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Engineers are precise and formal fellows. Give them a nice new airplane with a license number on it like NC 18736 and forever after they will refer to it as the NC 18736. Flight crews and mechanics are different however; they have a particular fondness for a particular airplane. It can't be explained, but its something like a man's liking for his favorite felt hat — it just fits. So when NC 18726 was delivered as the Bermuda Clipper, they took to her and fondly nicknamed her "Betsy." She became the apple of their eye, and it was a sad day when she was ordered to do a job in far off Alaska. A substitute Clipper NC 18735 from the Caribbean taking her place, was promptly dubbed "Myrtle." Although she did a good job in taking over the Bermuda run and while she was as like Betsy as two peas in a pod — both being Sikorsky S-42 models with precisely the same performance characteristics and looks — Myrtle did not occupy the same spot in the hearts of the flight crews.

One day Myrtle suffered slight damage to her wing and before she was repaired, Betsy finished her assignment in Alaska and came back east to take over again. She was welcomed at Baltimore (then the base of Bermuda-bound Clippers) by photographers and ceremonies, and when she lifted from the waters of the city's harbor there was a grin on the face of each member of her crew, Betsy had done honor again.

Then it was announced that a Sikorsky S-42 was to have the honor of being named the Hong Kong Clipper and go into service between Hong Kong and Manila. When it developed that Myrtle was to get the assignment, Betsy's champions received the news with mixed feelings — chagrin that Betsy had been passed over and satisfaction that she would not leave them. Betsy's crew rejoiced until they realized that her arch rival and sister Clipper Myrtle had been chosen. Their feelings were not hurt for long however, for soon Betsy received orders to proceed to Miami to be primed to join Myrtle in the Far East and handle the Manila-Singapore shuttle.

The rivalry ended on December 7, 1941 in a way that brought only sorrow to Betsy's champions. Myrtle, as Hong Kong Clipper, was moored to the dock at Hong Kong when the Japs attacked. Bombs and bullets broke her apart and set her afire and she sank in the harbor — first civilian airplane to be lost in the Pacific War.

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