Adventure, intrigue, danger, sacrifice and patriotism - words that fit Air America well, the U.S. government-owned Air America during the Cold War against the global menace of communism. From 1950 to 1975, Air America served alongside U.S. and allied intelligence agents and military personnel in the Far East, often in dangerous combat and combat support roles. Behind a shroud of strict secrecy, many Air America personnel were unaware that they were "shadow people" in counterinsurgency operations. Some 146 of them were killed in action in China, Korea, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and elsewhere. Though many of those Asian countries eventually fell to the communists, the contributions of Air America personnel to the cause of freedom remain unparalleled in aviation history. Air America personnel were the first Americans in China and Korea and, after the U.S. military had withdrawn from Vietnam, Air America pilots risked their lives to evacuate the last Americans and stranded Vietnamese who supported the war against communism.