Category: History

Communism- How did it happen?
by Richard R. Tryon

Including evidence from an unpublished manuscript that was no doubt written by William D. Pawley, we have an opportunity to see a collection of unusual proportion.

Few have run into the evidences of the communist effort to rule the world with an iron hand in the name of the people in so many places as did William D. Pawley.

This chapter details some of the many such experiences that made Pawley ready to give of his time, his wealth and his energy to fight back against an enemy that far too many did not recognize was out to take away individual freedom in every corner of the globe. It was part of a plan invented by Karl Marx, who thought all value in life was provided by labor in an age when capital for him was to be ignored.

Unfortunately the plan required acceptance by all of humanity and those that could not agree had to be eliminated! Pawley for one did not like that idea! While he was able to guide several presidents to supporting his plans to fight the menaces that opposed the U.S., he had little success in the U.S. State Department when it came to recognizing communism as a threat to the security of the U.S.

Chapter four

An American Patriot saw the Communist Methods early on

One American patriot, among many others that wrote about the lies of those who brought forth a global quest for the communist system, stands particularly tall today in that his experience apparently lead him to write a memoir that was very revealing. He had an unusual life of experiences in places like Cuba, China, Peru, Brazil, and in Europe while being both attached to the U.S. State Department and serving several presidents as an advisor. William D. Pawley’s writing was made available to this writer in a most unusual way.

While his generation of family surviving is not inclined to let his words be published for fears or reasons of some sort, this writer came into the text of the Pawley writing via a circuitous route that makes it unfair to publish the complete work at this time; but, it is proper to allow that those words gave impetus to some of these. Further, they caused a sense of alarm because Pawley clearly understood the ways of the communists!

His experience with evil political activity began when he was in Cuba, where he grew up in the years following his birth in 1896. At age 12 he established his ability to take charge by leaving a boarding school in Texas and made his way to Miami and on to Havana without funds! No doubt his parents knew then that this young man was destined to travel far and accomplish much.

His experience with Juan Tripp, founder of Pan American Airways in the twenties put him on the leading edge of the young aviation industry. By the early thirties he was in China representing an American aircraft company in part. He also ran his own show starting an airline and building factories while Chiang Kai Shek struggled to cope with the tasks of building a nation while the Japanese nibbled at the coastal cities and Mao Tse-tung fomented civil war in the name of communism. He almost had Mao whipped when the Japanese turned up the heat and the rape of Nanking was so blatant and evil that Chiang had to take his best troops out of the civil war to fight the Japanese. With no aircraft industry, no air force, and no way to catch up on their own, the Chinese were most happy to learn of a plan put forth by Pawley to create an equivalent of the Lafayette Esquadrille of WWI.

The following words dealing with his experience in China are probably attributable to William D. Pawley were taken from a draft manuscript for a book to be entitled:

“Why the Communists are Winning”

