Today in history, the Philippines launched the first trans-Pacific commercial flight.
In front of a crowd of more than 125,000 people, Pan American World Airlines took flight from San Francisco Bay in their famed ‘China Clipper.’
The China Clipper was the first trans-Pacific air service from San Francisco to Manila, and a first for any commercial airliner.
A trip by the plane took 59 hours and 48 minutes and landed on the waters of Manila Bay. The event was heralded throughout the Philippines as this was the first and only link other than ship, which took weeks.
Six years later the Japanese attacked the Philippines, putting a temporary stop to the air route. The 34 employees stationed in Manila were held up in Santo Tomas and Los Banos prison-camps.
Two years after the Japanese surrendered by signing a treaty in Baguio City’s Presidential Mansion, the China Clippers took part in making Manila an important crossroad to the World.