C. Lane Sartor
U. S. Army Air Corps
Local Community
Oil & Gas
WWII US Military
Dates of Service: 1942 - 1946
Intelligence Officer - China and far east, 14th Air Force

"I was gone a full two years and I completed a circle of the globe," Lane says in summarizing his service in World War II. Born in Shreveport, Lane tried to play football at Byrd High School, but his eyes were too weak without glasses. Graduating from high school in 1938, he entered Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, earning a degree in geology in 1942. He tried to enlist in the U.S. Navy but was rejected because of his poor vision. He returned to Shreveport where he joined the Army Air Forces on July 7, 1942, and was trained in aerial photography. Commissioned in December of 1942, he was shipped overseas on January 11, 1944 on the Empress of Scotland and was soon stationed in Kunming, China and assigned to the Eighteenth Photo Intelligence Detachment (PID), a group of about thirty men. There he studied and interpreted aerial photography of Japanese ships, airfields, and other positions that would make targets for bombing missions. Lane worked six days a week, from 7 a.m. to about 5:30 p.m., and took Sundays off. "It was a huge volume of work, and it was real interesting," he says. "I loved aerial photographs. I loved working with it." He was later moved to Sichuan, along with the Twenty-first Recognizance Squadron, which ran the laboratory for developing rolls of film up to forty feet long. Each photograph measured about nine inches wide. After the lab technicians developed film, Lane studied the images for about an hour, and then prepared an assessment for headquarters. The next day the photographs were shipped to headquarters in Kunming. After the Japanese bombed Sichuan his unit returned to Kunming. Lane became briefing officer to the A2 (intelligence) section of Fourteenth Air Force headquarters. The Fourteenth included the Twenty-Third Fighter Group, led by 29-year-old Brigadier General Casey Vincent, who was later the model for the cartoon strip, "Terry and the Pirates." In March of 1945 he moved to China Theater Headquarters at Chun King, where he worked in G2 as liaison photo interpreter for intelligence personnel of both the Fourteenth Air Force and China Theater. Leaving the service as a captain, Lane joined the reserves and was promoted to major, still serving in intelligence. He worked for several oil companies as a geologist and retired in 1991.