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CAM #8 San Diego-Seattle

September 15, 1926: San Diego CA- Seattle WA-;  interim stops: Portland OR; Medford OR; San Francisco CA; Fresno CA; Bakersfield CA; with a train connection from Sacramento CA; awarded: Pacific Air Transport; July 1, 1927 Time TablePAT on Wikipedia  CAM #8 Covers

There are three airways on C.A.M. Route No. 8:

San Francisco-Seattle

Portland-Seattle Section
Roseburg-Portland Section
Redding-Roseburg Section
San Francisco-Redding Section

Los Angeles-San Francisco

Fresno-San Francisco Section
Los Angeles-Fresno Section

San Diego-Los Angeles


CAM #8 Airways (Airways are based South to North and West to East)

U.S. Air Service, Vol. X, No. 11, November 1925, page35:  Five Air Mail Routes Awarded to Private Corporations

Seattle, Washington, to Los Angeles:  The bid of Vern C. Corst (Gorst) is now under consideration.

United States Congressional serial set. 9509. page 173; Contract for Mail Service, Route No. C.A.M 8; Contract made 31th day of December 1925 to Vern C. Gorst; Route: Seattle, Washington by Portland and Medford, Oregon, Sacramento, San Fransico, Frenso, and Bakersfield, California to Los Angeles, Califorinia and return.

United States Congressional serial set. 9509. page 170; Subcontract for Mail Service, Route No. C.A.M 8; Contract made 6th day of March 1926 between Vern C. Gorst, and Pacific Air Transport; Route: Seattle, Washington to Los Angeles, Califorinia and return.

Airways on CAM #8

San Diego-Los Angeles Airway
Los Angeles-San Francisco Airway (Los Angeles-Fresno section)

Airway Bulletin No. 1 page 43, Sep. 1, 1931 (beacon strip map)

Airway Bulletin No. 1 page 55, Sep. 1, 1932 (beacon strip map)

Los Angeles-San Francisco Airway (Fresno-San Francisco section)
San Francisco-Seattle Airway (San Francisco-Redding Section)

Airway Bulletin No. 1, page 44, Sep. 1, 1931 (beacon strip map)

Airway Bulletin No. 1, page 56, Sep. 1, 1932 (beacon strip map)

San Francisco-Seattle Airway (Redding-Roseburg Section)
San Francisco-Seattle Airway (Roseburg-Portland Section)

Airway Bulletin No. 1, page 45, Sep. 1, 1931 (beacon strip map)

Airway Bulletin No. 1 page 57, Sep. 1, 1932 (beacon strip map)

San Francisco-Seattle Airway (Portland-Seattle Section)

Airway Bulletin No. 1 page 46, Sep. 1, 1931 (beacon strip map)

Airway Bulletin No. 1 page 58, Sep. 1, 1932 (beacon strip map)

Boeing Acquires P.A.T.: Popular Aviation, March 1928 page 54-55

Air commerce Bulletin Vol. 1, No. 14, 1932 page 16

San Francisco-Seattle airway (Redding-Medford section)

AIR COMMERCE BULLETIN, Vol. 2, No. 7, October 1, 1930   On pages 170-174 is the following article about the San Francisco-Seattle airway.


Night travel by air between Seattle, Wash., and Los Angeles, Calif., both north and south bound, over a lighted and well-equipped airway, has been made possible by the recent installation of aids to air navigation between Redding, Calif., and Seattle, on the San Francisco-Seattle airway, by the Aeronautics Branch.
This section of the airway constituted the last link in the chain of revolving and flashing beacon lights; radio communication stations, automatic telegraph-typewriter circuits and lighted intermediate landing fields that remained to be forged in order to provide facilities for the safety and reliability of aircraft on a 24-hour basis between Seattle and Los Angeles. Previously the airway between Los Angeles and Redding had been equipped with aids to air navigation.

