The Significance of the “Clipper Service” – Pan American Airways (1935)

Two articles, one from the San Francisco Tribune (December 1, 1935) and another from the 1937 -1938 Commercial and Industrial Manual of the Philippines, speak dramatically about newly inaugurated air service from San Francisco to Manila. Juan Trippe, founder of Pan American Airways (PAA), was a visionary air transportation leader. He set upon a goal to establish a Trans Pacific Airplane Service. Trippe faced seemingly insurmountable hurdles. But he pushed relentlessly ahead, helping to design the (gigantic at the time) Martin Four Engine Clipper Seaplanes and building the island, stepping stone, refueling bases on remote Pacific Islands (Midway, Wake and Guam) required to make flights a reality. The triumphal first flight in 1935 made headlines around the world. Asia was now only a seven day trip distant from California and no longer a tedious three week sea voyage. –BB

(Source: The American Historical Collection (AHC) at Ateneo University and R. Blume Collection)


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