“As a private citizen, I had been able to accomplish several projects to help the national interest in China. One was to organize the “Flying Tigers,” for President Roosevelt and the Republic of China. The story begins in China, in May, 1939. I had been invited to discuss certain matters of business policy with His Excellency, Dr. H. H. Kung. Accompanying me to Dr. Kung’s office were Captain B. G. Leighton, USN, Ret., and my brother, Edward P. Pawley, both vice-presidents of The Intercontinent Corporation.
At the conclusion of our formal talks I asked Dr. Kung what we, as Americans, might do upon our return to America that would be of the greatest benefit to China and the Chinese Air Force. After some thought Dr. Kung observed that one of China’s most urgent needs was for a Foreign Legion of American Volunteer Airman, who would give China’s ground forces the air support which they required. Dr. Kung reminded me of the magnificent job done by a group of American pilots in France during the first World War - the Lafayette Esquadrille. Dr. Kung pointed out the great advantage to both China and the United States in having a group such as the Lafayette Esquadrille active in the Asiatic theater. I at once saw the tactical military advantages that would accrue to America, should Japan attack us, by having a nucleus of airmen experienced in Jap air tactics.
We promised Dr. Kung we would do everything possible to put China’s problems before various men of influence in America. A few days later I flew back to America and Captain Leighton shortly joined me. We talked to many of our friends in the United States.
I arranged an appointment with President Roosevelt to discuss the project with him. That was not too difficult, since my close friend, Captain Leighton, had laid the groundwork carefully with the Navy Department, including the chief of Naval Operations. He in turn spoke to Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox, who recommended the idea to FDR.
The President received me cordially. I told him that since Central Aircraft Manufacturing Company (CAMCO), of which I was sole stockholder and president, was hiring mechanics and pilots for its normal operations, there was no reason why an increase in its employment rate to launch the new operation should necessarily arouse Japanese suspicions.
Roosevelt reacted favorably. He then called in Dr. Lauchlin Currie and introduced him as his adviser on Far Eastern matters, adding his opinion that CAMCO could provide an excellent cover for such an operation and that, if it should become a reality, I would be working closely with Currie.
After a number of patient discussions with Chinese Government officials and officers, permission was secured to employ a group of men to join our company and a formal agreement was entered into which the Chinese Government. Dr. T. V. Soong. now Premier, empowered me to employ 350 men - pay their salaries, traveling expenses, assist in the purchase and shipping of the necessary aircraft, receive the planes and assemble them at Rangoon.
Thus the American Volunteer Group - the Flying Tigers - was born.
In Los Angeles, I discussed the recruiting problem with my friend Captain C. C. Moseley, World War I ace and an able judge of men. Captain Moseley advised me to engage Richard Aldworth to seek out and hire our personnel. Aldworth was then a patient at Walter Reed Hospital, suffering from an ailment which eventually took his life. We reached him by telephone, told him the problem, told him why the group was being organized. Although ill, he agreed to meet us in New York within three days. Dick Aldworth did a magnificent job although he knew at the time he took the assignment that his days were numbered. Aldworth was promoted to Colonel in the U.S. Air Force shortly before his death. For his work in connection with the AVG, our government awarded him the Legion of Merit.”

While friends of his competitor and future commander of the famous Flying Tigers, General Clare Chennault may well have seen Pawley as an opportunist who managed to get the order for aircraft parts that turned into the famous P-40 fighter planes, Pawley may well have contributed several key components to the plan where President Roosevelt agreed to ‘look the other way’ while Army Air Corps and Navy pilots were recruited; he also seems to have tried hard to even have a better plane designed and built to use in the gallant fight with the Japanese. Gen. Chennault was a brilliant commander and the kill ratio of his pilots was the best ever posted by any combat group of that era. It was unfortunate that he and Pawley were not more sympathetic with each other.

Some historians, whether 'revisionists' by accident or design, have researched and overlooked materials that clearly show how much Pawley contributed as an American patriot. Inserted below this section is a part that relates to what the official U.S. Army historians found in 1945. The Romulus and Sunderland book about the US Army in WWII in the The China-Burma-India Theater and "Stillwell's Mission to China". This text found via the Library of Congress and with help from the University of Puerto Rico, tells a lot more about the Pawley role.

Pawley wrote of the intrigue in Chunking and of the espionage by the Russians, Germans and even some left-leaning Americans. Having witnessed an attempt to assassinate key leaders at a funeral in Cuba in 1933, Pawley knew how dirty the game of politics can get. It is not surprising that he anticipated the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and thanks to his keeping his “ear to the ground”, he was able to advise the U.S. Army and Navy officers at Pearl Harbor to be ready for a surprise attack. Those officers were rotated out of Hawaii and Gen. Short and Admiral Kimmel were instructed with direct orders to guard ships and planes against sabotage- not bombing! Pawley’s prescient mind anticipated the right course then and also in 1945 when the Russian Communist system could have been joined Hitler’s Nazi ideas on the trash heap of history.

He was able to see the need to free Cuba before the Russians could use it for propaganda and exporting of communism to the young democracies of Central and South America. He also dealt with the communists more directly as will be noted later.