When lights and other aids to air navigation are installed between Los Angeles and San Diego, virtually the entire length of the Pacific Coast will be served by Department of Commerce aids to air navigation. These are available for the guidance of all aircraft and airmen regardless of the nature of their activities and Department of Commerce intermediate landing fields are available for any kind of emergency use. Unlike railroad rights of way, any number of air transport lines may operate over a Department of Commerce airway, and all are at liberty to utilize the facilities that constitute the airway and which are established in the interest of safety and reliability.


From Oakland airport the airway is laid out coincident with the transcontinental airway to New York, across the coast range to the old Post Office Department field at Concord—now a Department of Commerce intermediate landing field used rather extensively as an alternate landing field when fog conditions in the San Francisco Bay region are such that flights to Oakland are hazardous undertakings.
The Seattle route continues along with the Salt Lake City route from Concord across the Sacramento River and a broad stretch of tule marshes to the second intermediate landing field a few miles east of Fairfield. The airway then bears slightly west of north on practically a straight line to Redding, Calif., approximately 170 miles away, through the heart of the fertile Sacramento River Valley. Intermediate fields are found at Capay, Williams, and Willows, and there are airports available at Corning, Red Bluff, and Redding.

This section of the airway and the portion from Eugene, Oreg., to Seattle offered no particular difficulties in the selection of landing fields and beacon sites, or in their installation and maintenance; but between Redding, Calif., and Eugene, Oreg., some of the most difficult flying terrain in the United States must be negotiated. Much of this section is frequently covered by Pacific coast fog, and is flown a good portion of the time above the fog and low-lying clouds, the mountain peaks of the Cascade Range being the only landmarks by which the progress of the flight can be checked. Tracts of ground suitable for landing fields on this part of the airway are extremely few and far between, and such as have been obtained and developed as intermediate landing fields have been very expensive both as to rental cost and as to preparation.


The first field north of Redding, known as the Delta Field, is located near Bayles, Calif., in the steep-sided valley of the Sacramento River, where the stream has first carved out and then leveled a bench of land long enough to provide for landings up and down the valley, with a little additional straight stretch of river valley at either end of the field available for reasonably good approaches. There are 11 acres available between the Pacific Highway on the south and the high-tension electric transmission lines of the California-Oregon Power Co. lying at the foot of the hills on the north. On this tract an east-and-west runway 2,200 feet in length and tapering in width from 100 to 350 feet has been prepared at considerable cost which included the building of a flume to carry off the irrigation waters, heavy fences for keeping out the live- stock which roam at will in this region," clearing and grading the field, carving out approach lanes, and sodding the field to preserve the graded surface.

Approximately 30 miles farther on in the twisting and precipitous valley of the Shasta River and near the base of Mount Shasta is the Shasta City intermediate field which has little more available landing area than the field at Delta, although It Is on a tract which is eventually to be developed into an adequate airport to be used as a base for the United States forest patrol. The expense of establishing this Held was shared by the United States Forest Service. About 8 miles farther on is the Weed airport at Edgewood, Calif., which has possibilities for future development.

The next intermediate field is at Montague, Calif., a little less than 30 miles from the Mount Shasta field. In a broad valley fringed with mountains extending more than 5,000 feet above the valley floor, a tract of land a mile long and half a mile wide has been acquired by the city of Montague for eventual airport development, on which a 2-way landing strip half n mile long by 400 feet wide has been prepared at considerable expense by the city and licensed to the Commerce Department as an intermediate landing field. Although not eligible for a very high rating, this field is of considerable importance, as it is on the southern edge of the highest portion of the Siskiyou Mountains which impose a formidable barrier between northern California and southern Oregon. About 4 miles west of Montague is the Yreka airport which comprises the east half of a 1-mile race track affording landing space a half mile long by 500 feet wide in a direction almost at right angles to that available at Montague; so that in effect the two fields might be considered as affording all way landing facilities in this valley.


