July 30, 1938

Miami Herald

Miami-Alaska Hop Scheduled

Caption - Sikorski flying boat and Capt. John Mattis (large - ~170KB)

PAN AMERICAN AIRWAYS' BABY CLIPPER which takes off here at dawn Saturday is the first step to link directly by aerial service the United States and Alaska for the first time in history. Inset is Capt. John M. Mattis who will pilot the ship.


Clipper To Carry Gear For Technical and Weather Studies

In the initial step to link directly by aerial service the United States and Alaska, a Pan American Airways "baby" clipper ship will take off here at dawn Saturday. The twin-motored, 10-ton, 15-passenger plane will hop off fom the International Pan American Airport on a ferry flight to Seattle, Wash., with Alaska as its ultimate destination. The northern terminus of this new Pan American route will be Juneau, on the Alaskan Pacific coast. The other operations terminal will be at Seattle. Experimental service and survey flights on the run are scheduled to begin August 6.

Basic Crew of Five

Equipped with special engineer-ing gear for technical and weather research, the plane will carry neither cargo nor passengers at the start. There will be a basic crew of five men -- captain, first officer, navigator, flight engineer (all pi-lots) and radio operator. An amphibian, the twin-motored clipper will make a cross country run from Florida's southern tip to the opposite corner of the United States, making some stops on land and others on water. The probable route, which has been arranged so that the ship will be in constant communication with Pan American ground radio stations in Florida, Texas and California, will be from Miami, over Florida, with the first stop at Pensacola. Thence to Fort Worth, Texas, and on to El Paso for the first over-night stop.

3,500 Miles to Seattle

On Sunday stops are planned at Phoenix, Ariz., and Glendale, Calif., with a possible stop at Pan American's trans-Pacific base at Alameda, with Sacramento the destination for the day. On Monday it is expected a refueling stop will be made at Eugene, Ore., with arrival at


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Seattle sometime Monday afternoon. In command of the clipper's cross-country flight will be Capt. John "Gerry" M. Mattis, 29, veteran pilot of both Pan American's Eastern and Western divisions. Other members of the all Miami crew include pilot J. Norman Gentry, acting as first flight officer; John Donovan Donnelley, engineering officer, and communications officer Earl E. Martin, as radio operator. For the experimental operations Pan American will make its base at the naval air station on Lake Washington at Seattle. Distance between Miami and Seattle is approximately 3,500 miles.

Here's a promotional poster from Sikorsky about this survey flight.