Here are more of Pawley's alleged writings thought to be attributable to him without editing that deal with China and the role of Russian communism in its development that resulted in the free-world losing the largest populated nation to the communist camp:
Quoting from Lenin's writing, Pawley wrote:
"They then turned their eyes toward China, India and the Moslem world as potential seedbeds of Marxist revolution.
“China and India are seething,” Lenin wrote in the tenth anniversary issue of Pravda, in 1922. “These two nations have a population of more than seven hundred million. Add to them their Asian neighbors, who are in like condition, and they comprise over half the population of the earth.”
Sun Yat-sen, who was slowly dying of cancer, suffered from a starry-eyed illusion about the Russian Revolution and wept when he was shown favorable references to himself in the writings of Lenin and Trotsky. In 1923, he sent the 36-year-old Chiang Kai-shek to Moscow to arrive at far-reaching arrangements for cooperation between the two revolutionary countries.
After long conferences with Trotsky and Commissar of Foreign Affairs Chicherin, Chiang concluded that Soviet political institutions were “instruments of tyranny and terror,” basically incompatible with the ideals of Dr. Sun and his political party, the Kuomintang. Returning to China, he presented a report to the Kuomintang Central Standing Committee which revealed his phenomenal ability to judge events and institutions realistically.
“The Russian Communist Party in its dealings with China,” he wrote, “has only one aim namely, to turn the Chinese Communist Party into an instrument for its own use. It does not believe that our Party can really cooperate with it for long. It is the Communist’s policy to convert the Northeast Provinces, Mongolia, Sinkiang, and Tibet into parts of the Sovietized domain. It may even harbor sinister designs on China’s other provinces.” And he added, “Communist internationalism is only Tsarism by other names...”
The importance the Russians attached to the Chinese revolutionary movement was revealed by the caliber of the military advisers they sent to Canton to train officers for the Nationalist regime at the new Whampoa Military Academy. The chief Soviet adviser was General Vassily K. Bluecher, one of the outstanding military leaders in the Russian civil war of 1917-1922. He was assisted by Marshal A. I. Yegorov, who would later become Chief of the General Staff of the Red Army and a commander of major battle fronts in World War II. Also present in China was Marshal Georgi I. Zhukov, who would serve as chief of the Red Army General Staff and command the forces which captured Berlin in 1945.
Using propaganda methods they learned from their Russian political advisers, the Kuomintang forces marched north from Canton in 1925 and proceeded to force warlords, provincial satraps and other rivals for power to choose between cooperation or defeat. Meanwhile, the Communists within the Chinese Nationalist Army and in the ranks of the Kuomintang infiltrated all positions of power, to build revolutionary trade unions and peasant’s leagues and to denounce Chiang as a “militarist” guilty of “oppression of the toiling masses.”
They tried to strip Chiang of political and military authority, but failed. Then, on May 22, 1933, as recorded by Liu in his “Military History,” Stalin cabled a direct order to the communist and left wing forces in control in Wuhan to arm revolutionary workers and begin the struggle for power.
“The dependence upon unreliable generals must be put to an end,” Stalin ordered. “Mobilize about 20,000 Communists, add about 50,000 revolutionary workers from Hunan and Hupeh, forming several new army corps, and utilizing the students of the school (Whampoa) as commanders. Organize your army before it is too late; otherwise, there can be no guarantee against failure.”

