How Paul Lamb Got Hooked on Coast Guard Aviation
By Paul Lamb, Ptero #759
In September 1947, I left the farm in Illinois, went to Chicago and finally convinced CBM Charles P. Ashe (the CG Recruiter) to permit me to take the necessary exams for admittance into the Coast Guard. I was sworn in on 11 September 1947 and went to Mayport, Florida to attend “boot camp”. Upon completion of “boot camp” I was transferred to CCGD9 in Cleveland. After learning the filing system, form numbers etc. I was transferred to the Icebreaker, Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw, home port Cheboygan, Michigan to work in the ship’s office and stand watches.
Until this time in my life, I had never been inside, or even been close enough to actually touch any aircraft.
This aircraft was landed aboard the MACKINAW on 18 March 1948. The pilot was Frank Erickson, Coast Guard Helicopter Pilot #1. I was on watch in the “crow’s nest” at the time of the landing. It was announced on the PA system that while the helicopter was assigned, any crew member who wanted to would be given a ride. Thus, sometime in March 1948 I had my first airplane ride in this aircraft with Frank Erickson as pilot. This aircraft was procured from Sikorsky Aircraft in January 1947.
Unfortunately, it crashed in December 1952.
Fortunately there were no fatalities.