Date: 21 Sep 98 00:31:43 From: "Antoin Daltun" <email@example.com> References: 1 Followups: 1
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Howard, List I have done a little digging: 1) The services: Pan American inaugurated the first heavier than air scheduled services across the North Atlantic on 20 May 1939 with Boeing 314 Yankee Clipper (c/n 1990 NC18603) under Capt AE LaPorte, carrying almost one ton of mail from Port Washington via the Azores and Lisbon to Marseilles, in 29 hours. On 24 June, commanded by Harold Gray, the same aircraft opened a northern mail service via Shediac (New Brunswick, Canada), Botwood (Newfoundland) and Foynes to Southampton. On 28 June Capt ROD Sullivan (plus four other flight crew members and four pursers) carried the first 22 scheduled passengers on the southern route on Dixie Clipper (c/n 1992 NC18605). On 8 July Yankee Clipper, under Capt LaPorte carried 17 passengers on the first revenue flight on the northern route. The end to end New York-Southampton one way fare was USD 375 one way, USD 750 round trip. The first pan American schedule was published in July 1939 (local times): PA 101 Port Washington NY dp 0730 Saturday Shediac ar 1230/dp 1330 Botwood ar 1630/dp 1800 Foynes ar 0830/dp 0930 Sunday Southampton ar 1300 PA100 Southampton dp 1400 Wednesday Foynes ar 1530/dp 1630 Botwood ar 0530/dp 0700 Thursday Port Washington ar 1400 Distances from Port Washington: Shediac 593 miles, Botwood 1067, Foynes 3,061, Southampton 3,411. The Marseilles service was also weekly. Four aircraft were allocated to the routes. A detailed inspection followed each round trip, initially taking four days, later reduced to 48 hours. Six flying boat commanders were allocated to the routes, but two of them were assigned to the Marseilles route. On 3 September 1939, Britain and France declared war on Germany and on 5 September 1939, Pan American announced that all services to Southampton and Marseilles would be suspended with Foynes and Lisbon (in neutral states) becoming the terminals. The last Pan American flight in 1939 left Foynes on 7 October and services were suspended for the winter. In fact, Pan American did not return to Foynes until 20 May 1942. During summer 1942, they operated twice weekly New York (La Guardia)- Shediac-Botwood-Foynes. Some flights also served Lough Erne in Northern Ireland where many US troops (and aircraft) were stationed. In Winter, Botwood iced up and flights operated New York-Horta (Azores)-Lisbon- Foynes. One aircraft was lost on alighting on the River Tagus at Lisbon on 22 February 1943. The last Pan American flying boat service left Foynes on 29 October 1945, the previous day having seen their first DC-4 landplane service arrive at Rineanna (now better known as Shannon). 2) The Aircraft: The Boeing 314 won a Pan American competition for long range aircraft and a contract for six aircraft was signed on 21 July 1936 for deliveries starting on 21 December 1937. In fact, first delivery was delayed until 27 January 1939 (two aircraft c/n 1988-89, NC18601-2) plus four others (c/n 1990-3, NC18603-6) later in 1939. Six more Boeing 314As (c/n 2081-6 NC18607-12) were ordered with delivery in 1941, but three of these were diverted to British Overseas Airways Corporation, BOAC (c/n 2081 G-AGBZ, c/n 2082 G-AGCA, c/n 2084 G-AGCB). Yankee and Dixie Clippers are already mentioned above. Berwick was the name of the second BOAC aircraft delivered in May 1941. Maybe your grandfather was involved in training BOAC crews. The date he flew this aircraft would be interesting, since the US did not enter WW2 until Pearl Harbor in December 1941 and the US banned its ships and aircraft from operating in the war zone (although there was some activity including early location of troops in Northern Ireland). After the war, the surviving aircraft operated briefly for charter companies (World Airways, Universal, American International) but all had been written off or scrapped by 1951. Sources: Davies, REG, 1964:A History of the World's Airlines. London: Oxford University Press Davies REG, 1987: Pan Am an airline and its aircraft. London: Hamlyn Irish Air Letter, 1985: Aviation on the Shannon. Dublin. Official Airline Guide, 1969: Birth of an Industry, a nostalgic collection of airline schedules 1929-39. Oak Brook: Reuben H Donnelley Corporation. "Last of the Flying Clippers : The Boeing B-314 Story" M.D. Klaas; Hardcover; @ $59.95 each at <www.amazon.com> , a new publication, looks like being a very detailed account of the aircraft and its operations but my order of 3 August has yet to be shipped.