Chiang retaliated with a bold and decisive move. Taking the Seventh Army Corps, the so-called “army of steel” which was free of Communist infection, he purged the rest of the armed forces, compelled the Wuhan regime to capitulate, sent the Soviet advisers back to Russia and ordered all communists expelled from the Kuomintang. In the course of this internal struggle, the powerful Communists were ordered to report to the police within ten days. Those who failed to do so were shot. Those who reported were imprisoned.
Back in 1932 I had had comparatively little experience with Communism, but I was convinced it was an evil force. In reading the story of Chiang’s Northern Expedition, I soon realized that he had accomplished two remarkable feats. He had worked with the Communists, but had not allowed them to betray and destroy him. He unified a country of continental dimensions with about half-a-billion inhabitants in a short period and with comparatively little bloodshed. I concluded that he must be one of the most remarkable political leaders of all time.
Chiang still faced Herculean problems. The Chinese people were disunited by a variety of dialects, some differing from each other as much as Italian does from Spanish, which made communication between different regions almost impossible. The incredibly complex and cumbersome Chinese written language, with its thousands of characters, grouped in 214 different classifiers corresponding to our alphabet, made literacy unattainable for the majority of the peasantry and common soldiers. This handicap retarded public education and rendered such urgent tasks as modernizing agricultural methods difficult to achieve. Yet, up to the year 1750, it is estimated that more books had been published in Chinese than in all other languages combined.
Despite the substantial unification of the nation which Chiang had achieved, neither the warlords nor banditry had been eradicated. The poverty and dense population of the country made it easy to conscript coolie armies, while famine victims often joined bandit gangs. Since the provinces were generally defined by geographical barriers, such as Shansi’s mountain ranges, the domains of the warlords were easier to defend than to attack.
Transportation in China was comparatively good, as it was based on three great river systems and a network of canals, combined with fair railroads. Despite China’s abundant resources of coal and iron, her main industries were textile and other light manufacturing. The Japanese seizure of Manchuria in 1931 stripped China of her most promising heavy industrial base, together with valuable ports and railroads.
One of the major tasks to which Chiang and the other leaders of the Kuomintang dedicated themselves was to modernize administrative methods and, insofar as possible, eliminate corruption in government. In the light of the loose charges about the alleged corruption and venality of the Chiang regime, spread by Communists and their sympathizers during the 1940’s and 1950’s, this assertion may cause raised eyebrows. Let me, therefore, cite the testimony of a Harvard Professor, whose sympathy for the Chinese Communist cause was so notorious that he was to be singled out for attack by John F. Kennedy on the floor of the House of Representatives on February 21, 1949:
“Our policy in China has reaped the whirlwind,” said then-Congressman Kennedy. “The continued insistence that aid would not be forthcoming unless a coalition government with the Communists was formed gave a crippling blow to the national government. So concerned were our diplomats and their advisers, the Lattimores and the Fairbanks, with the imperfections of the diplomatic system in China after twenty years of war and the tales of corruption in high places that they lost sight of our tremendous stake in a non-communist China.
“There were those who claimed, and still claim, that Chinese communism was not really communism at all, but merely an advanced agrarian movement which did not take directions from Moscow...
“This is the tragic story of China whose freedom we once fought to preserve. What our young men had saved, our diplomats and our President Truman have frittered away.”
“The Nationalist Government,” wrote Fairbank, (the “Fairbank” mentioned by Kennedy), inaugurated “a new trend toward modernization of the government through the use of Western administrative methods, the inculcation of a new loyalty to the nation, and the monopoly of power by a party dictatorship rather than a new dynasty. The dominant sentiment behind the revolution was a nationalism which sought both unity within China and independence from foreign domination.”
These prodigious domestic tasks had to be accomplished at a time when Nationalist China was struggling desperately to avoid dismemberment by the armed forces of Imperial Japan and destruction from within by the Communist remnant which escaped the 1927 battles for power."

After the war he had a chance to advise Truman instead of his old friend Franklin D. Roosevelt of his conviction that the U.S. Army should not have stopped in Germany but in Moscow! Truman, new to the job and not well grounded in the world’s history of political systems, left his home state of Missouri to be a V.P. that offered no threat to the leadership of FDR. Combined with the profound ignorance in America of the threat of the future goals of international communism, Pawley, of course, failed to convince Truman of his bold initiative that would have profoundly have changed world history! The Russian people, based upon our new found knowledge of their history, would have been happy to have been freed of the curse of communism in 1945 rather than in 1991. But, with more than a little help from the U.S. State Dept., the Soviet Union was given an initial impetus that lasted well past the time when the 'cold-war; was an established evidence of the aims of the communists to free the world from our western style democracy in favor of one that made a mockery of the word. The socialists came to power and their religion began to spread throughout the world- often with our help.

China-Burma-India Theater

Stilwell’s Mission to China

Charles P. Romanus and Riley Sunderland

Excerpts that follow were compiled to share with one historian, Dan Ford, who deals with aviation history of the period in question.

