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The Plane That Accidentally Circumnavigated the World

“I’ll be a little late tonight,” he’d told his wife on the phone. “But hold dinner for me.”

Jack Poindexter, radio operator on board the California Clipper, a Pan Am flying boat, would be very late and would not eat that dinner on December 2, 1941.

He was substituting for another radio man on the Clipper's leg to Los Angeles, but then ended up continuing on the flight to Hawaii and then Fiji by December 7. That's when the Japanese Imperial Navy attacked Pearl Harbor.

Thus began the extraordinary journey of the California Clipper back to the United States. It went west--the long away around--landing at Auckland (where the crew "acquired" maps from a public library), then Dutch Indonesia, British Ceylon, Karachi, Bahrain, Sudan, Kinshasa, and Brazil before finally arriving at LaGuardia Airport in New York City.

You can read the first part of this amazing story at Medium.

-via Glenn Reynolds

Photo: Library of Congress

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