A civilian airliner, cut off from home by the outbreak of World War II, makes a dash for freedom...

December 7, 1941. The Pacific Clipper, Queen of Pan American Airways fleet of flying boats is 6 days out of San Francisco, bound for Auckland, New Zealand. Captain Robert Ford receives a coded message: Japanese attack Pearl Harbor...Implement War Plan A...Proceed to Auckland, NZ...Maintain radio silence...Wait for instructions...Your aircraft is a strategic resource-it must not fall into enemy hands under any circumstances

Pan American Airways bases all across the Pacific were captured. Returning to the US west coast by the Pacific Clipper did not seem possible. A week of waiting, then another coded message:

DEC 14, 1941: Do not return to Hawaii. Do not return to US west coast...Strip aircraft of all markings and identification...proceed west...maintain radio silence...deliver aircraft to Marine Terminal, LaGuardia, NY. Good luck.

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Comment by John Melvin on February 4, 2013 at 11:55pm

This is straight from the Boeing company website.

History

Model 314 Clipper Flying Boat

Model 314 Clipper flying boatAs airplane travel became popular during the mid-1930s, passengers wanted to fly across the ocean, so Pan American Airlines asked for a long-range, four-engine flying boat. In response, Boeing developed the Model 314, nicknamed the "Clipper" after the great oceangoing sailing ships.

The Clipper used the wings and engine nacelles of the giant Boeing XB-15 bomber on the flying boat's towering, whale-shaped body. The installation of new Wright 1,500 horsepower Double Cyclone engines eliminated the lack of power that handicapped the XB-15. With a nose similar to that of the modern 747, the Clipper was the "jumbo" airplane of its time.

The Model 314 had a 3,500-mile range and made the first scheduled trans-Atlantic flight June 28, 1939. By the year's end, Clippers were routinely flying across the Pacific. Clipper passengers looked down at the sea from large windows and enjoyed the comforts of dressing rooms, a dining salon that could be turned into a lounge and a bridal suite. The Clipper's 74 seats converted into 40 bunks for overnight travelers. Four-star hotels catered gourmet meals served from its galley.

Boeing built 12 Model 314s between 1938 and 1941. At the outbreak of World War II, the Clipper was drafted into service to ferry materials and personnel. Few other aircraft of the day could meet the wartime distance and load requirements. President Franklin D. Roosevelt traveled by Boeing Clipper to meet with Winston Churchill at the Casablanca conference in 1943. On the way home, President Roosevelt celebrated his birthday in the flying boat's dining room.

Comment by Tom Cleaver on February 2, 2013 at 12:08am
Cancel the last. A friend has confirmed that Wikipedia is correct about this.
Comment by Tom Cleaver on February 1, 2013 at 11:58pm
Sorry, but as an aviation historian, I call bullpucky. The Boeing 314 was only used in the Atlantic, not the Pacific. The Martin Clipper was used for the tran-Pacific route. Whoever came up with this piece of fiction gets an "F" for Failure to do Proper Research.

Signed,

Thomas McKelvey Cleaver

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