In today's age, we receive airplane tickets on-line and board our flights with our smart phones.
Has something been lost? A small paper memento to mark our travels? A simple souvenir of places we've been?
In March of 1946, Mr Alfredo Guillen flew Pan Am from San Jose, Costa Rica to San Salvador, on a DC-3. At 95 years old, Mr Guillen remembers, and his sons, Jorge & Fredy share his boarding pass with us. A moment in time, captured.
N19903 "Clipper Flying Cloud" one of only three Boeing 307 ever to fly for Pan American Airways. Only ten of these aircraft were ever made. It had the promise of high altitude and a pressurized cabin, but it did not have the long haul range (transatlantic) that Mr Juan Trippe had planned for. She was sold.
See her story, where she wound up, and eventually touched down:
Ms Katherine Lauder joined Pan American World Airways in the summer of 1957, leaving her job at Time-Life magazine for a new adventure.
In May of 1959, the stewardess submitted a wedding announcement to the (Pan Am Employee) Clipper Newspaper. She married fellow Pan Am-er Mr Frankin W. Durand, Training Superintendent with the Technical Assistance Program for Ariana Afghan Airlines in Kanahar, Afghanistan.
A Pan Am Family would be in their future...
Sometimes things get lost. Or left behind. Or a choice is made not to carry the baggage anymore.
We don't know how this flight bag turned up in a thrift shop in Kansas City. We know it was purchased by a pilot happy to put it to use again, carrying the all necessary flight paperwork, that now fit comfortably on a tablet.
We do know this flight bag has a bittersweet story. You see, Captain Mark S. Pyle departed Barbados at 2 pm (EST) for Miami on December 4, 1991, Pan American World Airways Flight 436, Boeing 727 "Clipper Goodwill", N368PA. She was the last Pan American World Airways' passenger aircraft in the sky.
We can not THANK Mr. Scott Gallardo enough for thoughtfully donating this bag to Pan Am Museum Foundation. How bittersweet, that the bag has found its way home.
By late 1945, Pan American World Airways had regularly scheduled flights across the Atlantic by way of Gander Airport, Newfoundland.
One of those working the flights was James J. Rice. His career with Pan American World Airways will last decades, and will find him all over the world.
But perhaps a bit of his heart always remained in that somewhat remote, northern airport. Please meet his wife, Kaye, pictured in the snow boots, in front of her BOAC employee housing, at Gander Airport where they met.
On October 16, 1956, Pan American Flight 6, Boeing 377 Stratocruiser, “Sovereign of the Skies” departed Honolulu and headed northeast towards San Francisco.
“Pan Am 90943, Flight 6, declaring an emergency over the Pacific” radioed Captain Richard Ogg.
Who received that call for help?
U.S. Coast Guard Radioman Doak Walker, onboard the Cutter Pontchartrain.
With a heavy heart we announce the passing of Mr. Doak Walker, January 6, 2019, a true hero, a Pan Am Museum Honoree and Friend.
What happened to the flight crew and passengers of the "Sovereign of the Skies"? Watch the ditch landing and rescue in the video below. An interview with Mr. Walker, click his photo.
A crowd of thousands was present to witness the historical event. It must have been everybody in Vienna, able to move, who was there. After the welcome ceremony by dignitaries, the crowd was invited to enter the airplane aft, to exit at the front door. It took a long time until everybody had completed the walk through.
The Press and TV of Austria was invited to a flight around their country and every seat was occupied. Two Pan Am stewardesses where assigned to help us serve Champagne and hors d'oeuvres for the one hour trip. I must have been opening Champagne bottles close to 100 and the popping corks sounded like a little fireworks all of my own!
For the landing, I grabbed one of the TV cameras and filmed the landing at Vienna from the cockpit. I was not able to turn off the camera and walked back to the man I took the big heavy contraption from. He turned it off and thanked me with a lot of gratitude, all in German of course, which I speak and have done so in all the announcements of the flight. Later on another trip to Vienna, I learned that the whole episode of my taping was broadcasted the same evening on Austrian television, including my walk back from the cockpit to the camera man, whereby I had held the camera to capture the highly impressed faces of passengers.
