The Free Thai Movement(Thai: ขบวนการเสรีไทย; RTGS: Khabuan Kan Seri Thai) was a Thai underground resistance movement against Imperial Japan during World War II. Seri Thai were an important source of military intelligence for the Allies in the region, and were notable for being the only World War II resistance movement to use fighter aircraft of its own.
In the aftermath of the Japanese invasion of Thailand on December 7/8, 1941, the regime of Plaek Pibulsonggram (Phibun) declared war on Britain and the United States on January 25, 1942. Seni Pramoj, the Thai ambassador in Washington, refused to deliver the declaration to the United States government. Accordingly, the United States refrained from declaring war on Thailand. Seni, a conservative aristocrat whose anti-Japanese credentials were well established, then organized the Free Thai Movement with American assistance, recruiting Thai students in the United States to work with the United States Office of Strategic Services (OSS). The OSS trained Thai personnel for underground activities, and units were readied to infiltrate Thailand. By the end of the war, more than 50,000 Thai had been trained and armed to resist the Japanese.
Important members of the Seri Thai movement were:
Queen Ramphaiphanni, widow of King Prajadhipok and nominal head of the Seri Thai in the United Kingdom
Khuang Abhaiwongse, head of the Thai Democrat Party, Prime Minister of Thailand 1944-45, 1946, 1948
Police General Adul Aduldejajaras, one time Deputy Minister of the Interior
Luang Bannakornkowit, Cabinet Member
Tawee Boonyaket, Prime Minister of Thailand 1945
Ananda Chintakanond, renowned career diplomat who later worked for ECAFE
Luang Dithakarnpakdi, renowned career diplomat
Direk Jayanama, one time Minister of Finance and Foreign Affairs
Air Marshal Thawee Junlasap
Kusa Panyarachun, Thai travel/tourism industry pioneer
Seni Pramoj, Prime Minister of Thailand 1945-46, 1975, 1976
Pridi Phanomyong, Prime Minister of Thailand 1946
Siddhi Savetsila, later Air Chief Marshal of the Royal Thai Air Force and a Foreign Minister of Thailand
Captain Luang Suphachalasai, one time Minister of the Interior
Rear Admiral Sangvara Suwannacheep, one time Deputy Minister of Defence
Lieutenant General Chit Munsilpa Sinadyodharaksa, Minister of Defence 1945
Tiang Sirikhanth, Assemblyman
Sanguan Tularaksa, Cabinet Member
Dr. Puey Ungpakorn, London-educated economist who headed the Bank of Thailand and later served as rector of Thammasat University.