Pan Am Clipper Service

The first schedule airline flight in America was on a Benoist flying boat on January 1914, but that money losing operation ended after 3 months. Twenty-four years later, in October 1936 Pan Am Airways (PAA) inaugurated the China Clipper passenger service from San Francisco to Manila. Pan Am, with the help of PAA technical adviser Charles A Lindbergh had devised an air route right across the Pacific. Seaplanes, based on Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay, would fly to Honolulu, Hawaii, then on to Midway Island, Wake Island, Guam and Manila, Philippines.

The Honolulu PAA facilities, actually a converted house on Pearl City Peninsula, did not provide overnight accommodations. The flight crew would spend the night at the Alexander Young Building in downtown (demolished) and the passengers would spend the night at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Waikiki.

Pan Am built support facilities and hotels on Midway, Wake and Guam. Wake Island facilities were built from the ground up, since the atoll was uninhabited.

Other routes were also created across the Pacific but with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Pan Am ceased Clipper passenger service on December 7, 1941 and immediately began war time rescue missions. - AsNotedIn


China Clipper Film


Hall of Transportation, Treasure Island
  • NRHP
Wake Island Atoll
Midway Islands US Territory
Royal Hawaiian Hotel
Pan American Hotel site
Pearl City Peninsula Military Installation
Alexander Young Building
  • NRHP
Kingman Reef Island


Last Name Name AsNotedIn
Trippe: Juan Trippe
Pan American World Airways: Pan American World Airways

Data »

Area of Significance: Aviation, Air-related
Locale Type: Route

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