Preserving The Oral HistorIES of Combat Veterans


Bill McSwain | Air Transport Command

5:51   |   Bill McSwain moved all around the China/Burma/India theater with his small ground crew unit, which serviced cargo planes flying "over the Hump." The air strips were built as close as the war allowed to the destinations in China. Supplies, ammunition and fuel were desperately needed to keep China in the fight.

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Keywords   :     Bill McSwain    Air Transport Command (ATC)    Chengdu    China    Imphal    India    Chinese    coolie    air strip    Japanese    Communist    Chiang Kai-shek    Mao Zedong    repair    cargo    Himalayas    Putt-Putt    generator    Claire Chenault

Videos ( 3 )
  • Bill McSwain  |  WWII  |  Air Transport Command  |  5:19

    He was destined for flight training, but Bill McSwain turned up with high blood pressure so he was put into the ground service of the Air Transport Command. Before he knew it, he was crossing the Pacific to India, where he repaired aircraft which were flying "over the Hump," supplying free Chinese forces.

  • Bill McSwain  |  WWII  |  Air Transport Command  |  6:19

    Bill McSwain recalls the living conditions in South Asia, where he moved from one small air strip to another. In China, they were built by native laborers, who were desperate for food. He was fortunate to never be targeted by Japanese planes, or to have to face the Communist Chinese, who were on the move immediately following the Japanese surrender.

  • Bill McSwain  |  WWII  |  Air Transport Command  |  2:50

    While in China, Bill McSwain saw some astounding things, including some unusual construction scaffolding and a greatly under-supplied Chinese troop formation.

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