The references are from the Romulus and Sunderland book.

"Since 1937 the Chinese had been discussing with two other Americans the possibility of using their influence and business organizations in placing American air power in “China. Mr. William D. Pawley and Lt Comdr. Bruce Leighton (USNR Ret.) Were asked by Soong and Mao to co-operate in giving air support to the Chinese. 14"

"On 15 February 1941, General Marshall told the Acting Secretary of State, Mr. Sumner Wells, that a man had been found who was wiling to take a chance on recruiting pilots for the P-40B’s in spite of existing neutrality legislation.41 This was the same Mr. Pawley who had been conferring with Secretary Knox since December 1940 on a volunteer scheme. Two months later Pawley signed a nonprofit contract with Soong to equip, supply, and operate the American Volunteer Group (AVG), as it was to be known. Under the contract, Colonel Chennault bore the unmartial title of supervisor. To insure co-ordination between the different branches of the organization setting up the AVG, the contract required Chennault to maintain close liaison with Pawley’s organization in the Far East and in New York.44

Although the AVG was not supported by lend lease funds, the War and Navy Departments giving effect to the President’s policy, were soon involved. Both services extended facilities to Pawley’s recruiting agents and released pilots and crews for service in China’s Air Force.45 Pawley’s agents toured Air Corps and Navy training fields everywhere save in Hawaii and the Philippines, offering big salaries and hinting at bonuses for victories confirmed. Administrative and technical staffs were complete on 9 August, but pilot recruiting was not complete for another month. There were 101 pilot volunteers, 63 from the Navy and 38 from the Army, each with a one year contract dating from the time the volunteer reached the Far East.46 Overseas movement began on 9 June with the first pilots sailing later on a Dutch vessel escorted through the Japanese mandate island by American warships. Though contrary to the neutrality laws, the escort was considered by Admiral Harold R. Stark, Chief of Naval Operations, to be essential to the U.S. support of China 47

Having signed a contract with Soong on 15 April 1941 to secure volunteers for the 100 P-40s (which had already been put on board ship for Rangoon), Mr. Pawley sent his brother Edward to Chunking to check the preparations the Chinese had promised to make to receive the American Volunteer Group in China. Edward Pawley reported that the Chinese had not begun their preparations to receive the volunteers. Consequently, Pawley told his brother to ask the British military authorities in Burma for training facilities. At Lasio, Mr. Edward Pawley was so fortunate as to encounter Air Chief Marshall Sir Robert Brooke-Popham, the British commander-in-chief in the Far East, who numbered the defense of Burma among his many responsibilities. Sir Robert was most helpful, and obtained permission of the British War Office to offer facilities at Toungoo and Magwe to the American Volunteer Group 48

When the first contingent of volunteers arrived on 28 July, they were promptly sent to a recently completed Royal Air Force (RAF) airdrome in the midst of a pestilent jungle six miles from Toungoo. This airfield was turned over to the AVG by London for full combat training with the proviso that the Burmese airfields would not be used as a base to attack the Japanese, for Britain was anxious to avoid war with Japan. Administrative difficulties with British and Burmese civil authorities resulted from the arrangement. Having been forbidden to use American armed guards or to employ the Burmese as guards, the AVG felt its security jeopardized and was finally able to obtain Gurkha guards. The AVG could make no additions or changes in airfield construction without the official permission of the RAF. The position of the American volunteers training in Burma was anomalous, for the AVG was part of the Chinese Air Force, and until war between the United States and Japan broke out, they had no official connection with the United States Army Air Forces.



