Saturday, June 2, 2012

Pan Am's Flying Clippers to Liberia, c.1939

Two artifacts from the early days of Pan American Airways' arrival in West Africa. Its interesting that Monrovia was such a key link even in these first years, linking North America via the Azores, Europe via Lisbon and Dakar, South America via Brazil, and onward across Africa to Leopolidville, Belgian Congo and Johannesburg. There is also a line running across to what looks like Lagos.

Most fascinating is that the Monrovia facility was a seaplane base referred to in the schedule as "Fisherman Lake" ---its important to remember that the original Clipper Ships of Pan Am were flying boats, so even if Robertsfield was under construction, these aircraft landed on the water. I have no idea where Fisherman Lake is now-- a colloquial and bland term, almost sounding like a contemporary American suburb (how fitting for Liberia), which is now likely called something else, unless I've missed the existence of Fisherman Lake in metro Monrovia all these years.


Brent said...

I have a friend who has more information on this. He told me Fisherman Lake is Lake Piso adjacent to Robertsport. This would be a calm, protected body of water for the Clippers to land on. He also notes that Lake Piso was a refueling stop for WWII flights from Brazil to North Africa.

Unknown said...

Indeed it is known as Lake Piso, the largest lake in Liberia near Robertsport, grand Cape Mount County.

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