Elyse Graham ’07’s article in the December issue, “The P Source,” on the pipeline between Princeton and the CIA, references my father, William W. Lockwood, as one of “Wild Bill” Donovan’s OSS alumni among the Princeton faculty after the war. Dad was on the faculty from 1946 until his retirement in 1971 and was one of the early mentors of the School of Public and International Affairs. From 1943 to 1945, however, he was a captain in the U.S. Army and stationed by the OSS as an intelligence officer at the U.S. airbase in Kunming, China, based on his knowledge of China and Japan (he was born and grew up in Shanghai and was involved in Asia-Pacific studies in the prewar period).
Kunming was the eastern hub of the famous China-Burma-India campaign, and his job was to plan bombing missions to keep the Burma Road open to Rangoon and defeat the Japanese in China as part of the 14th Air Force operations. The 14th was the successor to the famous “Flying Tigers” (nothing to do with Princeton) and had been created by the renegade Gen. Claire Chennault to support the Chinese against the Japanese in 1941. By the time my father arrived, its planes (and most of Chennault’s original volunteer pilots) had been absorbed as part of the regular U.S. Army Air Corps, and the OSS took over intelligence operations. Our family history includes letters of commendation for my father, including Dad’s promotion to major, from Generals Chennault, Stillwell, and Donovan.