Flying with PNA
Pacific Northern Airlines
by Ron Maley
(Ocean Shores, Wa.)
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.