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Bob Clawson 
Twin Lakes (Kent) Ohio 44240
Thursday, 27. January 2005 19:07 Host: Write a comment Send E-mail

Well done Josh. I just want to comment on something that I consider the larger fabric of the squadron. That is, all of the other kinds of transportation we were involved in. The first of course, for those in Squadron 3 in the mid-50s, was Dale Johnson's Jeep. We went everywhere in it. Dale was always willing to provide a taxi for the little kids who couldn't drive yet. Also there were the several pickup trucks that we rode in the back out to the desert or anywhere else. Probably illegal now, but we used to pack five or six guys in the open beds. And then there were the water craft. I'll never foget surfing in (Dale's?) multi-person raft out beyond Malibu. About ten of us in the raft getting flipped over in a giant wave and wondering if we were ever going to surface again. Also, spending a week at the sea scouts base in San Pedro was a real highlight. I almost transfered to the sea scouts! I remember not getting my water craft rating because I couldn't swim out to the end of the breakwater and back. I nearly drowned and was freezing to death. The trips to Parker Dam also involved the big raft and my own little one-man WW II raft tied on to the big one. It was not quite white water but the guy in the little raft sure got soaked. And a bunch of us did get a cool flight in a Sikorsky S-55 at LAX. There was also that time with the Leister-Kaufman glider out on the desert where I actually landed that thing with no way to go around if I didn't do it right.
We were blessed with truly exceptional opportunities that most kids our age couldn't even dream of. And, of course, learning to fly sure kept me off the streets. Our son, Lt. Colonel Greg, USAF, C-5 pilot and military diplomat, says his dream of flying all goes back to my tales of Squadron 3. Of course, I didn't tell him about all the tricks I got up to once I could solo, but that's another story. Best left unsaid.
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