Happy Birthday to Dale Schwamborn

Dale Schwamborn at Airstream Heritage Center

Happy Birthday to Dale "Pee Wee" Schwamborn – first cousin once removed to Airstream founder Wally Byam and son of Airstream Club International founding member Helen Byam Schwamborn. From his extensive "I was there" knowledge of Airstream's early days to his generous donation of artifacts, photographs, and documents that are now housed in the Airstream Heritage Center, Dale's contribution to this iconic American brand is immeasurable.

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.

Airstream Dale Pee Wee Schwamborn at the Airstream Heritage CenterA 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.

Dale Schwamborn Pee Wee 1959

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.

Dale & Helen Oct55 Caravanner Airstream

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.

Visit the Heritage Center

Introducing Dale “Pee Wee” Schwamborn

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How Pee Wee became Pee Wee

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Home for the Holidays

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A Way of Life

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Happy Birthday Pee Wee!