Born in Texas in 1923, Swaim was attending the University of Texas where he was studying mechanical engineering when Pearl Harbor was bombed. Swaim enlisted on 09April1942. For eight months while awaiting assignment, he was a math instructor to aviation cadet candidates.
Pre-flight training was in San Antonio, TX; Primary in Corsicana, TX; Basic in Waco, TX; Advanced in Victoria, TX. Swaim earned his wings in August 1943. Additional training was with the 98th Fighter Squadron in Sarasota, FL and the 124th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron at Key Field, MS.
Swaim left the US for the China, Burma, India Theater on 17FEB1944 and arrived in India on14Mar1944. He was assigned to the 118th TRS on 15May1944. He and five others joined the squadron as the first addition of pilots since the squadron left the US.
On 28June1944, while on a strafing mission, he was shot down (MACR 6451). View his walkout story here. After returning to duty, he was assigned to the 14th Transportation Section where he flew thirty missions. His final assignment was to the 322nd Troop Carrier Squadron where he flew seventy mission as a C-47 pilot. Swaim returned to the states on 15April1945.
Of interest is Swaim's secret mission involving John Birch on 17October1944. You can view it along with other documents below.