Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #257

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #257

…Every Captain in my Clipper fleet, including the Atlantic routes, is getting one of these, it is marked, PLAN A – TOP SECRET – FOR CAPTAIN’S EYES ONLY


In early December 1941:  

“The Japanese are driving right for Hong Kong. What the hell are we supposed to do about the Clipper?” wonders Terry Trippe, not exactly thrilled with Japan’s policies in the Pacific. His island hopping enterprise depends on safe skies and tranquil seas. The ocean currents are tumultuous and the south sea air is fraught with turbulence.

“Why would that little bunch of islands be dumb enough to take on Uncle Sam?” asks Captain Robert Ford, one of Pan American Airway’s skilled pilots. His flying boat is the Pacific Clipper, which stays well south of Hong Kong, reaching Auckland, New Zealand before backtracking to California.

Pacific Clipper Route

“We didn’t do anything about Hitler when we had a chance. Look where that got England… and France… and Poland. Shit, John, if you ask me, we should have joined the war, you know, declared war when Britain was bombed, not just supplying them with arms and goods. Are we going to allow Japan to the same damned thing?” Terry Trippe echoes the sentiments of many of the interested observers around the world. He has gone so far as planning for the worst case scenario. “Every Captain in my Clipper fleet, including the Atlantic routes is getting one of these.” It is marked “PLAN A – TOP SECRET – FOR CAPTAIN’S EYES ONLY”.

“You know something, something big, don’t you?”

Foresight is one of Terry Trippe’s stronger traits.

Alpha Omega M.D.

Pacific Clipper-001

Episode #257

page 239

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #254

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #254

…“Too many cooks spoil the broth,” Judith recounts trouble brewing in the eastern Pacific Ocean…

Too Many Cooks Spoil The Broth by Liam Liberty

Too Many Cooks Spoil The Broth by Liam Liberty

“If I am following this correctly, there is a worldwide alert and yet the world isn’t in on it.”

“That’s about it, Mrs. Eastman. You read that thing and you would think that another world war has started.” Pan Am founder Terry Trippe recounts.

“Maybe FDR doesn’t want to rock the boat leading up to the election?” she theorizes, in an attempt to explain why the most powerful country on the planet is literally sitting on its collective hands, yea, sticking its head in the sand.

“Roosevelt is no dummy that is for sure. I just think that there are too many pots boiling on the stove… no,” he rethinks his analogy, “the pots that are boiling individually are manageable. It’s like the stoves are too far apart for one cook to supervise. We need more cooks.”

“Too many cooks spoil the broth,” Judith recounts.bracket rt

“Too few cooks and the guests go home hungry.”

Comparative phrases are flying around the passenger cabin like so many analogous ping pong balls.

“What is this,” enters the queen of silent films, “Mister Terry Trippe in a serious discussion?”

 “Me thinks my reputation precedes me, Mary. You shouldn’t believe everything you read.”

braceT LFT “Are you saying that the Pearson-Eastman Journal is a gossipy rag, Mister Trippe?” quips Mary.

  “Rag is harsh, but… “

  ”But watch it!” warns Judith, now peering through the lens of her Kodak friend. “The camera can be your friend… or not.” Click. “And my travel feature will net you priceless publicity.”

  “…it’s not what I had in mind. They do a fine job of reporting the facts.” Click.

   “And…” Click.

   “And Judith Eastman is the finest photographer of the twentieth century.”

“And don’t you forget it. Now move over by that window,” Judith motions as she adroitly scales the next seat over for an angle that brings the looming land below into the picture. Click. There is a plume of smoke rising thousands of feet in the air. “That appears serious!”

“We were supposed to land there. That is one of my bases! Damn! It’s burned to the ground.”

phoenix fire by artistic puppy

From the ashes of the funeral pyre to the smoldering cinders of human conflict, the phoenix rises anew.

Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #254

page 236 (end ch. 13)

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #253

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #253

…Judith Eastman probes the mind of Pan American chief Terry Trippe, who by his interest in spanning the globe, brings him a keener perspective on affairs international…

The Pan Am Globe in the lobby of the Miami Science Museum

Reality generally tops fiction, hands down, especially for those aboard the Pacific Clipper. Their stop in Honolulu was a dream, thanks to the surprise passenger for the trip, Pan American Airways young President Juan “Terry” Trippe. What was first an airmail flight, Trippe has expanded it into a passenger getaway par excellence. If their visit to the Territory of Hawaii is an indicator, they can throw a schedule out the window. “I mean to show Mary Pickford a good time,” claims Trippe, likely to keep that promise, even though Mary has already drawn the line when it comes to any amorous advances. Well, there is always Hong Kong. He will have his choice of girls there.

As the mammoth flying boat lands in one South Sea island harbor after another and the novelty of non-stop fun is wearing off, Judith Eastman takes the opportunity to corner their youthful host for the purposes of picking his brain; the man is nowhere near as “flighty” as he has been coming off until this late in 1935. They will be turning the calendar forward one year tomorrow, the occasion for reflection on the state of the world at large, is there to be had.

“Do you sense that there is something simmering down below us, Terry?” Judith probes the mind of the Pan American chief, who by his interest in spanning the globe, brings him a keener perspective on affairs international.

“Oh, yeah,” he replies, reaching for his attaché, pulling out a very official looking packet bearing both the Pan Am heading and United States Army coat of arms. “Take a look at this.”

Judith brings down a pair of spectacles from her silky white hair. She reads the ten page document from cover to cover before commenting, “If I am following this correctly, there is a world-wide alert and yet the world isn’t in on it.”

“That’s about it, Mrs. Eastman.”

Alpha Omega M.D.

Juan Terry Trippe by David K. Stone

Episode #253

page 235