can anyone id the radio used on this clipper?

Bruce bsugarberg at CORE.COM
Fri Mar 26 04:24:08 EDT 2010

Hello All,

The most incredible aviation story of all, is the round-the-world-flight
of the Pacific Clipper at the start of WWII.  It is the subject of three
books, the first written by Pan Am Radio Officer Ed Dover:

73, Bruce WA8TNC

"The Long Way Home: Captain Ford's Epic Journey" - Ed Dover

Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December, 1941, a giant
four-engined Pan American Airways Boeing flying boat, registered as
NC18602, under the command of Captain Robert Ford, embarked on a remarkable
journey. In one sense, it was the earthly 1940s equivalent of the first
Apollo lunar missions in that it ventured into unknown territory and
returned home safely in the face of overwhelming odds.

Caught en route over the South Pacific at the time of the Japanese attack,
Captain Ford and his crew were forced into a flight plan that none of them
had anticipated when they left San Francisco on 1st December for what was
to have been a routine round trip commercial flight to Auckland, New
Zealand. Faced with the threat of interception by Japanese forces, they
were ordered to take their strategically valuable aircraft on a
globe-girdling, 31,500 mile, six-week odyssey, heading westward mostly
across territory that had never been flown over before by such a large
commercial aircraft. With no suitable navigation charts, no certainty of
obtaining fuel or servicing, and under a total veil of secrecy and radio
blackout, they threaded their way across the war zones of the Far East, the
Middle East, Africa, the South Atlantic, Brazil, and the Caribbean, to
bring their aircraft home safely to New York.

This is the story of that historic flight as related to me in person by
Captain Robert Ford.


"Escape of the Pacific Clipper" by George L. Flynn

The Escape of Pan Am's Pacific Clipper on its maiden voyage is a true story
of adventure and suspense.

In 1941, the Pacific Clipper was a technological marvel and the finest
commercial plane in the air. Not only did Japan and Germany seek the
capture of such desirable prize, but our Allies and friends looked for ways
of laying claim to her. Trapped in New Zealand after the bombing of Pearl
Harbor, with all their Pacific bases under attack or captured, the valiant
crew of eleven men challenged the Imperial Japanese navy, 30,000 miles of
uncharted waters, and the German Luftwaffe to try for a safe landing in
America. With courage and skill, the crew of the Pacific Clipper eluded the
pursuing Japanese through Australia, Indonesia, Ceylon, and India. In Iran,
the Germans took up the chase through Egypt, the Congo, and Brazil. After a
final stop at Trinidad, the heroic crew brought the Clipper home to New
York and the final showdown.

Lead by Captain Robert Ford, the Pacific Clipper and its crew flew across
continents landing on lakes and rivers that had never seen a flying boat.
Without arms, money or proper maintenance facilities, and under strict
radio silence, they succeeded where most would have given up or failed.
Their gripping tale and magnificent odyssey is captured by George Flynn and
illustrated with maps, schematics, and technical data on the revolutionary
monowing seaplane.

icra at wrote:
> Not sure about the radios....
> Interesting story....not one I had heard of before.....
> Had heard some stories about civilian vessels caught behind enemy lines at the out-break of 
> WW II, but the first one about an aircraft
> Now I need to search around and find out more about this aircraft and others that may have 
> gone through a similar struggles....
> Mel

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