Originally Posted by GetOutDoors
I believe 2024 T3 aircraft aluminum at .032 thickness was used until sometime early in 1969. I assumed that Wally purchased and used war surpluses until he ran out.
Can anyone confirm or deny my assumption?
I can conclusively deny your assumption. PeeWee Schwamborn, Wally Byam's cousin, has documented a lot of Airstream and WBCCI history various places on the web. (He formerly posted on this forum under the user name PeeWee but stopped posting more than a year ago.)
In any case, one of his jobs with Airstream was purchasing agent in charge of aluminum buying. He has a lot of good stories to tell about Airstream's aluminum. They bought the single-curved skin material from one manufacturer and the end shell material from another because one had a generally better finish but the other stretch formed better. (The two suppliers were Alcoa and Kaiser but I don't remember which was used for which.)
I really don't think there was that much surplus sheet aluminum lying around after WW II. Probably not enough to last until 1949, let alone 1969!