Every year on December 20, we mark the birthday of Dale “Pee Wee” Schwamborn and recognize his integral role in the company's history. The first cousin once removed of Airstream founder Wally Byam and son of Helen Byam Schwamborn (a founding member of the Airstream Club International), Dale has been part of some of the most momentous moments in Airstream history – and he has always been quick to share his knowledge with the company and Airstreamers everywhere. Today, many of the artifacts, documents, and photographs that Dale collected over the years of adventuring around the world with Wally are housed in the Airstream Heritage Center. There, the public can learn more about his family's contribution to this iconic American brand and learn more about Dale's adventurous life.
A Lifetime of Adventure
At 12 years old, Pee Wee accompanied Wally on the first caravan to Central America, and he was the advance scout for the famous Cape Town to Cairo African Caravan in 1959-1960. His adventurous stories of navigating rough and muddy roads, meeting with local officials, and arranging for places the Caravanners could stay while traveling are thrilling and astonishing.
A Club Unlike Any Other
Dale's mother, Helen Byam Schwamborn, helped found the Wally Byam Caravan Club International (now operating as the Airstream Club International) in 1955. She would go on to help manage the club until her retirement in 1979. Over the years, Dale catalogged the many photographs, documents, and artifacts that Helen collected on her travels around the world with Wally and the Club. When Airstream began designing its new Travel Trailer Production Facility in 2018, space was set aside for a museum to document the company's history. Dale was an invaluable resource as the Airstream Heritage Center came to life, and he generously donated many mementos from his life for permanent display in the museum.
Revisit some of Pee Wee’s extraordinary Airstream stories with these links to his articles – and schedule a trip to Jackson Center to see Pee Wee's incredible collection of artifacts from Airstream History.