March 26, 1955. Pan American World Airways Boeing 377 N1032V “Clipper United States” departs Seattle headed to Australia with 8 crew and 15 passengers.
About one hour into the flight 10,000 feet above the unforgiving Pacific Ocean, engine number three began to violently vibrate, and broke off from the wing, plummeting to the ocean floor. The Boeing 377 will soon follow.
Captain Herman S. Joslyn ditched the aircraft with a hard landing on the surface of the ocean. Life rafts were quickly inflated as there are survivors.
Purser Natalie Parker was thrown upon impact with the water, she is injured but dutifully continued her role in getting survivors out of the aircraft onto life rafts. Some passengers had jumped from the now sinking aircraft. It is noted that Natalie swam after a distressed passenger bringing him to the life raft.
The USS Bayfield rushed to the scene and rescued 19 passengers and crew out of the total 23 that were on board. Sadly Flight Officer Angus Gustavus Hendrick Junior and Flight Engineer Donald Read Fowler, after successfully ditching the aircraft, were among those lost.
Part One: March 16, 1963 Pan American World Airways N758PA Boeing 707 "Clipper Resolute's" one-hundred-eleven passengers are seated, the doors close, and the aircraft begins its departure from Tokyo to Honolulu.
But Mrs Shek Ong Yeun has carried aboard more than just her carry-on, she is carrying, she is pregnant, but realizes not for much longer.
She quietly presses the stewardess call button.
The flight crew jump into action. Purser Philip Jones and stewardesses Astrid Lee and Claudia Laudon, along with fellow passenger cardiac surgeon Dr Djan Raj Mahajan and leading Swedish obgyn Dr Ake Kjessler begin to help with the delivery.
History shows very few babies have been born in flight. "Clipper Resolute" is now 35,000 feet above the vast and unforgiving Pacific Ocean. Past the point of no return.
A baby girl cries. Five pounds and fourteen ounces, she is the last to board today's flight. Her parents promptly name her "Fan Mei", which in their first language, translates to "Pan Am". We truly are honored.
Part Two: Skyborn is used to identify babies born on board an aircraft inflight. History shows there are actually very few of these babies.
In our history, Pan American World Airways has known a few. Pictured is Pan Am DTSM (Station Manager) Honolulu Mr Ernest Albercht presenting Mr & Mrs Shek Hong Yeun with a "Certificate Born on Aircraft" for their baby daughter Fan Mei who just arrived on the "Clipper Resolute", March 16,1963.
Pictured is nineteen year old Fan Mei (which by the way translates to Pan Am) as she and her mother board a Pan American World Airways flight to attend a family reunion in Hong Kong, 1982.