Only 10 miles north of Montague and Yreka—at Hornbrook—a rare opportunity, too good to pass by, presented itself in the form of a 23-acre tract of comparatively level land in the little valley formed by the junction of a small creek with the Shasta River. By construction operations which included the clearing and grading of portions of the area, surfacing and sodding the entire tract, fencing against the inroads of roaming live- stock, and installation of a diversion ditch, underdrains, and flume, a 2-way field 2,200 feet in length in the direction of prevailing winds, varying in width from 300 to 600 feet, with better than average approaches was made available for emergency use. This field has proved itself very valuable on seven occasions within the first six months of the year.
About 10 miles north of this point the California-Oregon boundary and the summit of the Siskiyou barrier is crossed. Eight or nine miles from the boundary line on the northward slope is Barron's Ranch field, near Ashland. Oreg. This is a little 2-way field of 15 acres on a bench of land formed by two of the forks of Bear Creek in the heart of the roughest and most forbidding territory on this airway. A runway 1,900 feet in length varying in width from 300 to 430 feet has been prepared and boundary lighted. Trees had to be removed from a large area to clear approaches. This field, in spite of its small size, is also considered one of the important fields on the airway and was used extensively by scheduled air transport planes long before it was secured as an intermediate field by the Department of Commerce. Both this field and the one at Horn- brook, Calif., are sufficiently high to be above the low-lying fogs, so that they are nearly always in the clear at times when flying has to be carried on above the fog; but they are low enough so that they are usually below the storm clouds which at times envelop the Siskiyou summit and make the crossing extra hazardous. The Barron's Ranch field was used ten times during February, March, and April of this year for emergency landings.

Twenty miles farther on is the Medford (Oreg.) airport, the first airmail stop north of Oakland. Having cleared the Siskiyou barrier, the course is in general a descending one from Medford to Portland. From Medford the airway bears nearly due west, following the Bear Creek and Rogue River Valleys to Grants Pass, where the municipal airport is available for emergency or other landings. From this point it runs nearly due north to Roseburg over very rough broken country, which is frequently fog bound. Commencing 12 miles north of Grants Pass, there is a series of ridges and valleys running at right angles to the course, which many times have blocked the airmail planes operating on this route. For this reason, typical 2-way intermediate landing fields have been located, one in the valley of Grave Creek, 12 miles from Grants Pass airport, and one in the valley of Cow Creek, only 7 miles farther north. The Grave Creek field contains but 14 acres, providing a landing strip 1,900 feet in length by 300 feet in width, flanked on the west by a hill, and on the east by a highway and telephone pole line. However, it is a very welcome sight to pilots flying on this airway, and has been needed several times since it was prepared.


The Cow Creek field is even smaller, providing a landing area 1,800 feet long by 300 feet in width, with the county road and electric transmission lines on one side and on the other Cow Creek itself and a mountain wall. This field also has effectively served airmen in five or six emergencies. The Myrtle Creek intermediate field lies in a somewhat broader valley, 15 miles to the northward, and is a far larger tract which contains approximately 60 acres, providing fairly adequate landing space in all directions, surrounded on all sides by open cultivated fields giving absolutely clear approaches. Notwithstanding its far more inviting aspect, it has been used no more than the " tight " little fields farther south in the narrow crooked passes.

Seventeen miles north of Myrtle Creek field is the Roseburg airport. From Roseburg the airway continues nearly due north, paralleling the Southern Pacific Railroad. The first intermediate field north of Roseburg is at Yoncalla, some 25 miles distant; the next one at Cottage Grove, some 15 miles farther on, while the municipal airport at Eugene, Oreg., provides adequate landing facilities at the north edge of the difficult portion of the San Francisco-Seattle airway. The Yoncalla field is essentially a 2-way field, lying just across the railroad tracks from the town of Yoncalla, with a landing area approximately 1.900 feet by 600 feet, having generally good approaches. The Cottage Grove field is a considerably larger Y-shaped tract, providing two runways, one 2,400 feet in length and the other over 2,000 feet in length, both amply wide and with plenty of additional area available for landings in other directions should high winds make it necessary.

