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Allison (Ernest M.) papers
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Collection Details
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  • Access
  • Use
  • Acquisition Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Title: Ernest M. Allison papers
    Date (inclusive): 1910-2012
    Collection Number: 2015C19
    Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Library and Archives
    Language of Material: In English
    Physical Description: 38 manuscript boxes, 4 card file boxes, 3 oversize boxes, 1 cubic foot box, 1 AV tray, 2 oversize folders, digital media (24.23 Linear Feet)
    Abstract: Diaries, flight logs, correspondence, printed matter, photographs, business papers, maps, VHS tapes and memorabilia of the American aviator relating to commercial aviation in the United States and China before World War II. Includes other family papers and collected material on aviation history.
    Creator: Allison, Ernest M., 1894-1976
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Library & Archives


    Boxes 9, 47, and OCM2 may not be used without permission of the Archivist. The remainder of the collection is open for research; materials must be requested in advance via our reservation system. If there are audiovisual or digital media material in the collection, they must be reformatted before providing access.


    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Library & Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Materials were acquired by the Hoover Institution Library & Archives in 2015.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Ernest M. Allison papers, [Box no., Folder no. or title], Hoover Institution Library & Archives.

    Biographical Note

    An American aviator, Ernest M. Allison was active in the early days of American aviation, where he was one of the first to fly routes with the US Air Mail service from 1918 to 1927. Allison moved to China in 1929 to serve the China National Aviation Corporation (CNAC), where he flew mail routes, helped establish and expand the airfield at Shanghai, and oversaw the expansion of CNAC into a commercial passenger line under Pan-American Airways, eventually serving as a vice president of CNAC. He flew important missions, including delivering supplies, flying Soong May-Ling (Madame Chiang Kai-Shek) into Shanghai, and flying Chiang Kai-Shek and Soong May-Ling back to Xi'an after the Xi'an Incident of 1936. Allison was well acquainted with important figures in aviation such as Charles Lindbergh, Claire Lee Channault, Clement M. Keys, William Langhorne Bond, and Harold M. Bixby. Allison returned to the United States after the Communist victory in China and worked in aviation in various capacities, including for Boeing in Seattle.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The collection includes diaries, flight logs, correspondence, books, periodicals, bulletins, printed matter, photographs, business papers, maps, and memorabilia relating to commercial aviation in the United States and China before World War II, specifically, the development of the Air Mail Service of the United States Postal Service and the development of the China National Aviation Company (CNAC) and the services that it provided, notably air mail and later passenger transportation. Includes other family papers and collected material on aviation history, including the autobiography of aviator R. C. "Tex" Marshall, and interviews with former CNAC employees such as Harold Chin, Frieda Chen, Moon Chin, Wong Tsu, and Fred Y. T. Chin. Contains research correspondence with Dick Rossi, James McDivitt, and David Feng and personal correspondence with Harold Bixby, William Langhorne Bond, Claire Lee Chennault, Royal Leonard, K. I. Nieh, and H. S. "Newsreel" Wong. Also includes writings by Ernest Allison's daughter; a glossary of Chinese-English flight vocabulary, including Chinese script used at the time; VHS tapes of China, work, Shanghai street and family, war scenes, CNAC planes and hangars, filmed by Allison and others; and CDs of CNAC history.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Aeronautics -- China
    Aeronautics -- United States
    China National Aviation Corporation