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Old 09-17-2004, 12:44 PM   #1
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The JFK Airstream

I may have just found it.
I just ran accross a guy that says his dad has it and it's still in NM. His grandparents are the original owners and they HAD a plaque that documented the JFK history but the plaque was stolen.

I am trying to see if the "dad knows aboutthe VAC or WBCCI.

Yes Fred I am trying to get you contact info already.

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Old 09-17-2004, 01:28 PM   #2
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You know how the Hollywood elite love Airstreams. I wonder if Marilyn Monroe started the tradition! (Don't you love a good rumor! )

I guess you call that 'RV-One'?
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Old 09-17-2004, 02:19 PM   #3
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COOLNESS!!! I love history. Shouldn't be too hard to figure it out from this picture alone whether he really has it, or if it's wishful thinking.

It's like an episode of History's Mysteries! Look for the clues:

must be an international model (from the porch light to the right of the door,)
have a jalousie window in the front curbside only (or some evidence that it was there,)
the custom-looking bumper with spare tire (another international feature?)
that hospital sign or anything left behind from it (residue or faded outline if a sticker, rivet holes if metal)
and finally that vent next to the door. Looks like the (refrig vent?) sticking out of mine, but what a strange location!
and DUH! a totally different interior, seeing that it was a hospital unit. Must have extra sinks, or extra beds, or curtain tracks along the whole ceiling, or something!

Good luck! I'd love seeing pictures of this thing, particularly what kind of shape it's in after sitting in NM for 40 years, as opposed to mine, sitting in Seattle for 40 years.
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Old 09-17-2004, 02:37 PM   #4
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How about a little backstory on that, for those of us who are post-JFK? Why was it a hospital AS? What was it used for?
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Old 09-17-2004, 02:42 PM   #5
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Bredlo:
Here is the caption that goes with that picture.
Quote:
JFK leaves the Airstream which served as his temporary office in the field during a visit with VP LBJ to the White Sands Missile Range. This trailer and others like it were located strategically at various points on the huge Army range and were used by the two men while Army units prepared field demonstrations of the latest US weaponry.
So reading that leads one to believe there is more than one coach that was used. The guy I am talking to says he belileves the coach they have is a 31ft. That coach in the picture looks to be a 62 Safari.

If they do have a 31 ft then that will make documenting without hte plaque even more difficult. Hopefully Fred, the VAC historian, will have some info and can document it's existance and verify this is one of those coaches.

I agree...its a pretty neat peice of history especialy if its the one pictured.
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Old 09-17-2004, 02:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefrobrts
How about a little backstory on that, for those of us who are post-JFK? Why was it a hospital AS? What was it used for?
Good question. Unfortunatly I believe the original owner has passed and that information may be lost. The wife (grandmother to the guy I am talking with) is alive and hopefully she will have some information. It's quite possible that they worked the White Sands facility. The people that own the coach live near it and have since that event.

Still waiting to hear back from him.


I lifted that picture from the VAC page.
http://www.airstream.net/as_photos/photos.html
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Old 09-17-2004, 02:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 59toaster
Bredlo:
Here is the caption that goes with that picture.


So reading that leads one to believe there is more than one coach that was used. The guy I am talking to says he belileves the coach they have is a 31ft. That coach in the picture looks to be a 62 Safari.

If they do have a 31 ft then that will make documenting without hte plaque even more difficult. Hopefully Fred, the VAC historian, will have some info and can document it's existance and verify this is one of those coaches.

I agree...its a pretty neat peice of history especialy if its the one pictured.
True dat. In theory, ole Jack could've had lunch in one, pinched a secretaries behind in another, availed himself of the facilities in the one pictured (explains that sheepish grin!) and so on.

Maybe the best way to determine if "Dad's" is the real McCoy or not is simply to fire up the ole geiger counter and see if it's radioactive enough to still bake a potato after being parked next to those detonating nukes.
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Old 09-18-2004, 08:01 PM   #8
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I have heard back and I have pictures. Still waiting for the contact info for you Fred.
This is not the coach from the above picture. It's a Sovereign. Like the caption said, there was more then one coach used. So hopefully it can be documented that this is indeed one of the coaches used by JFK and LBJ. My guess is a local Airstream dealer supplied these coaches so hopefully somebody can confirm that as well.
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Old 09-19-2004, 09:29 AM   #9
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Couple more things on the JFK trailer:

1) the thing just to the right of the door is the furnace vent. Strange place indeed as you'd get a good burn on that one everytime getting in

2) AC sticking out of the back window. Must be some indication there was one if its gone now, support brackets, holes in the skin, shims to button up the rest of the window, etc.

This is a great thread and I hope we can find out more info.

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Old 09-19-2004, 11:54 AM   #10
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one would think that if any airstream was used by uncle sam it would have a property tag on it somewhere.

-or- it would have "for offical use only" stenciled on it like postal vehicles.

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Old 09-19-2004, 01:30 PM   #11
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If it was a mobile hospital I would think the interior would be pretty different than a camper, some supply cabinets and an examining table. Even an office version would probably have a lot of empty space where a desk had been. Definitely look for property tags.

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Old 09-19-2004, 03:15 PM   #12
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The unit in the JFK photo appears to be much shorter and appears to have only one axle. The windows are different as well. The one in question may have been one of the units used by JFK and LBJ, but it was definitely not the one in the JFK photo. I am not a historian or antiques collector, but question any additional value that an AS may have just because either JFK or LBJ happened to step inside to use the head. However, if he had signed some important document inside or had some history defining meeting in it, that might be different. I doubt that the Army would have documented the trailer in the photo as any different than any other unit in its fleet that day. To a JFK collector and AS afectianato it could have special significance though.

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Old 09-19-2004, 07:29 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john hd
one would think that if any airstream was used by uncle sam it would have a property tag on it somewhere.

-or- it would have "for offical use only" stenciled on it like postal vehicles.

john
Who says the goverment ever owned them? Maybe they were rented from a local dealer just for that event.

The window A/C is something I had also noted and the Soverereign also has no A/C. 63 Predates the prewire but I do find it interesting that neither coach had the A/C in NM.

I did find out more. The Coach came out of El Paso and the actual original owner was named Armstrong. He is not sure if the WBCCI numbers are from his Grandfather or Armstrong.

The fellow I am talking about has never seen the plaque that showed the JFK tie in. It apparently was stolen years ago. He actually said he had his doubts but I'm still hoping it can be proved.

Sending Fred contact info so hopefully more can be found out.
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Old 09-19-2004, 08:54 PM   #14
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Just so you know, Toaster, my TradeWind was set-up with an unused 30 amp for the AC. It was not prewired as I could tell. I ran the wire for the AC myself. Don't think I would have trusted the old wiring on a new unit anyway.

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