Gigantic China’s Wings photo gallery

China's WingsA consolidated gallery of photographs pertaining to the life and times of the China National Aviation Corporation, a Chinese-American civil aviation partnership that flew and fought in China during the 1930s and 1940s–and the subject of my book, China’s Wings: War, Intrigue, Romance and Adventure in the Middle Kingdom During the Golden Age of Flight (Bantam, 2012).

Click on one of the pics and scroll through… they’re fabulous.

My China’s Wings & CNAC related posts are archived in my China’s Wings category. The page “Good points of entry to the China’s Wings category” provides a fine starting point.



  1. I believe I have located four pictures of Douglas Dolphin NC14240 on the Internet that you don’t have in this portfolio. They can’t be found by Google because the reference to the photo isn’t the airplane itself. I stumbled across them because I was looking for something pertaining to my family history. I am also a private pilot.

    My paternal grandparents went to Foochow, China in 1907 to work with Methodist missionaries. My grandfather was an agricultural teacher and vocational school administrator. My father was born in Foochow in 1911 and grew up there until graduating from high school in 1929, actually at the Shanghai American School. My grandfather spent his entire career, 40 years in Foochow, returning to the U.S. in 1947. My grandmother left China in 1944 via the Hump to India and by ship across the very southern Pacific but that is a different story. My grandparents had a summer house in Kuliang which stands to this day and I have visited it several times. It is now equivalent to a National Historic Monument and is being restored.

    I have always been interested in the Pagoda Anchorage on the Min River as it was the embarkation point for the ships my grandparents traveled on between the U.S. and Foochow. While researching photos of the Min River I ran across a photo of a seaplane on the Min River in a portfolio by a student. The portfolio is in the Yale University Library Digital Collections. Yale University is a vast repository of China missionary information. When I traced the N number of the seaplane, I found you.

    This is the link to the four photos:
    Click on “Next” to scroll through the four photos. The one that led me to you is the fourth photo.

    Needless to say, I have many questions.

    1. Dear Dean, sorry to be so slow on the uptake. YES! That’s definitely one of CNAC’s two Douglas Dolphins. Excellent find. I’d be interested in the links to the three others if you were able to send them along. Your family’s history in China sounds fascinating. Thanks for reaching out, Greg.

      1. All four pictures were in the Yale portfolio file. They were pictures 14-17 of Huang Wei Shih’s examination portfolio: Wish I knew where the anchorage was. In two of the pictures it appears the Dolphin is in the vicinity of a floating dock. I’m assuming mail and passengers were brought to the dock by a small tender, then boarded the airplane. One picture shows it on the step, taking off and the definitive picture is big enough to make out the N number.

  2. Thank you Greg! And thank all who have contributed pictures from their private collections! Because of your efforts my sister and I have a wonderful record to remember our grandfather. Thanks for all the efforts.

    Langhorne Carter Bond and Prescott McCook Gunther
    grandson and granddaughter to William Langhorne Bond

    1. Dear Langhorne! So delighted to hear that you enjoy the CNAC-related stuff on my website and China’s Wings. Grandaddy had a fascinating life, and I’m glad I got a chance to write about him. ;-)

  3. I think I recognized a couple of water color renderings by Schiff. My mother and I were born in Shanghai. She and my father, born in London, were regulars at the Maski, a popular nightclub in the thirties. They met and became friends with Schiff at that nightclub. To the best of my recollection, Maski is sort of slang for ‘never mind’ in Shanghai dialect. They lived in an apartment in the Broadway Mansions on the Bund.

    1. Shanghai was an amazing place, Susan. Its municipal history was one of my favorite China’s Wings discoveries. Thanks for reaching out! GC

  4. Incredible collection of photos. You sneaked in Ryan too. I specially like DC 2-1/2 picture.
    Happy New Year.

    1. Happy New Year to you, Sam… I was just looking at Scouting pictures, circa 1980. Happy New Year to you, too. Cheers, GC

  5. Thank You Greg. Once again you are keeping those guys and times alive in our heart and minds. Pulling this collection of pictures together for all to see and share yet another example of why we are forever appreciative and grateful for your wonderful book, significant ongoing efforts, and valued friendship. Great sharing of some great pictures.
    –Steve & Patty Michiels and The Michiels Family

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