Re: Boeing B-314

Date:         21 Sep 98 00:31:43 
From:         "Antoin Daltun" <>
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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


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

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.


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 <> , 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.