Civil Air Patrol

Gold Medal Journey Blog

August 27, 2014

The military had its “Caterpillar Club” of airmen who had “hit the silk” parachuting from their crippled aircraft. During World War II, Civil Air Patrol’s Coastal Patrol pilots had no option but to ditch their planes at sea should their single engine quit. Those who survived joined CAP’s famed Duck...

August 14, 2014

One thing you discover when getting to know Civil Air Patrol’s World War II heroes: They were having the time of their lives back then.  Perhaps the past always looks brighter. Perhaps their unique adventure was their Golden Age. All I know is, they were all proud to serve and...

August 7, 2014

The photo: two Base 3 CAP aviators, sporting sidearms, flank a “Bombs Loaded” sign that makes their aircraft look like a gung-ho war fighter. In fact, CAP planes were initially unarmed. They broke up sub attacks on freighters and tankers merely by being there and diving on subs in simulated...

July 16, 2014

While most of glory of World War II Coastal Patrol is focused on the men in the air, the people who “kept ‘em flying” were also renowned. The prototypical quote honors Ev Smith, Base 2’s “Maintenance Wizard” (as each chief mechanic was known.) In praise of the Delaware base’s “Wizard,”...

July 9, 2014

By summer, 1943, Nazi submarines had retreated from U.S. shores. And so, CAP Coastal Patrol stood down on Aug. 31, 1943. Each Coastal Patrol base commander issued a letter of thanks to their fliers and ground staff. The words of Maj. George Haddaway (commander, Coastal Patrol Base 10, Beaumont, Texas)...

July 1, 2014

Jack Martin, known as Smilin’ Jack, took off into the comic strip world in 1933.  A well-traveled aviator, Jack kept Americans entertained for 40 years with the adventures he encountered along with his co-pilot, Downwind. Popular not only in print, Smilin’ Jack could also be found on the radio and...

June 24, 2014

Civil Air Patrol’s three primary missions, as chartered by Congress, are emergency services, cadet programs and aerospace education.  Today the organization includes homeland security in the growing list of ways members support the country.  But wait — homeland security isn’t a new mission for CAP members. Let’s go back to...

June 17, 2014

What makes a legend? That’s a question probably above my pay grade and beyond my scope. I did, however, this week have a conversation with someone who is part of a legend -- Robert Arn, one of Civil Air Patrol’s legendary World War II subchasers. A little background So, what's...

June 10, 2014

Less than two years after Civil Air Patrol was established, an airport was built in northern Maryland to directly support CAP’s mission. In 1943, the city of Westminster dedicated its new airport and CAP’s Baltimore Base No. 332 in a two-day celebration. The airport, a 50-acre site in northern Carroll...

June 2, 2014

Breaking barriers – that’s what Willa Brown did! Not just one, not just two, but a lifetime of striving to achieve equality for African-Americans in aviation. Willa Brown was born in 1906 and raised during a time when equality for blacks and women was simply not the norm. But that...

May 26, 2014

CAP Lts. Addis A. Alston (left) and Paul J. Little hold a practice bomb, incribed "To Adolf's Subs," circa 1942 at Coastal Patrol Base No. 16 in Manteo, N.C.. Photo courtesy of Dare County Regional Airport, Manteo, N.C.  A fair amount of my time over the past four years has...

May 12, 2014

To borrow a line from the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, “Who are those guys anyway?” When the Civil Air Patrol receives the Congressional Gold Medal later this year, it will find itself in the good company of patriots, inventors, scientists, artists, healers, explorers, religious leaders, sports figures,...

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Maxwell Air Force Base, AL 36112
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© 2017 Civil Air Patrol National Headquarters. All rights reserved.
© 2017 Civil Air Patrol National Headquarters. All rights reserved.