Pan American Airways Boeing 314 NC18604
NC18602, early 1940s, Derek Hughey collection via Ed Coates Collection. Notes: In 1935 Pan American issued a specification for a flying boat, larger than the Martin M-130, and capable of providing regular service across the North Atlantic Ocean, notable, in the winter, for its fierce headwinds on the east-west crossing. Boeing responded with the model 314 and six of them were ordered. Two machines were placed in service on the Pacific route whilst the other four opened up transatlantic service. The Boeings operated out of the Marine Terminal at La Guardia airport just prior to the outbreak of WW II, the first scheduled air mail flight being made to Southampton on 26 March 1939. Six more model 314As were delivered in 1940 and these aircraft were used extensively in providing a vital air link between the USA and Great Britain (via Africa) in the early dark days of the war. Three were seconded to BOAC as G-AGBZ, G-AGCA/B. Below is a color shot from the Derek Hughey collection of NC18602 just clearing the Golden Gate Bridge inbound from a Pacific flight in the early 1940s. This aircraft later bore the name "California Clipper".