Page was created on 20 Dec 97 - Last update 7 Oct 02

My past interest.

Civil Air Patrol

One of my past interests was Civil Air Patrol, or CAP.

I grew up around CAP when I was at St. John's Military School. (See link on ham page) I was a cadet for one year in 1960 - 61. A unit was started here in Salina in 1966, I joined it as a charter member. I was the only one, at that time, who had a radio license. I was made the communications officer.

Until I locate my form 45, (201 file), this will have to do.

I received the:

Grover Loening Aerospace Award on 11 Nov 1976

Paul E. Garber Award on 6 Nov 1980

Gill Robb Wilson Award 6 April 1984

Aerospace Achievement Award on 12 March 1984

Attended the following schools:

National Security Seminar (ICAF) in 1972

Corporate Learning Course as Faculty on 29 Jan 1984

The following Civil Defense courses from the Civil Defense Staff College:

Introduction To Radiological Monitoring on 8 May 1973

Civil Defense U.S.A. on 22 March 1974

The Civil Defense Director / Coordinator in March 1975

Aerial Radiological Monitoring on 28 March 1978

All monitoring courses needed to be taken every few years to keep current.

Radiological Monitoring 23 June 1977 State of Minnesota

Introduction To Radiological Monitoring 23 Dec 1983 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency

Graduated from the CAP National Staff College (Maxwell AFB) on 19 June 1976.

Completed 12 courses from the Extension Course Institute (ECI) Air University. I will not list by course, but they include: Weather, Medical, Photographic, Public Information, and Management.

I also completed Blue Beret in 1977.

We had a Ranger program in Kansas at that time. I was an "A" Team commander, and an instructor for the program.

Other awards: Radio Operator Certificate of Proficiency

I was the wing net control station on the morning net, and an back up on the evening net. My radio call was Jayhawk Post 39. In the mid 80s Kansas changed the call a little. The "Post" was dropped and I became Jayhawk 39. (That's three nine) When I first got into communications, we were still using AM. Single side band was being phased in at this time. I still remember the 2 meter "lunch box" radio. We have come a long way since 1966!

When I retired in 1986, I had 5 masters in the level 2 training.

Two of which were Master Observer, and Master Communicator.

I held every position in the local unit except medical, and legal.

I was a Wing staff officer in: Asst. Information Officer, D/Emergency Services, D/Plans and Programs.

In the 1970s, this was before ELTs, (emergency locating transmitter) and Satellites. We drew a line on a map from where the plane left, and his first intended landing point. Then we had to plot the last known position of an aircraft, and extend a line from there, till the fuel in the plane was gone. This was the flight track. Search aircraft was then launched to fly this track. It was hoped to find the aircraft near this line. This very seldom happened.

Some times weather made the pilot change his course. Or he would decide to leave his flight plan, and go site seeing. Sometime they would drop in to visit a friend, several hundred miles from his track line.

This is all fine. But they never amend their flight plan with the FAA. In the early days, it was the FAA who called us for an air search. Some time a pilots family member would call a CAP member. This started the ball rolling. In a few hours 50 or more CAP members were looking for this pilot.

This included: Flight crews, ground rescue teams, mission planers, mission staff, public information officers. Also included in the search would be law enforcement, and FAA. Radio and TV stations in the search area, were asking the public for leads.

50 CAP members and several hundred unseen people, carried out the search.

If the search area was widened into other states, their Wings would join the search. After a week of searching, the call would go out to other wings for replacement personnel.

So a note to any one who flies: Please take two minutes and close your flight plan. If you see your going to miss your ETA, extend your flight plan and say your current location.

And by all means, always I repeat always, file a flight plan. If you would go down, don't make rescue crews guess where you might be. Remember seconds count!!!!!!

As I look back over these 20 years, I remember many things: Flying search and rescue over Western Neb on my birthday, traveling the back roads of Kansas on actual missions.

When I got an alert, it normally came in the middle of the night. The Wing Commander usually called me. Once at 2 am he called, after I found the phone, he said, "Good morning Col. how would you like to go for a drive in the country?" "No thank you," I replied and hung up the phone. A few minutes later the phone rings again. "Don't hang up, it's too expensive calling you back." Lets just say I'm not my best at 2 am.

I located several down aircraft, but usually CAP would rescue other things. Like a sewing box. Seems a playful kitten knocked a ELT over after playing with it. A secretary once was handed an elt by her boss. Not knowing what it was she tossed it into the back seat of her car. She then spent the rest of the day shopping. Have you ever tried to following a woman who is shopping? Well try it with a direction finder. Rescue teams would get close, then the signal would start moving again.

Box cars that were packed with two airplanes in crates, for shipment. When the car was coupled, well that was enough to set off both elts.

I found an elt once at an airport, on a display rack. Some one tripped it while looking at it.

We had a training course in Salina once. We knew a car was coming in from the Western part of the state. He was late. Then very late. Upon his arrival they asked the Wing Commander for a mission number. Why would they want a mission number? There is an Air Force bomb range west of town. A F - 105 was working the range. He had engine trouble. As our over due members looked up at the jet, there was black smoke coming from it. Then a parachute. The members became a rescue team, and first in. Upon their arrival the pilot, with his parachute folded at his feet, sat on the hill side waiting to be rescued.

There are many stories told by CAP rescue teams. This is only a few that I remember.

When the call comes in, our rescue teams treated every call like the real thing. It was real, until proven otherwise.

There was a cartoon I once saw and it said:

You don't know what CAP is, Get lost and find out.

Do you see the engine? Look close. Looks like a power dive to me. This pilot did not survive!

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