Edward Rector

Edward Rector

Edward Rector was born in Marshall, North Carolina, on 28th September, 1916. After graduating from Catawba College in 1938 he joined the United States Air Force.

After the outbreak of the Second World War Rector joined the American Volunteer Group (AVG). In the summer of 1941 Rector was one of 70 pilots who went to Burma to join the Royal Air Force in the fight against the Japanese Air Force. Flying Curtiss P-40 fighters the AVG shot down 296 Japanese aircraft. Rector was credited with eight of these kills.

After the bombing of Pearl Harbor Rector and his squadron were transferred to Kunming in China. On 20th December, 1941, Rector was one of the team of AVG pilots who shot down nine raiding Mitsubishi ki-21 bombers. In July 1942 Recor became commander of the 76th Squadron of the China Air Task Force.

Rector remained in China after the war where he served in the US military assistance advisory group. After the communist came to power, Rector went to Taiwan to help Chaing Kai-Shek to build a new air force.

Edward Rector died on 26th April 2001.

Primary Sources

(1) Primo Levi, Survival in Auschwitz (1947)

Last spring the Germans had constructed huge tents in an open space in the Lager. For the whole of the good season each of them had catered for over 1,000 men: now the tents had been taken down, and an excess 2,000 guests crowded our huts. We old prisoners knew that the Germans did not like these irregularities and that something would soon happen to reduce our number.