Flying with PNA
Pacific Northern Airlines

by Ron Maley
(Ocean Shores, Wa.)

Merrill Field Tower

Merrill Field Tower

In 1947, at the age of eight.

My mother and older brother flew into Merrill Field on a DC3. It was a converted army plane.

You sat down the sides on metal seats. Down the center of the plane were crates of vegetables. There were no heaters to keep you warm, so the airline gave everyone an Army parka, one size fits all.

When we arrived in Anchorage, the field was solid mud, there were 2 2/6 planks running from the plane to the shack they called a terminal.

If you're not from that time, PNA stands for Pacific Northern Airlines.
A Note from Anchorage Memories


Thank you for that short story about what it was like to fly in or out of Anchorage in the 1940s, when Merrill Field was serving as the airport for passenger planes.

My family first arrived in Anchorage back in 1950.

We flew from Seattle, and back in those days it took 5 and a half to 6 hours to fly from Seattle to Anchorage.

When we arrived at Merrill Field, I remember standing at the open door of the plane looking out at Alaska in the summer and being fascinated by the mountains.

Your story is a fun reminder of what it was like in the early days. Having to wear Army parkas in the aircraft, sitting on hard seats and probably experiencing a rough flight at times. Especially when you flew over Turnagain Arm.

Thank you for sharing your story here on Anchorage Memories.


Anchorage Memories

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Pacific Northern Airlines

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After the 1964 Earthquake
by: Fredric Ducolon

My Father started working more commercial plumbing and heating jobs in Alaska and I remember going to Kodiak to visit my Dad on PNA Constellations and sometimes people selling whole king crab at airline reception area for $5 in a box.

Flying into Merrill Field
by: John P Mullally III

Loved the story or flying into Merrill field.

Just correcting an error. Back then with PNA the flight from Seattle to Anchorage was between 5 1/2 to 6 hrs ... not 3 hrs plus as it is today with jets

A Note from Anchorage Memories


The sometimes faded colors of our memories need a clearer picture from time-to-time. Thank you for the correction.

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