Lee Ya-Ching Papers 1938-1970


Collection Item Summary:

This collection consists of 9.3 cubic feet of material chronicling Lee Ya-Ching's role as a pilot trying to raise funds for China during World War II. The collection contains the following types of material: correspondence, both official and personal; maps; 8 mm films; publications; newspapers; invitation; programs from events; lecture notes; scripts from radio shows; photographs, both official and snapshots; trip schedules and agendas; address books; scrapbooks; and official paperwork and licenses.

Collection Item Long Description:


  • World War, 1939-1945
  • World War, 1939-1945--Civilian relief
  • Aeronautics--Exhibitions
  • Women air pilots
  • Aeronautics

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum Archives

Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions on access


Ya-Ching, Lee

Physical description

9.3 cubic feet (13 boxes)


  • 1938
  • 1938-1970




Lee Ya-Ching was a flying Good Will Ambassador for United China Relief during World War II. The daughter of a Hong Kong industrialist, Lee attended school in England in 1933 and she began her flight training at Switzerland's Contran École d'Aviation, obtaining the first pilot's license ever granted by the school to a woman. She continued her training at the Boeing School of Aviation, In Oakland, California, where she learned blind flying, metallurgy and mechanics. In 1936, Lee returned to China where she made an air survey of 30,000 miles for the Chinese Army and was appointed instructor of the Shanghai Municipal Air School until the outbreak of war caused the school to close. From 1938 until 1943 Lee flew across the United States and then Latin America soliciting funds for the benefit of Chinese war victims.

Cite as

Lee Ya-Ching Papers, Accession 2008-0009, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution

Repository Loc.

National Air and Space Museum, Archives Division, MRC 322, Washington, DC, 20560


  • Photographs
  • Collection descriptions
  • Maps
  • Scrapbooks
  • Scripts (documents)

Local number


Finding Aids

Online Finding Aid

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