OTHA H. "SKEET" VAUGHAN JR. COLLECTION
No. 10056. Clemson Special (372 c/n A100) "Little 372"
Photograph from Clemson University Collections

Clemson Special


11/30/2010. Remarks by Johan Visschedijk: "While attending the Clemson Agricultural and Mechanical College at Clemson, South Carolina, student Dallas Sherman (pictured in the cockpit) formed the Clemson Aero Club in 1927, which soon had seven members.

Next they built their own powered aircraft in 1928-1929, modeled after the Heath Parasol, and it was constructed entirely of wood, covered with fabric. The small aircraft, with a wingspan of 23 ft (7.01 m) and a length of 16 ft (4.88 m), was powered by 20 hp Lawrence two-cylinder air-cooled engine. Although the college had no aeronautical program, the woodworking teacher Professor John 'Boppy' Logan Marshall assisted in the construction.

When finished the aircraft was registered N372 (applied as 372) and therefore named 'Little 372'. It was trucked to the Greenville Airport where, according the College Newspaper "Tiger" of April 10, 1929, the aircraft was successfully flown by Williams Flying Service employees Keightly and Helek. George M. Keightly, a veteran of 12 years and a member of the Early Birds of Aviation, stated after a few short hops, that it was a fine little machine of good design and flying qualities although it needed a bigger engine for better performance.

Subsequently the aircraft was briefly flown by Dallas Sherman and an unknown number of others. However, the engine vibration caused many of the turn-buckles that were use in the design of the aircraft structure to loosen after a few flights so it was determined by Sherman and Professor Marshall that it should not be flown anymore after those few flights. The aircraft was returned to the college woodshop where it became an exhibit.

In 1965 it was trucked to Anderson Airport, where it was restored, sponsored by the original seven Aero Club members. It returned to Clemson where it was stored, till it was put on display at the Wings and Wheels museum, first in Santee, South Carolina, then in Lakeland, Florida. When the museum closed down in 1981, it returned to Clemson for a brief period, and it is now on permanent display at the South Carolina State Museum at Columbia."

Created October 31, 2010