In 1937 Pan American Airways and Imperial Airways agreed to inaugurate joint passenger
service between the United States and Bermuda. Consistent with this reciprocal agreement
between Pan Am and Imperial, Imperial entered the North Atlantic air service on August 5, 1939.
Imperial flew a modified Short S.30 C-class flying boat, "Caribou" (G-AFCV) piloted by J.C.
Kelly-Rogers from Southampton, England to New York via Foynes, Ireland, Botwood, Newfoundland
and Montreal, Canada. To accomplish this transatlantic ocean crossing the "Caribou" was
refueled in-flight by a Handley Page Harrow tanker aircraft (G-AFRL).
After its arrival in New York this air mail cover was further dispatched westward
round-the-world returning to London on August 26, 1939, a week before WW-II began in Europe.
Captain Kelly-Rogers also piloted the first wartime east to west transatlantic flight from
the wartime base at Poole Harbour in flying boat, "Clare" (G-AFCZ) on August 3, 1940.
Departed Southampton, England 08/05/39
New York, NY 08/08/39
Hong Kong 08/16/39
Bangkok, Thailand 08/18/39
Arrived London, England 08/26/39
WW-II began in Europe 09/03/39