Many of the beacon sites between Redding. Calif., and Eugene. Oreg., were extremely difficult to locate and to reach with construction materials. The topographic maps from which the field representatives worked were none too accurate, due to the extremely broken nature of the country. All this area was densely covered with timber, often exceeding 100 feet in height, which made it impossible to determine the relative height of the surroundings from the ground. In some cases, visibility for the beacon was obtained by cutting large areas of trees, an expensive proposition, and in other cases towers had to be raised to 100 or 125 feet in order to elevate the beacon above surrounding trees. Whether to extend the tower or to cut the trees was, of course, determined by the relative cost. Many extra beacons have been located in the 334 miles of airway between Redding and Eugene, and in very few cases has it been possible to establish revolving beacons on the landing fields, because the fields have necessarily been located so low in the valleys that the beam from a beacon would be completely obstructed by the surrounding mountains. No particular problems were involved in laying out the airway between Eugene and Seattle. The airway runs in a straight line slightly east of north, from Eugene to the Swann Island airport at Portland, with Intermediate fields located at Brownsville and Silverton. and with airports available at Albany and Salem. This portion of the airway lies in the famous Willamette Valley, and the terrain is low and generally flat. Many landing places are available during the drier portions of the year. The chief problem in preparing the intermediate landing fields in this section has been to secure adequate drainage and a good sod cover lo prevent dangerous softening of the fields during the long rainy season.

From the Swann Island airport at Portland the course is slightly west of north as far as Centralia, Wash., thence northeast around the south end of Puget Sound to Tacoma, then more northerly to the Seattle airport. Intermediate fields are located at Scappoose on the west bank of the Columbia River and marshes; at Kelso, where a tract intended for eventual development into a municipal airport has been licensed and lighted; and at Chehalis, where the necessary landing field tract was obtained by cooperation of the municipality. These fields are all adequate for landing in practically any direction, and the country is generally flat and open. Airports are available at Centralia, Olympia, and Tacoma.

In the 720 miles between the divergence of the San Francisco-Seattle airway from the transcontinental airway at Fairfield, Calif., to its northern terminal at Seattle there have been 17 intermediate landing fields installed and lighted, taking in a total area of 344 acres, rented at an average annual rate of $10 per acre. The rental would be much higher were It not for the fact that several field tracts have been furnished the Government at the nominal consideration of $1 annual rent. These are known as cooperative fields. Seventy revolving and 17 flashing beacons have been placed in operation.

Radio broadcasting stations are furnishing hourly reports at Seattle, Portland, Medford, and Oakland. Radiobeacons to be installed at Chehalis, Eugene, Medford, Shasta City, and Willows, during the present fiscal year, together with the radiobeacon now operating at Oakland, will furnish complete radio direction for blind flying. An automatic telegraph-typewriter circuit for collection of weather reports and for reporting airplane movements extends from Oakland to Portland, with 15 drops located at Mills field, Oakland airport. Concord, Corning. Redding, Shasta City, Montague, Calif.; Siskiyou Summit, Medford, Grants Pass, Wolf Creek, Roseburg, Salem, and Portland, Oreg., which are considered the vital points for weather observations. It is confidently expected that the service obtained from such a comprehensive system of aids to air navigation will go far to offset the hazards of this unusually difficult airway.

100 year celebration flight on C.A.M. 8-Click this link for details

Navigation Chart #44 1927 Vancouver WA to Seattle WA 
Navigation Chart #42 1927 Medford OR to Vancouver WA
Navigation Chart #41 1927 San Francisco CA to Medford OR 
Navigation Chart #40 1926 San Francisco Ca to Los Angeles Ca 
Navigation Chart #39 1925 San Diego CA to Los Angeles CA