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).
|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|