Soon after Nazi Germany declared war on the United States in December of 1941, waves of German U-boats attacked the shipping lanes along our East Coast as part of Operation Drumbeat. Within the first 6 months of 1942, enemy U-boats sank nearly 400 merchant vessels and oil tankers off the U.S. Atlantic coastline, often within site of our shores.
Civil Air Patrol, having been founded 75 years ago on Dec. 1, 1941, was called into action! With the Navy engaged in the Pacific, CAP established coastal patrol bases in 13 states from Maine to Texas. With privately owned airplanes armed with depth bombs, airmen attacked 57 enemy submarines, dropped 82 bombs, and flew a total of 244,600 flight hours protecting America's coastline.
To learn more about CAP's history during WWII, go to http://www.cap75th.com
In 2014, the U.S. Congress recognized the efforts of Civil Air Patrol during WWII and awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, which is the highest civilian honor that Congress can bestow.
Check out our gold medal journey at http://www.capgoldmedal.com
Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is now the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force, which consists of regular Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, along with Air Force retired military and civilian employees. CAP, in its Total Force role, operates a fleet of 550 aircraft and performs about 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 78 lives annually. Civil Air Patrol’s 56,000 members nationwide also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. Its members additionally play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to more than 24,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet program.
Our Current Mission: Supporting America’s communities with emergency response, diverse aviation and ground services, youth development, and promotion of air, space and cyber power.
To learn more about Civil Air Patrol and how to join, check out http://gocivilairpatrol.com
Video Credit: Scott Matthews, a Tennessee Wing member and 1999 Spaatz cadet who has been recognized with an Emmy for his video production work, created this 75th-anniversary tribute to CAP’s proud legacy, its missions and its members. The video debuted at the 2016 CAP National Conference in Nashville, TN.