The elderly gentleman I referred to above has just sent me a message about the SCW.
(Robert's brother Zack was a well known cartoonist, responsible for the " Smilin' Jack " series of strips published each day from the 30's through to the 70's. Ryan's featured in a lot of the stories or comics.)
"With regard to a few recollections about your Lil’ Doll:
I get a wonderful feeling every time I think about what all of you have done to that little girl. If possible I think she is more beautiful now than she was before. What is so great is that I, at 92, am getting reacquainted with a plane that I used to actually get up on the wing of ( at the age of 19) and imagine how nice it would be to fly her.—— Not a model or a picture but THE SAME PLANE; Absolutely amazing. I know I am being greedy, but I have to say, I wish I could say I actually got to fly her.
I am proud to say, all of my memories of those CAP days were pleasant memories. Zack and I both almost had to take a bath in the Ocean (at different times) but in both cases we limped our planes back to a coastal airport.
AND, with regard to the Lantana Airport where it “ ALL CAME DOWN’’ in my young life “ my "claim to fame" is that my instructor in the Civilian Pilot Training Course I was taking at the PALM BEACH JR COLLEGE , in the spring of 1942, and I , made the first landing of any airplane at the LANTANA Airport. The Airport had not even been opened. It had saw horses blocking the approach ends of the 3 runways.---- He said, “Let’s be first” and he cleared the first saw horse, ---touched her down, rolled a bit and took off again,easily clearing the saw horse on the other end of the runway. I would of course never have had the nerve to do it myself, but at that time in my flying career I thought it was pretty awesome.
Friend, RAPID ROBERT"