History Of Civil Air Patrol

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Civil Air Patrol

In the late 1930s, more than 150,000 volunteers with a love for aviation argued for an organization to put their planes and flying skills to use in defense of their country. As a result, the Civil Air Patrol was born one week prior to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Thousands of volunteer members answered America's call to national service and sacrifice by accepting and performing critical wartime missions. Assigned to the War Department under the jurisdiction of the Army Air Corps, the contributions of Civil Air Patrol, including logging more than 500,000 flying hours, sinking two enemy submarines, and saving hundreds of crash victims during World War II, are well documented.

After the war, a thankful nation understood that Civil Air Patrol could continue providing valuable services to both local and national agencies. ON July 1, 1946, President Harry Truman signed Public Law 476 incorporating Civil Air Patrol as a benevolent, nonprofit organization. On May 26, 1948, Congress passed Public Law 557 permanently establishing Civil Air Patrol as the auxiliary of the new U.S. Air Force. Three primary mission areas were set forth at that time: aerospace education, cadet programs, and emergency services.

Civil Air Patrol is a benevolent, nonprofit organization performing humanitarian services on behalf of the U.S. Air Force. Today, 60 years since its inception, over 60,000 CAP volunteer members — approximately 27,00 youth and 37,000 adults — continue to put general aviation to its best use through service in the Civil Air Patrol. They are dedicated to saving lives, flying counter-drug missions, participating in homeland security efforts, providing disaster relief, advancing young people, and supporting America's educators.

"I am pushing myself to be a better person."
Cadet Kristin Miller

"I made my first solo flight at a CAP encampment."
Astronaut Eric Boe

"I've learned discipline — something not stressed enough in today's society."
Cadet Theresa Paredes

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