Presentation by the Cadets of the Civil Air Patrol Gainesville Composite Squadron
The Civil Air Patrol (CAP) is the civilian auxiliary of the United States Air Force (USAF), created by administrative Order 9 in December 1941. The organization was originally formed to provide civilian air support to aid the war effort during World War II, including border and coastal patrols, military training assistance and courier services.
After the war, CAP was transferred to the newly-formed U.S. Air Force and incorporated as a nonprofit organization with three congressionally mandated missions - aerospace education for the youth and the general public, cadet programs for teenage youth, and emergency services.
In recent years, CAP operations have expanded to include assisting the Department of Homeland Security and performing non-auxiliary missions for the various government and private agencies, such as law enforcement and the American Red Cross.
A Civil Air Patrol squadron was formed in Gainesville in 1953, but there was a previous CAP squadron which operated during World War II out of Stengle Field, an airport on Archer Road that is now Butler Plaza. After the World War II squadron was disbanded in 1946, several of the former members retained their CAP membership and rejoined the new Gainesville Cadet Squadron. Thus it can be said that the Gainesville Composite Squadron had its roots as a World War II unit.
The eight CAP geographical regions are composed of 52 Wings (one for each state, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia). Wings are divided into groups, squadrons and flights. Currently there are approximately 1,700 units and more than 63,000 members. Air Force liaison staff are assigned to CAP regions to advise and support.
The CAP corporation and members own and operate more than 5,000 light aircraft, the world's largest fleet, and volunteers fly about 130,000 hours each year on CAP missions.
We welcome the Cadets and Officers from the Gainesville Composite Squadron, who have volunteered and played many instrumental roles during the Wings of Dreams air shows from the beginning. Wings of Dreams co-founders Bob Oehl and Susan King have been long-term members of the squadron since 1998.
"You of the Civil Air Patrol flew many hours of patrol along our shores and borders; you flew tow target and tracking missions invaluable to our anti-aircraft artillery training; you saved the lives of countless air crews by your searches for missing aircraft; you brought parts and materials to the right place at the right time through the operations of your courier service; you aided greatly in the screening and recruiting of cadets for air crew training and you added immeasurably to the war effort of other agencies of the government by the many missions you performed for them."
Henry "Hap" Arnold, Gen, USAF - Jan 1946
"It gives us great pride that Apollo 8 was designated a CAP flight and that (Neil) Armstrong's first flight into the skies was with CAP."
Oct 4 - Carol Ann Garratt, Round-the-World Record Pilot
Next Star Party - Fall 2014 Date - TBA
"Civil Air Patrol volunteers play a vital role in the life of our country. In the past decades, their skills and dedication to duty have saved many hundreds of lives and guided thousands of our young people toward useful and productive activity. Every American can be proud Civil Air Patrol's record of distinguished service to communities and to the nation."
John F. Kennedy, President 1962
Wings of Dreams Aviation Museum | 7100 Airport Road | Starke | FL | 32091