Civil Air Patrol

A Commander's Thanks ...

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) were typical… and yet prophetic:

“There are no more submarines in the Gulf of Mexico… and it has been your work, your sacrifices, your flying, your protection of this base and your excellent mechanical maintenance that accomplished the job of defeating the enemy.

“No matter where you go in this world, you can hold your head high in the knowledge that you served your country in the field of combat during the great crisis of 1942-43.

 “No matter what decorations might come… there will be no reward that can compare with the inward satisfaction that you are part of a great victory.

 “Although a small band of us are going on to other important duties, remember:

“We shall meet again, perhaps in the dawn of a new era and a better world, where free peoples of the world can live in peace.” – George Haddaway, 8/31/43

CAP would wait many decades for an official recognition of their efforts in a national honor such as the Congressional Gold Medal. And many CAP Coastal Patrol fliers and ground staff did go on to serve in the active duty military as pilots, maintenance personnel and in other capacities. Haddaway may have anticipated this.

His citation of the nation’s hope for “a new era and a better world” stated America’s goals for the post-war future. But achieving a world where “free peoples… can live in peace” would be far more complicated than imagined in 1943. And CAP would be called on again to serve Cold War national preparedness in the 1950s and ‘60s. 

CAP Coastal Patrol pilot and famed comics artist Zack Mosley (of “Smilin’ Jack” fame) immortalized CAP’s wartime camaraderie.  In an iconic cartoon, he depicted the clinking of ceremonial toasting glasses with the slogan, “Till We Meet Again.” The phase became CAP mantra.

Those unsung World War II volunteer fliers are now gone. But their remaining comrades, and their loyal supporters who retold their stories after years of obscurity, await the time “’Till We Meet Again.”  

 

 

Maj. George Haddaway 

Images


Haddaway Commander portrait

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© 2018 Civil Air Patrol National Headquarters. All rights reserved.
© 2018 Civil Air Patrol National Headquarters. All rights reserved.