Harry W Frahm
Vice President Miami Chapter
* Pan Am historical records show introduction of jet service to Vienna was 12/22/1959. Vienna International Airport history reads that a runway extension was built to accommodate this arrival.
“Ha! The question is more like where aren’t we going to fly,” he said. “All over the Caribbean, all those islands. Down through Mexico, there’s some wonderful places in Central America you know. And then to Buenos Aires, me boy . . . Argentina. Enchanted place. Buenos Aires is going to be the next Paris, just you watch.”
“It all seems so far,” I offered.
“Far? Oliver, mark my words. In ten years you’ll be able to get on a plane in New York and fly to London, or Paris, or even Rome. You’ll fly in a big, beautiful bird drinking the best wine and eating the best food. You’ll make a trip in a day that now takes almost a week. And from California we’ll send up flights that will go to Hawaii, and from there we can get to the Orient. China, Japan—a world most people have only dreamed of,” Mister Trippe said.
He leaned back in his wicker chair.
“The oceans, sir?” I said. “Taking people all the way across? Lindbergh barely made it, and it was just him.”
Mister Trippe turned to me again.
“Nobody believes it can be done more than Lindbergh,” he said.
Then he turned and looked out his window, sipping his rum and puffing on his cigar.
"Flying Conquistadors" is reality inspired fiction.
Book available on www.smile.amazon.com
Please choose Pan Am Museum Foundation as the not-for-profit organization you support when ordering.
Copyright 2016 by Michael Scott Bertrand.
No part of this excerpt shall be reproduced or transmitted without the express consent of the copyright holder.
"I loved the company that I worked [for]. I like to say we had the ragged end of the glory days. We were a little tattered; there wasn’t as much shine left on the silver. It was really devastating to me when the company went bankrupt and I lost my job because so many of those people were like my family. In fact, anywhere we would fly to in the world, we would have a place to stay. We always had someone somewhere in the world to show us the way. When that was taken away from me it was like I had lost my entire family."
Phillip P Keene, Actor, on Pan American World Airways, Board Member, Pan Am Museum
During this flight (Flight 114 departing New York to France), our captain was notified that France was on a national strike. We were only an hour away from Paris. The airport tower and air controllers were included in this national strike. The captain quickly made a general announcement over the speaker “all passengers fasten your seat belts immediately”. The key word “immediately” in the announcement was a code word to alert the crew of a major issue.
We systematically assembled in the galley near the cockpit of our 707 Boeing. The captain informed us of the national strike and the lack of fuel for a diverted landing. The captain was then instructed to land at a French military base outside Paris. We returned to our duties and waited for further instructions.
After short time, the chief purser approached me to inform me that I was selected to be the responsible person for the translations of landing instructions by the non-English speaking French military air controllers. Yikes! I was petrified. My initial reaction was all the visions that came to mind during the times I sat in the cockpit jump seat during take-off and landings. I would watch at the faces of the captain and first officer age by at least ten years during those most stressful moments. (The cockpit also staffed a navigator.) Why me? Well, my family moved to France in the late 1940’s after WWII. We lived in France for ten years and my brother, sister and I spoke french as natives.
I was still petrified. Finally, I bravely marched to the cockpit and we landed safely on the French military base in the middle of a parcel of land near their landing strips. For military security reasons we were precluded from leaving the plane until Pan Am sent buses for all passengers and crew.
It happened that my brother Peter and his family were living in Paris at that time. Before disembarking, my first thought was to bring my family provisions. I grabbed all the non-perishable and food items from first class to take to my brother. Agriculture and customs were no where to be seen, therefore, the provisions would be wasted on the plane.
When I finally arrived at their home in Neuilly, Anne, my sister-in law just marvel over all the goodies. It was like an early Christmas. They were so low on food supplies because all the grocery stores etc were also on strike.
Pan Am Story told by the Pan Am Stewardess who lived it,