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The Boeing 314 has become the “Quintessential” Pan Am clipper flying boat – the one people think of when they recall the era during which Foynes flourished as the hub of aviation activity between North America and Europe.

One of the largest aircraft of the time, twelve were built for Pan American World Airways, three of which were sold to BOAC in 1941 before delivery. Since the start of the survey flights in 1937 Pan Am’s Clippers had made a total of 2,097 Atlantic crossings.

Pan Am’s Boeing B314 NC18603 ‘Yankee Clipper’ was the first B314 allocated to the Atlantic division and was christened by Mrs. Franklin D Roosevelt on 3rd March 1939. Its first visit to Foynes was on the 11th April 1939 under the command of Captain Harold Gray.

Saturday the 18th August 1945 was a record day for Pan American World Airways operations in Foynes, two clippers, the ‘Atlantic’ and the ‘Dixie’ arrived from New York in the morning and returned that night. 101 transatlantic passengers were handled at the airport—a record for a day’s operation by one airline. Travelling were nationals of Great Britain, Argentina, Sweden, Switzerland, France, Czechoslovakia, Netherlands and the USA.

What follows is the catalogue of the fate of the Yankee Clipper, and all the other B314 flying boats operated by Pan Am and BOAC (British Overseas Airways Corporation).

Reg Type Name Service Status
Boeing 314 operated by PanAm
NC18601 314 Honolulu Clipper 1939 – 45 Sunk by US Navy
NC18602 314 California Clipper 1939 – 50 Scrapped
NC18603 314 Yankee Clipper 1939 – 43 Crashed
NC18604 314 Atlantic Clipper 1939 – 46 Used for parts
NC18605 314 Dixie Clipper 1939 – 50 Scrapped
NC18606 314 American Clipper 1939 – 46 Scrapped
NC18607 314A Pacific Clipper 1941 – 46 Damaged by storm
NC18611 314A Anzac Clipper 1941 – 51 Destroyed
NC18612 314A Cape Town Clipper 1941 – 46 Sunk by US Coast Guard
Boeing 314 operated by BOAC
G-AGBZ 314A Bristol 1941 – 48 Sold
G-AGCA 314A Berwick 1941 – 48 Sold
G-AGCB 314A Bangor 1941 – 48 Sold