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My Grandfather, William R Stott, flew on the first flight across the Pacific on the Clipper in 1936. He passed away at 92 2 1/2 years ago. I have brochures, a Certificate, and many items from this flight that I now really want to review when I get a minute. I came across this sight and wanted to send this more as a reminder to me to go through everything and also see what additional information I can learn from you. Thank you, Ellen

pan am clippers

A.C."Skid" Frothingham

When I was a young boy 9 years old, we moved to Maracaibo, Venezuela, from Woodhaven, Long Island, NY. Every Saturday, the Pan Am Clipper would fly in from a flight that originated in Brownsville, Texas. The flying boat was a Sikorsky S-42 Model I think. This was in 1938/39/40. I have a small photo I took with my first camera of the plane water taxing on Lake Maracaibo, I would guess in 1939. It seems to me, the crew would RON there for the night, I remember hanging around the plane, cause the crew would always give me Nestlé chocolate bars!

Saturdays were almost like Holidays down there, cause we knew the plane was coming in from the States.Years later we had those great lines in the TV show, "Its da plane Boss, da plane!" It really was a connection to the States for a lot of us. Of course as a kid I was fascinated with airplanes anyway. I think the same year (1939), a flight of B17's making a tour of South America, landed in Maracaibo, and I got to see them and board one of them. Great adventures for a young boy... Your site brought back many memories, Thank you for your efforts

A.C."Skid" Frothingham

pan am clippers

Harry Thompson

As a kid riding across the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge in the family car, I always hoped the timing was right to witness a Pan Am clipper taking off or landing at Treasure Island, which I saw several times. I also recall visiting the 1939-1940 World`s Fair at Treasure Island. I recently visited NAS Alameda & saw the Pan Am terminal & hanger. What was the chronology of Pan Am service? ...was the Treasure Island service first, then service from NAS Alameda, or vice versa? Maybe you`ve seen this, & I`m trusting to memory, but I believe there`s a website with photos of a Pan Am Clipper flying near the Golden Gate bridge under construction.

I found it by punching up Associated Oil Company, as my dad worked for them, plus they provided petroleum products for the bridge`s construction.

Harry Thompson
Tucson, AZ

pan am clippers

Tom Kewin

My first training flight on the B314 was in April, 1943. When an airplane came out of overhaul it was sent on a 12 hour "slow time" flight before being put back into service. That was probably a good idea, with four newly overhauled engines. So I was assigned to the flight as a student engineer. There were so many students and observers on board that they put on two stewards to prepare our meals. It was an ideal first exposure, since we students had ample time to explore the wing tunnels and nacelles, sit at the engineers station for a few hours, and even take a nap. Captain Steve Bancroft had his own agenda. After flying over Mount Shasta, Lake Tahoe, and Yosemite he headed for Fresno, his home town. He put down partial wing flaps, descended to about 400 feet and while the co-pilot circled over a friends ranch, Steve took some rocks out of his briefcase and pelted the barn!

pan am clippers

Wendel Allen

I flew from Barranquilla Colombia to Miami via Kingston and Cien Fuegos on November 24, 1944. I think I still have the ticket stub.

Not too long after takeoff in Barranquilla the Clipper started having motor trouble and we returned. After much hammering and pounding, we took off again, and once more we returned.

We were told to go to the hotel, spend the night and then we would leave early the next morning. We finally landed in Kingston, and there was much more hammering and pounding. We passengers filled up on rum and cokes.

We then limped to Cien Fuegos (Castro's home town) but no one had ever heard of him then. Again there was much "fiddling" with the motors and rum and cokes.

Before we started flying across Cuba, despite the motor trouble I felt relatively safe, since in effect we had a landing strip beneath us all the way. The plane was slow and we were over Cuba for possibly an hour.

I was sitting by the British Consul to one of the South American countries. He had been called home for some high level war meeting. The Consul finally told me that he didn't like flying in bloody land planes over water nor bloody sea planes over land. We weren't overly comfortable.

I especially remember dining in the dining room. We had crystal, china and linen, and were served by a uniformed waiter. A far cry from the peanuts we get today.

Well we finally landed in Miami, and the Consul and I had a nice evening before he left for England the next morning.

This is the way I remember it. If anyone has any questions, don't hesitate to e-mail me. Incidentally, does anyone know how many former passengers are still around?

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