Old Gander Airport Terminal

by R.G. Pelley

The best known and one of the earliest shots of the terminal. This one was posted from Gander to Germany on 05 Oct 1949 and states that the passengers were on the ground for ½ hour.

An older sepia style photo of the same area. It was sent a bit    earlier than the last one, on 14 may 1947

I recently bought this card showing the terminal in the old airport. I have been looking for terminal photos for over 15 years and this is the first time I've ever seen this particular one. I can't see a date and the postmark is unreadable, but from the printing quality, the colour scheme and the fact there is no lunch counter way down on the right hand side, I would guess this to be pre-1950. Inside the card it says: "So this is Gander. If you been here you know what I mean. Nevertheless it is remarkable to have such a large clear terminal with every facility."

Old Gander Lounge, shows a shot looking roughly west towards the inside of the terminal.  It is unused but has a hand written note inside : "Gander- in heavy fog - 8h45 PM Wed, July 2 - left 9:45, returned "engine trouble" 10:30, boarded 1:20 AM Thurs, July 3 - take off 2:30 AM".  I would imagine they were happy to have Gander as  a place to return to !   I looked up the calendars from that period and the only one with a Wednesday, 2 July, is 1952.

Another shot of the same area. I can't tell you much about it except the date because it was sent to Yugoslavia and written in Croatian. It was sent on 28 May 1954.

This is a mint and fairly hard to find photo showing the ticket counters.  The first one is Trans Canada Airlines while the second is Trans World Airways.  This looks like a pre-April 1949 because the sign at the end says "Newfoundland Posts and Telegraphs".

I came across this wonderful photo which, in a sense, really brings out the essence of Gander Airport in the  40s-50s. Here we see travelers at the counter way down at the (west) end of the terminal, as they fill out postcards and telegrams.  The sign says “Telegraph and Telephone Connections to All Parts Of The World”,   One chap seems to have headphones on and the fellow next to him might be using a telegraph key.  How many people have described their flight across the Atlantic and their happiness to see those runways !  

This is the wonderful "Novelty booth"

And of course, a place to relax after a long flight over 1500 miles of water in a piston engine plane - the famous, world-renown  "Big Dipper" !

This is "the" standard outside photo of Gander where one can see the terminal area quite well. The photo looks partly hand coloured and shows the set-up in the early to mid 50s.  An interesting point - if you look closely you can see overhead pipes from the steam plant that were the basis for the heating of just about all the buildings in Gander.  Wouldn't be legal today as they were covered with 4-5 inches of pure asbestos!

This is a really wonderful shot of the back of the hangers, the side opposite the tarmac.The other entrance for workers was near where the two hangers were joined by a lower section.  This photo dates from 1950.

While not a postcard, this is one of my rarest pieces of  Gander airport memorabilia - a Pan American World Airways boarding pass specifically used in Gander. This date from circa 1952-55.


Contributed by R G Pelley



top return to top