Fred Walker Papers

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Frederick "Fred" Frye Walker worked as a pilot for General Claire L. Chennault’s Civil Air Transport (CAT) from 1949-1950 returning to CAT in 1953. He flew sorties out of Haiphong and Hanoi, Vietnam to support the French during the battle of Dien Bien Phu.

Starting in the 1960s, Walker assumed administrative duties for Air America, Inc. in Laos and Thailand. There he supervised and directed the activities of about 1600 pilots. During this time, he played a crucial role in building the Air America’s Laotian operation, and in evaluating both De Havilland C-7A Caribou and Fairchild C-123 Providers for their suitability on short take-off and landing (STOL) strips in mountainous terrain.

While working in Air America’s administration, Fred Walker continued to fly countless missions involving both humanitarian aid (delivering food and medical supplies) and military support (airlifting troops, cargo, and ammunition). In addition, Walker served General Vang Pao as a personal pilot at Lima Site LS 20A, Long Chieng, Laos. In 1971, he returned to flying scheduled and charter services for Air America throughout Southeast Asia. On April 29, 1975, during the Fall of Saigon which forced Air America to leave Southeast Asia, Capt. Fred Walker flew the final scheduled fixed wing flight out of Saigon for Air America in a Douglas C-47.

After being released from Air America, Inc. on June 30, 1975, Walker worked for Pyramid Airlines, in Cairo, Egypt, from September 1977 until August 1978. He retired at the age of sixty-five having logged almost 25,000 hours of total flight time in eighteen different types of single and multi-engined aircraft.

Frederick Frye Walker passed away on Sunday, February 14, 1999 at the age of 79 in St. Paul, Minnesota.


Permission to publish material from this collection in any form, current or future, must be obtained from the Special Collections and Archives Division, Eugene McDermott Library, The University of Texas at Dallas.