1938: Samoan Clipper leaves Auckland with mail

Evening Post, 3 January 1938, p 10

Arrival at Pago Pago

(By Telegraph — Press Association.)
AUCKLAND, January 2.

The Pan-American Airways Samoan Clipper impressively rose into the air at 3 a.m. today from the Waitemata Harbour on her second return trip across the Pacific. She alighted on the harbour at Pago Pago at 3.35 p.m. today, New Zealand time, in the first stage of a trip inaugurating the first commercial air service between New Zealand and the United States, thus occupying 12 hours 35 minutes.

Stowed aboard the clipper were 373lb of air mail and between 7 and 8lb of express freight.

The clipper arrived at Auckland on Sunday, December 26, and was originally timed to leave on her return trip on Wednesday. Adverse meteorological reports were responsible for her departure being postponed on several occasions. Early on Friday evening it was confidently expected she would leave at 2.45 o’clock on Saturday morning, but bad visibility later caused another change in plans. When she left before dawn today the local weather was clear and meteorological reports indicated average conditions on the route.

The clipper is expected to leave for Kingman Reef about 5 a.m. tomorrow.

Britain Must Bestir Herself

(Received January 3, 2 p.m.)
LONDON, January 2

The “Daily Mail,” in a leader, says: “The Samoan Clipper, roaring seaward, brings nearer the age prophesied by Captain R. V. Peal, the retiring commander of the Queen Mary, when ocean liners will have to compete with trans-oceanic aircraft. When Britain’s Empire service joins Australia and New Zealand across the Tasman, the world will be completely spanned by air. Anglo-New Zealand negotiations to create this last link should be hastened. There is every reason to hope that Anglo-American co-operation in the Atlantic mail service starting in the spring time will have a counter-part in the Pacific.

“Britain must bestir herself to gain a rightful share of the communications across this immense ocean washing the shores of three great Dominions.”

Evening Post, 4 January 1938, p 8

Second Stage Completed

(By Telegraph — Press Association)
AUCKLAND, January 3

Carrying the first air mail to be sent from New Zealand to the United States, the Pan-American Airways Samoan Clipper landed at Kingman Reef at 2.51 o’clock this afternoon, according to advice received at Auckland by radio. The machine flew from Pago Pago, a distance of 1400 miles, in 10 hours 22 minutes.

The flight was uneventful, according to radio reports received from the commander, Captain Edwin C. Musick, by Mr. A. L. Lewis, the company’s airport manager in Auckland. There was cloud over some sections of the journey, but this made no difference to the progress of the Clipper, which encountered fair weather generally and light winds.

Present indications are for the Sikorsky to take off from Kingman Reef early tomorrow morning for Honolulu. This, of course, will depend on the weather forecast, but it is thought likely in Auckland that conditions on the route will be suitable for the journey which should occupy about eight hours for the 1100 miles.

The schedule for the weekly air service between Honolulu and San Francisco operated by Pan-American Airways with Martin flying-boats calls for one of the machines to leave Honolulu early each Monday afternoon or Tuesday afternoon, New Zealand time. In the circumstances, it is considered likely that Captain Musick will leave Kingman Reef as early as possible tomorrow morning to reach Honolulu in time for mails and freight for the United States to be transferred from the Samoan Clipper to the Martin Clipper.