I had been living with my parents in Yokohama since early 1949, during the postwar occupation of Japan, and we weren't due to return to the United States until 1952, but the outbreak of the Korean War upset that schedule. My father was a high-ranking officer in the occupying army, and had been ordered to Korea soon after the war broke out. Rather than risk my mother and I being near a war zone, he arranged to have us return early to "The Zone of the Interior" (as the United States was officially termed by the occupation).
The flight itself was uneventful. We took off at night from Haneda Airport, Tokyo's original international airport. We were seated in the lower section of the plane, not far from the port side doorway, and my mother's seat and mine faced each other, so we both had window seats. I remember looking down into the fiery pit of an active volcano soon after we had taken off.
I remember our stopover on Wake Island the following morning. It was very hot and humid and there was little ventilation in the aircraft, so we were extremely uncomfortable while awaiting takeoff, which occurred later that morning. The next hop was the longest; I recall that we arrived in Honolulu sometime after dark. But I don't believe it was pre-dawn darkness, as I also remember going to our hotel in the dark. Then after two days in Honolulu, I experienced my second ever flight, from Honolulu to San Francisco.
I've done a lot of flying since, including thousands of miles with the U.S. Navy in Antarctica during the Vietnam War era (I'm not a pilot, though), and I've flown longer distances, but I will always cherish that first-ever flight. My next flight wouldn't occur until 1954, when I was by then a teenager, but that was another long voyage: round trip, Kansas City to Mexico City.