subject of a Camel cigarette ad. Sharkey had an untimely end in January 1947 when the CNAC C-47 he was piloting crashed into a mountainside, in fog, while attempting a landing in Tsingtao China. The story goes that the airport had just changed the radio beacon position and failed to notify the pilot, causing this very experienced pilot to crash, killing himself and 42 others on the plane. Hope you enjoy looking. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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