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PanAfrica : Across the Sahara in 1941 with Pan Am

Cote : 387.7 CUL
Auteurs : Tom Culbert ; Andy Dawson

Editeur : Paladwr Press, Mc Lean Virginie USA
Année de publication : 1999

ISBN : 0-888962-12-7
Importance matérielle : 1
Description : 186 p. Résumé : Pan American Airways was in the Second World War even before the United States armed forces entered the fray. Early in 1941, at a meeting in London with Winston Churchill, Juan Trippe, Pan Am's president, offered to upgrade the trans-African Imperial Airways route, as a way to reinforce the British in Egypt, then under siege from Axis armies. It was also foreseen as a potential route to the Allied forces in east Asia, severly threatened by Japanese advances in China & Burma. Until now, little has been written about this unique episode in air transport development, partly because, for many years, the documentation was either classified, or difficult to locate. Thanks to diligent research by the joint authors of this book, the story of a remarkable accomplishment can now be revealed. Tom Culbert & Andy Dawson comprised a well-balanced team, the former sifting records in various archives in Washington, the latter seeking endlessly to locate his former colleagues with whom he worked in West Africa in the early 1940s. The result is a definitive record of achievement, authoritatively backed by facts & figures, interwoven with dozens of stories of what it was like to be plunged, at short notice & unprepared, into the inhospitable African climate, from the humid equatorial coastal region to the parched deserts of the southern Sahara. In short, Tom dug out the official history while Andy conducted the interviews & collected priceless photographs. PAA-Africa, Ltd.--as the Pan American sub-division was called--performed work that transcended the immediate task. Confirming that "90 percent of aviation is on the ground," it pioneered the organizaitonal & practical requirements for building & maintaining airfields for concentrated airlift operations in almost uncharted territory. Remarkably, the first trans-African flight took off within ten weeks of the signing of the contract.