Pioneering Pan American Airways Clipper Service to Alaska departs from Sand Point on August 7, 1938.

  • By David Wilma
  • Posted 1/01/2000
  • Essay 2247
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On August 7, 1938, a Pan American Airways twin-engine "baby clipper" departs the Naval Air Station at Sand Point en route to Ketchikan and Juneau, Alaska, in an experiment with air service to Alaska. The Pan Am crew from Miami explores an "outside route" over water for the seven-hour flight to Ketchikan.

Pan Am established regular, freight-only Alaska Clipper service in June 1939, but made only 10 flights before switching to an "inside route" through Prince George, B.C. on November 9, 1940. In March 1941, the route was extended to Fairbanks and the flight carried passengers.

Sand Point was not the southern terminus of the route. Four-engine Sikorski S-42 flying boats were moored in a hanger on park land at Matthews Beach, just north of the Naval Air Station.


Naval Station Puget Sound at Sand Point (Seattle: U.S. Navy, 1993), 48; Seattle Post-Intelligencer, August 4, 1938, p. 1, 2; The Seattle Times, August 8, 1938, p. 10.

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