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Allen Cates

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Allen Cates “flew missions for Air America in Southeast Asia from 1967 to 1974. Before his tenure with Air America, he was a Marine Corps helicopter pilot in Vietnam 1964-65 where he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and thirteen Air Medals. Cates, who began his Marine Corps career as a buck private in 1960, was promoted to captain before he resigned his commission in December 1966. Cates was employed with Air America within days after his resignation while serving as a flight instructor in North American T-28s at the Naval Aviation Training Command.

After returning to the United States in May 1975, he accepted a position as a corporate pilot with an oil field service company until 1981 and then started Setac Corporation, a manufacturer of drilling fluid additives for the oil and gas industry. During his seven years with Air America, Cates managed to log more than 7,000 hours in various types of aircraft, much of it in combat. He was involved in several rescues of downed airmen in Laos, and took part in medical evacuations, many under fire from opposing enemy forces.

Cates actually participated in the Vietnam conflict for eight years, with all but one year of that time as an Air America pilot. Flying with Air America in Laos, Cates performed many of the same missions in the same type of aircraft as he did while serving with the Marine Corps in Vietnam.”  Allen Cates is the author of Honor Denied: The Truth about Air America and the CIA.

According to the book description of Honor Denied: The Truth about Air America and the CIA, “Air America flight crews, hired as civilians, but castigated as mercenaries, malcontents, and psychopaths, operated military aircraft and performed yeoman service for twenty-five years until the war in Southeast Asia ended on a rooftop in downtown Saigon. They have never been recognized for their sacrifices. Author and former Air America pilot Allen Cates cuts through the myths and subterfuge surrounding this elite stealth Air Force used by the United States to fight a secret war in Honor Denied. The culmination of Cates's years as a pilot and his in-depth research into Air America's murky past, this intense study follows his escape from rural, small-town America to the US Marines, as well as his time as an officer and pilot flying combat operations in Vietnam and rescue missions for Air America. Peppering the narrative with vivid personal details, Cates describes the background and purpose of this unique organization and then discloses the startling casualties-both those killed in action and those wounded and injured with permanent disability. He shines the light on their cause, long hidden from the general public, and reveals how these brave men and women were denied recognition and benefits by those who knew the truth, including the US President, secretaries of state and defense, and even the director of the CIA. Proud, yet never boastful, Honor Denied tells a story that needs to be told-and heard.”

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