-|- History

Enjoyment of the whispering winds, the zephyrs, the airstreams of the Sierra Nevada and Great Basin areas of the United States in a recreational vehicle.

The 1965 See America First Caravan

With Lynda Bird Johnson

Recollections from Pee Wee (Dale Schwamborn)

A couple of thoughts looking back. Since going on the trip several additional points.

In Monument Valley the Army escort, providing communications, set up their equipment in our camp. I heard, "Hello, Daddy." Wow, Daddy was LBJ and Lynda was talking to him.

At Custer's Battlefield I have on going Deju Vu.

In the morning I stepped out of the Airstream into the dim light of early morning. There was a mist hanging over the slope going down to the Little Big Horn. I felt then and I still can fill the presence of the location. Looking down the slope you could see the markers where the troopers were killed. The sensitivity that morning still haunts me.

One of the instructions given to Art Costello Jr. (son of Art Costello, Chairman of Airstream), Nick Charles (the 2nd scout in Africa and son of Andy Charles, President of Airstream) and myself, was to cut off any automotive threat to the President's daughter. Well! We told the Secret Service that wd had no problem in protecting Lynda Bird, but we weren't being paid to take a bullet or a careening automobile.

All parties except Art, Nick and I left just before we entered Minnesota. There we were with the three trailers. We slept in our respective trailers. I went in mine. Then called Nick and Art in. There on the bunk beds were Sten Guns, automatic rifles, pistols...a whole arsenal. I was towing the Secret Service's trailer. They knew how to protect the President's Family.

We had three trailers. One for Lynda Bird, her press secretary, and a staff member from National Geographic. The second trailer housed the secret service. The third housed Nick, Art and I, plus the Army communication team, and the photographer from National Geographic. There was a fourth unit provide by Airstream to take care of any maintenance. Our tow vehicles were provided by Pontiac, in colors of red, white and blue.

Questions and Answers

Do you have any pictures?

I have a couple from the rally with Lynda Bird sitting next to Vic Rainey, International President. But they are buried. This trip appeared in the National Geographic. I have a reprint copy of the article. Also, it should be noted that Carolyn Bennett Patterson was the representative from National Geographic that traveled with Lynda Bird. Carolyn and my Mother were great friends. Sue and I stayed at the Patterson’s home in D. C. Carolyn was also the Chairman of the Board for the Wally Byam Foundation.

How specifically did you, Nick, and Art JR. get involved?

We were experienced in Caravanning. Part of the Airstream family. And very close to Lynda Bird’s age. Also we were available for the trip. I was working at the factory in Santa Fe Springs, Art and Nick were on summer vacation.

How were you supposed to fend off automotive threats?

As mentioned we didn't accept taking a bullet for Lynda Bird. But if we had we would move our vehicle broadside and have the aggressive vehicle T-bone us.

Taking Lynda and the Secret Service to the International rally must have been quite and adventure.

These guys are great. The head man was close to LBJ. After LBJ retired I watched a football game that he attended. Next to him was the same Secret Service man that was in charge of our little Caravan. They wore pullover shirts. There guns were tucked in their waist band of their trousers, normally in the back. There were Secret Service that we never saw on the trip. They remained in the background. I'm quite sure at the , International Rally they called in extras from their office.

PDF documents and other memorabilia

Pee Wee's diary as requested by Airstream's ad agency

Photo gallery

Article from the 1965 Caravanner

1965 Caravanner Article regarding the 8th WBCCI International Rally and Lynda Bird's participation

May 1971 Congressional Record mentioning the Caravan

Back to Pee Wee main page

The documents provided and the pictures in these photo galleries have been used with permission of Dale Schwamborn. They are intended for personal viewing and enjoyment only and are not to be used in part or in full on other websites, for commercial purpose, or for any other use. For information on this material you can contact Dale at

Sierra Nevada Airstreams home page -|- Destinations -|- Memories -|- Owner's Guide -|- Commerce -|- WBCCI Sierra Nevada Unit home page -|- Quicksand -|- SNUZE -|- Our tip jar

TechComm Labs (tm)
copyright 2017 Leipper Management Group. All rights reserved Please address comments or questions to Last updated 06/24/2017
supporting and using open software
Sierra Nevada Airstreams - photograph policy -

note: all photographs on this site are for personal, private, and non-commercial use only. All other copyrights are retained by the individual photographers. See our policy. Disclaimer: any advice or suggestion presented is provided for informational purposes only and is correct and accurate only to the best of our knowledge at the time it was written. Anyone using such information does so at their own risk. Errors or omissions may exist and additional sources of information or appropriately licensed or qualified personnel should be consulted in deciding a course of action. We assume no liability or obligation by providing this information and warn any users of this information that they do so at their own risk. All links or references to commercial vendors or other sources of information and equipment do not intend or imply or convey any endorsement of that source or the product. They are provided strictly for informational purposes to illustrate the topic at hand. Sierra Nevada Airstreams Enjoyment of the whispering winds, the zephyrs, the airstreams of the Sierra Nevada and Great Basin areas of the United States is a personal, nonprofit, noncommercial web site intended for educational and recreational use only. This site is supported by volunteer effort and contributions. Donations accepted thanks to the