UPDATE OF 4-10-01

Dr. Lauchlin Currie, one of Pres. Roosevelt’s administrative assistants was asked by Chang Kai Shek to visit China from 28 Jan to 11 Mar of 1941, the day Lend-Lease was signed into law after passing by one vote in the U.S. Senate! Currie became key to the logistics and supply side of the AVG. He also brought back word of China’s building airfields for the B-17 bombers to be a part of a second AVG unit.
P-18 reveals:
“Having signed a contract with Soong on 15 April 1941 to secure volunteers for the 10 P-40’s (which had already been put on board ship for Rangoon), Mr. Pawley sent his brother Edward to Chungking to check the preparations the Chinese had promised to make to receive the American Volunteer Group in China. Edward Pawley reported that the Chinese had not begun their peparations to receive the volunteers. Consequently, Pawley told his brother to ask the British military authorities in Burma for training facilities. At Lachio, Mr. Edward Pawley was so fortunate as to encounter Air Chief Marshal Sir Rober Brooke-Popham, the British Commander-in-Chief in the Far East, who numbered the defense of Burma among his many responsibiliites. Sir Robert was most helpful, and obtained permission of the British War Office to offer facilities at Toungoo and Magwe to the American Volunteer Group.”

P-24-25 includes another key reference to William D. Pawley’s patriotic effort. Following Dr. Currie’s aircraft program adoption by the Joint British-American Board on 23 July 1941 that called for 269 fighters and 66 bombers that were to constitute the second AVG as stated:

“Immediately after the President’s approval of these recommendations, Soong and Pawley initated plans for a second American Volunteer Group, pilots for the thirty-three Lockheed Hudson bombers and Chinese pilots for the thirty-three Douglas. Hiring began on 1 November, but Pawley had difficulty in finding trained bombardiers. On 21 November forty-nine ground personnel for the second AVG left for China. The outbreak of the war stranded them in Australia.

In November and December 1941 there was a distinct possibility that the ABV might become and Anglo-American organization. Following a warning from the British Ambassador to China on 31 October 1941 that the situation in China was very grave, Air Chief Marshal Brooke-Popham’s headquarters began preparations to place a volunteer fighter squadron and, if possible, some bombers in China to cooperate with the American Volunteer Group. William D. Pawley strongly urged the British project and co-operated in the logistical preparations.”65

65 (1) Brooke-Popham Despatch, Supplement to the London Gazette, par 26. (2) Pawley interview cited n. 44 (1)

These additional words support the thesis that Pawley was a lot more than an opportunist who meddled in the contract negotiations that Chennault and Gen Mao came to America to achieve in Nov. of 1940. I think some historians have been writing in ways that gave the image that Chennault, who I believe represented Sikorsky aircraft on the side, had little reason to want to include Pawley in his efforts in Washington. But, it was Pawley who actually got Roosevelt to ‘look the other way’ while Pawley recruited the pilots and he may have also managed the switch of 100 P-40B’s destined for Britain in exchange for the English getting a later model. Apparently some of these planes were not equipped with fighting gear when they came out of the box in Rangoon!

P- 10:
“In November 1940 the Generalissimo sent a mission under Maj. Gen. Mao Pang-tzo, Director of the Operations Division, Chinese Air Force, to the United States. With him as an American citizen, Capt. Claire L. Chennault (USA-Ret.), who had been an articulate and forceful advocate of fighter aviation vis-a-vis the bomber and a daring and skillful pilot. After his retirements from the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1937 for physical disability, Chennault had gone to China, where he had won the confidence and affection of the Chinese. As one of their technical advisers he had become a colonel in their Air Force. Studying Japanese equipment,tactics, and military potential, Chennault had devised a plan to defeat Japan with a small air force, operating under a tactical system designed by him to exploit the relative strengths and weaknesses of American and Japanese aircraft and pilots.

Since 1937 the Chinese had been discussing with two other Americans the possibility of using their influence and business organizations in placing American air power in China. Mr. William D. Pawley land Lt. Comdr. Bruce Leighton USNR- Ret.) were Soong and Mao to co-operate in giving air support to the Chinese. This is footnoted as a Ltr, W.D. Pawley, Pres, Intercontinent Corp, to Romanus, 6 JUL 50 His 330.14 CBI 1950 (See Bibliographical Note.)

These official words certainly clarify the legitimate role of William D.Pawley, one of America's greatest Unsung Heroes, who fought communism almost all of his life. Too blunt and prescient for some, an no doubt intolerant of those who lacked his perception, especially when it was being generated by a belief in the cause of socialism, an approach to living that Pawley knew could only fail.

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