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Inventory of the William Sterling Youngman Papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical/Historical Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Collection Summary

    Title: William Sterling Youngman papers
    Dates: 1945-1992
    Collection Number: 2008C85
    Creator: Youngman, William Sterling
    Collection Size: 1 manuscript box (0.4 linear feet)
    Repository: Hoover Institution Archives
    Stanford, California 94305-6010
    Abstract: The William Sterling Youngman papers include correspondence, writings, interview transcripts, and printed matter relating to American military assistance to China during World War II and to American foreign policy in China.
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives
    Languages: English

    Administrative Information


    The collection is open for research.
    Access to audiovisual materials requires at least two weeks advance notice. Audiovisual materials include sound recordings, video recordings, and motion picture film. Hoover staff will determine whether use copies of the materials requested can be made available. Some materials may not be accessible even with advance notice. Please contact the Hoover Institution Archives for further information.

    Publication Rights

    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], William Sterling Youngman papers, [Box number], Hoover Institution Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 2008.


    Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find the collection in Stanford University's online catalog Socrates at http://library.stanford.edu/webcat . Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in Socrates is larger than the number of boxes listed in this finding aid.

    Separated Materials

    Security-classified documents have been withdrawn from the collection pending declassification.

    Related Materials

    China Defense Supplies records, Hoover Institution Archives
    W. Langhorne Bond papers, Hoover Institution Archives
    Claire Chennault papers, Hoover Institution Archives
    T. V. Soong papers, Hoover Institution Archives

    Biographical/Historical Note

    1907 May 25 Born, Boston, Massachusetts
    1929 A.B., magna cum laude, Harvard University
    1932 LL.B., magna cum laude, Harvard University
    1932-1933 Law secretary to Judge Learned Hand, New York City
    1933-1938 Associated with law firm Palmer, Dodge, Barstow, Wilkins and Davis, Boston
    1937 Married Elsie Hooper Perkins
    1939-1940 Counsel, National Power Policy Commission, and chief counsel, Power Division, Public Works Administration
    1940-1941 General counsel, Federal Power Commission
    1941-1942 Executive vice president and director, China Defense Supplies, Inc.
    1941-1949 Partner, Corcoran, Clark and Youngman
    1942-1945 President, China Defense Supplies, Inc.
    1944, July 1 Liquidation of China Defense Supplies, Inc., transfer of functions to Chinese Supply Commission
    1944-1947 General counsel, U.S. Natural Resources Commission of China
    1949-1968 President, C. V. Starr and Company, Inc.
    1994 October 10 Died

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The William Sterling Youngman papers include correspondence, writings, interview transcripts, and printed matter relating to American military assistance to China during World War II and to American foreign policy in China.
    Youngman was president of China Defense Supplies, Inc., the main agency for coordinating Lend-Lease aid to China from the United States, from 1941 until its dissolution in 1944. China Defense Supplies was a Chinese organization, chaired by T. V. Soong, but staffed by Americans and based in Washington, D.C. As Soong spent increasingly less time in Washington during the latter years of the war, the decision was made to dissolve China Defense Supplies and establish a successor organization, the Chinese Supply Commission, which was also active in obtaining reconstruction aid for China following the war.
    In addition to his leading role in China Defense Supplies, Youngman, who throughout the 1940s worked as an attorney in a firm headed by Thomas G. ("Tommy the Cork") Corcoran, also played a significant role in two other organizations that were involved in aviation ventures in China during and following the war. The first of these was the American Volunteer Group, better known as the Flying Tigers, a group that China Defense Supplies worked with to transport aid to the Chinese government prior to the U.S. entry into World War II. Following the war, Youngman and Corcoran were partners in a company known as Rio Cathay, S.A., which sought to establish a commercial airline company in China, operating in conjunction with the Civil Air Transport, Inc.
    The William Sterling Youngman papers are divided into two series. The Alphabetic file contains correspondence, notes, and reports concerning the American Volunteer Group, Rio Cathay, S.A., and Civil Air Transport. The Personal correspondence contains letters from later in Youngman's life, in particular when he was contacted by historians interested in the Chinese Lend-Lease programs and in Youngman's close friendship with T. V. Soong.


    The collection is organized into 2 series, which are alphabetically arranged.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    World War, 1939-1945--China.
    World War, 1939-1945--United States.
    Lend-lease operations (1941-1945)
    United States--Foreign relations--China.
    China--Foreign relations--United States.