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Author Ron Jackson with grandson

The Secret Pre-War Story of Pan American's Flying Boats

About the Author, the Book & Its History

THE FULL, UNABRIDGED VERSION OF CHINA CLIPPER reveals: the Hawaii Clipper hijacking... the U.S. government's need for a pre-war trans-Pacific route and much more.

The original intention of China Clipper was a light look back at the romance of building the trans-Pacific route and the 6-day flights from San Francisco to China on Pan American’s elegant flying boats.

But as the research unfolded over a 4-year period, it become clear that there was much more to the story than just “romance” and “aviation history”.

The unfolding research dictated that China Clipper become an original, hard hitting investigation into the real reasons the trans-Pacific route was built.

As the cliché goes – one thing leads to another.

After about a year of unbiased and surprising research the author, Ron Jackson, began to see there were far reaching military reasons why the route was built.  


The underlying and secret reasons for the trans-Pacific route  - were far more expansive and important to America’s survival than merely delivering a few passengers and a handful of letters to China.

In the early 1930s, the U.S. government was far behind war preparations for what was seen as an inevitable war with Japan.

While Japan was dramatically and rapidly expanding its authority throughout the western Pacific, China and Korea in the 1920s and 1930s, the U.S. was stymied by popular isolationism and treaty limitations that put the U.S. far and dangerously behind Japan.

That discovery begged the question – why did the U.S. pour millions into a trans-Pacific route that could never be commercially profitable?

It also lead to the question: Why was Pan Am was chosen to build island bases at Pearl Harbor, Midway, Wake, Guam, Manila and Hong – all of which were attacked by Japan on December 7th and 8th, 1941?

The answers form the massive,, detailed foundation of China Clipper.

But there was more – all of those initial questions then lead to researching why New Jersey restaurateur, Wah Sun Choy, traveled to China in July, 1938, to deliver millions to the Nationalist Chinese war effort against Japan.  


In China Clipper you'll find out why and how why he and twenty other passengers and crew vanished from the face of the earth between Guam and Manila.

Over succeeding years, since the book's first publication in 1980 much of the original research that appeared in China Clipper on the Hawaii Clipper’s disappearance has subsequently appeared in numerous books and internet posts over the past decades.

China Clipper is quite simply ground zero, original research into this intriguing and generally misunderstood era.

China Clipper was first published by Everest House in New York in 1980 and then by Mainichi News in Tokyo the following year.  It was highly acclaimed in the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, San Diego Union and literally scores of newspapers, magazines and radio programs across the U.S.  

The book is based on an original magazine article which appeared in the San Francisco Signal magazine written by Ron Jackson in the late 1970s.

It is time to bring the book back – since generations have missed this important story of how we got to where we are today.

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About the Author

Ron Jackson was a writer and publisher and resided in Oakland, California, when the book was written.

After China Clipper was published, he entered the financial newsletter business as a publisher.  He is still involved in financial newsletter publishing today.

Recently, he wrote two feature film scripts, 5 Hour Friends and Selfie Shootout, which are available on Amazon and iTunes.

He just completed a feature film script, titled China Clipper, loosely based on his book and is being circulated among major Hollywood producers.


He currently lives in San Diego, occupied largely by writing film scripts.



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