Juan Trippe founded Pan Am in 1927 with one airplane flying the mail between Key West and Havana on the first foreign airmail contract awarded by the United States Post Office.
By 1934, Pan Am had expanded throughout Central and South America, and, based on this early success, Trippe boldly placed an order for three giant Martin M-130 flying boats that were capable of crossing the Atlantic with mails and passengers to serve the lucrative European market.
However, shortly before the new planes' delivery, Trippe learned that Pan Am would be prevented by political developments from securing landing rights in Europe. Not one to accept defeat, Trippe transferred his interest to the Pacific and boldly decided to use the Martin M-130 clippers to fly those uncharted skies.
Thus began the bold era of Pacific Pioneers.
Now, this exciting time in aviation has been captured in the pages of Jon Krupnick's 700-page masterpiece, "Pan Am's Pacific Pioneers - The Rest of The Story." The book combines a multitude of vintage photos, flight covers and other relics with true accounts involving the charismatic people involved with Pan Am like Juan Trippe, Captain Ed Musick, and many more.
The following chapter-by-chapter synopsis of Krupnick's book gives a brief overview of the historical greatness you can expect to encounter if you purchase a copy.
Foreword by Jimmy Buffett
Famed singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett may well appreciate Jon Krupnick's exciting history of the individuals and flying boats that initiated Transpacific flight, being an adventurer and owner of a "big old romantic flying boat," a Grumman Albatross, himself.
Introduction by author Jon Krupnick
With vivid, full-color depictions of vintage photographs, flight covers, news clippings and more, purchasing this book is like obtaining for yourself the largest collection of Pan Am memorabilia in the world.
According to Krupnick's
introduction, "I have tried to write a book as if you were a guest
in my home and I was showing you my collection and sharing with you
stories that I have learned from meeting some of the people who were
actually involved in these flights. Remember-it's the story that counts-the
that each flight cover wants to tell you about the airplane, airline
and flight crew that made that historical flight possible."
"Pan Am's Pacific Pioneers - The Rest of The Story" begins with the scrapbook of Dr. Ken Kenler, who was Pan Am's doctor on Wake Island in the early days of the program. During his year on Wake, Dr. Kenler collected a wealth of mementoes, photographs and stories, the most interesting of which now appear in Chapter One of Krupnick's book.
The giant Clipper ship, half boat/half plane, was conceived to meet the need for world wide travel before airports had been developed. Chapter Two of "Pan Am's Pacific Pioneers" educates the reader about the flying boats that were instrumental in exploring the airways of the Pacific. Here you'll learn about magnificent planes such as the Sikorsky S-42, the Martin M-130 and the Boeing B-314.
In the period of eleven years between 1935 and 1946, Pan Am completed 50 groundbreaking Transpacific flights. Chapter Three, the 400 page heart of the book, explores in detail the triumphs and tragedies involved with this achievement. The reader is taken on a thrilling journey back in time. From the exploratory survey expeditions that paved the way for the first scheduled flights, to the midair explosion that took the lives of famed pilot Captain Musick and his crewmembers, this chapter is replete with stories that truly capture the essence of Pan Am.
When Pearl Harbor was attacked on December 7, 1941, all of Pan Am's operations in the Pacific were terminated and all of Pan Am's Pacific aircraft were placed under the direction of the military and transferred to the newly formed Naval Air Transport Service (NATS). In this chapter, the reader will learn how Pan Am was instrumental in bringing desperately needed supplies and mail to wartime outposts in the Pacific.
Pan Am Clipper ships never could have flown the Pacific without the assistance and support of vessels that were either owned or chartered by Pan Am or provided by the military for Pan Am's benefit. Never before has the full story of these ships been fully told.
When Transpacific passenger service was inaugurated in October of 1936, the first passengers were wealthy adventurers, seeking the publicity of being among the first to travel by air on the Pacific route. A one-way ticket to Manila cost about $800. As time passed, however, the advantages of air travel became so obvious that ordinary business people began to fly on Pan Am's Transpacific flights. This was the case with Professor Fritiof N. Fryxell, who flew to the Philippines aboard a Clipper for an employment opportunity. The story of his Transpacific adventure is the basis for Chapter Six.
It was only a matter of time before Hollywood took an interest in the romantic era of flying boats. Warner Brothers' "China Clipper," a feature film based on the story of Pan Am, starred Pat O'Brien, Humphrey Bogart, Beverly Roberts and Ross Alexander. The movie was hailed as a breakthrough, setting a new high standard for motion picture photoplays based upon modern commercial aviation. Chapter Seven gives a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at Pan Am's involvement in the making of this film.
Krupnick writes in Chapter Eight: "Because so many of my favorite flight covers are from the personal collection of Franklin D. Roosevelt, it seems fitting to pay tribute to President Roosevelt and his remarkable career and to also examine his lifelong hobby of stamp collecting." This chapter investigates FDR's undying interest in Pan Am memorabilia.
In Chapter Nine, Krupnick writes: "I have particularly enjoyed collecting the entire envelopes, rather than just the stamps, because the envelopes and the letters that they sometimes hold can tell some wonderful stories. Collectors call these envelopes covers." This chapter investigates the unparalleled airmail routes established by Pan Am, while also discussing how collecting flight covers can be a means of retracing the past.
Throughout the book are illustrated items of Pan Am history that are not only visually pleasing, but also provide much historical information. With very few exceptions, the items illustrated are from Krupnick's collection and they relate directly to Pan Am's Pacific operations during the 1935 - 1946 era of the Clipper ships. Chapter Ten gives a detailed synopsis of items often searched for by collectors of Pan Am memorabilia: annual reports, stock certificates, poster art, timetables, ticket envelopes, baggage labels, employee patches, souvenirs, service pins, Chinaware, model airplanes, publications, books, magazines, merchandise, advertising, Christmas cards and more.