Award-winning writer Mark Cotta Vaz and Luis A. Turpen Aviation Museum curator John H. Hill discuss their absorbing collaborative work, Pan Am at War: How the Airline Secretly Helped America Fight World War II.
Pan Am at War chronicles the airline's historic role in advancing aviation and serving America's national interest before and during World War II. From its inception, Pan American Airways operated as the "wings of democracy," spanning six continents and placing the country at the leading edge of international aviation. At the same time, it was clandestinely helping to fight America's wars.
Utilizing government documents, declassified Freedom of Information Act material, and company documents, the authors have uncovered stories of Pan Am's stunning role as an instrument of American might:
- The airline's role in building air bases in Latin America and countering Axis interests that threatened the Panama Canal
- Creating transatlantic and trans-Africa supply lines for sending Lend-Lease equipment to Britain
- Cooperation with Chiang Kai-shek and the Chinese nationalist government to pioneer the dangerous "Hump" route over the Himalayas
- The dangerous seventeen-thousand-mile journey that took President Roosevelt to the high-stakes Casablanca Conference with Winston Churchill
- The daring flight that delivered uranium for the atomic bomb.
Filled with larger-than-life characters, and revelations of the vision and technology it took to dominate the skies, Pan Am at War provides a gripping unknown history of the American Century.