Press Release

Clipper Glory: The Dawn of Ocean Air Transport



CONTACT: Charles Schuler      
Associate Deputy Airport Director
Communications & Marketing
(650) 821-5031    


Clipper Glory: The Dawn of Ocean Air Transport
SFO Podcast Celebrates 75th Anniversary of the First Ocean Air Service in the Days of the Flying Clipper Ships 


San Francisco – Until seventy-five years ago this week it was impossible to buy an airline ticket to fly all the way across the Pacific Ocean from San Francisco to Hong Kong, and back.  On April 21, 1937, the very first revenue passengers, all seven of them, boarded a giant four-engine Pan American Airways flying boat at Alameda on San Francisco Bay. The six-day journey to Asia required overnight stays with stops at five island bases along the 8,000-mile route. The flight arrived in Hong Kong via Macao on April 28 th completing the first of what then became regular weekly service.  Commercial airplane service across the Atlantic would not commence for another two years.


In commemoration of this pioneering achievement in aviation, SFO Museum presents the first of a three-part podcast series titled Clipper Glory: The Dawn of Ocean Air Transport. These original interviews with Pan Am flying boat crewmembers and first-person accounts of the airline’s island bases personnel recreate the sensation and excitement of this new air service that forever changed the world and laid the foundation for today’s global air system.


Part one of Clipper Glory: The Dawn of Ocean Air Transport can be viewed now at the following:

 with parts two and three to follow.


The oral history interviews, memoirs and historical materials used for this podcast are from the SFO Museum collection held in the San Francisco Airport Commission Aviation Library and Louis A. Turpen Aviation Museum at San Francisco International Airport.  The podcast was created by Earprint Productions.


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