Fairchild Tropical Garden Expedition aboard the Cheng Ho 1939-1940
NOVEMBER 1939
 
 
 
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DECEMBER 1939
 
 
 
 
 
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JANUARY 1940
 
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FEBRUARY 1940
 
 
 
 
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NOV 1939
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Guam to Manila

Written by Edward Beckwith on Tuesday, November 28, 1939

China Clipper at pier in Manila Harbor, 1935

China Clipper at pier in Manila Harbor, 1935
Manila Hotel and waterfront, photographed in 1939

Manila Hotel and waterfront, photographed in 1939 by John T Pilot
Manila Hotel, photographed in 2006

Manila Hotel, photographed in 2006 by Manila Daily Photo
Lobby of Manila Hotel, photographed in 2006

Lobby of Manila Hotel, photographed in 2006 by Manila Daily Photo
Woke up at one after a very sound sleep and felt very apprehensive all over again about the trip, entirely on the question of room and board on the junk. Decided that if anyone solves the problem it will be Kilkenney. My apprehensions in the past have never turned out to have been justified and I am wondering whether that will hold. I certainly hope so. If Dr. Fairchild cannot reassure me I may go to Hong Kong on the Clipper. Of course I do not know how soon Mrs. Archbold comes to Manila.

We were called at 4:30 and had breakfast before daylight. This part of the flight is considered the most uncertain as to weather and bad wind conditions. It was on this leg that the Hawaii Clipper was lost. Probably the very early start was for this reason as the distance is only 80 miles more than yesterday.

The Clipper took off at 6, just at daylight.

Mr. Meyer told me at breakfast that the plane lands 15 miles from Manila, so I do not think Dr. Fairchild will meet the plane.

A meteorological expert (Mr. Hutton?) of Pan Am, was aboard studying conditions between Guam and Manila. He told me about the navigation. Do not use Weems star curves but HO214 and Dreisenstock for lines of position. No beam is used but radio direction. Between San F. & Honolulu they depend heavily on star sights as it is a bright run. Radio direction even it off when at considerable distance can always be followed in and at 500 miles radius, and is pretty straight. The instrument used is a Pioneer or Bausch & Lomb octant. Sometimes they use a direction line across a line of position for a fix. One method is used to supplement and check the other. Both are reliable.

Talked most of the morning with Mrs. Gauss and her son. More motion than usual but never bad. Once the sign went up to fasten seat belts, but nothing happened. Hutton told me prevailing wind is east 8 months and West 4 months, –June, July, Aug., & Sept.

Time put back 2 hours.

Finally had lunch at about 10 AM.

Felt more and more apprehensive as we approached Manila. This particular plane is the “China Clipper”, the one that made the first flight from San F. to Hong Kong.

We had one good drop but that was all. Now within an hour of Manila. First sighted land through clouds at 12:30.

After flying over the city which looked very extensive from the air we landed at about 1:45.

Plane was towed to the dock and I soon got through a few formalities. Mrs. Fairchild was there to meet me and in a moments conversation I found that all my apprehensions were absolutely uncalled for. Mrs. Archibold expected me and the new botanist assistant could sleep anywhere. Dr. Fairchild would have come to meet me but was laid up at the hotel with a slight fever. Mrs. Fairchild drove me to the Manila Hotel in a fine car with chauffeur – 15 miles & where she had a room engaged for me. I soon went up and saw Mr. Fairchild, who was in bed but looking well. He was the nicest kind of future companion and we talked easily and confidentially.

Wrote a short note to Mrs. Archibold telling her of my arrival.

Had dinner with Mr. and Mrs. Fairchild in the dining room, a very palatial place, and talked until 9 when Mrs F. said it was time to go to bed. Mr. Fairchild is not very well and I would not be surprised if the trip were more limited than originally planned.

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