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Pan Am's Samoan Clipper in Auckland


Pan American Airways Sikorsky flying boat Samoan Clipper (foreground), and Imperial Airways flying boat Centaurus, moored off the Pan-American Airways wharf at Mechanics Bay, Auckland, between 24 December 1937 and 1 January 1938.

On 2 January the Samoan Clipper departed on the first official airmail flight to San Francisco. Disaster struck on the return trip when the plane exploded in mid-air with no survivors.


Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: 1/4-048844-G
Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Matauranga o Aotearoa must be obtained before any reuse of this image.

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Pan Am's Samoan Clipper in Auckland, URL:, (Manatū Taonga — Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated