CAP Celebrates 75th Anniversary At National WWII Museum

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New Orleans, La. – On Saturday, December 3, 2016, Civil Air Patrol (CAP) members from across the state of Louisiana gathered at The National WWII Museum for a ceremony commemorating the 75th anniversary of the organization’s founding. Louisiana Wing Commander, Colonel Thomas “Doc” Barnard, spoke about Civil Air Patrol’s efforts and commitment during World War II and its present day mission. A proclamation from Governor John Bel Edwards declaring November 27 — December 3, 2016, as Civil Air Patrol Week in the state of Louisiana was read by 1st Lt Daniel Stoute.

Formed just six days before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Civil Air Patrol assumed a homeland defense role under the direction of the Office of Civilian Defense. The organization consisted generally of volunteer pilots, mechanics, and aviation enthusiasts who were not eligible for military service. Its initial missions included detecting and, in some instances, attacking axis submarines along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts as well as locating survivors of ships sunk by those submarines. It also supported the nation’s armed forces by providing courier services, conducting pilot training, and towing aerial targets for gunnery practice.

The role of Civil Air Patrol has evolved over the past 75 years. Today it is the both a federally chartered, benevolent corporation and the volunteer auxiliary of the U. S. Air Force. It is 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.

In its Total Force role, Civil Air Patrol 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.

Performing missions for America for the past 75 years, Civil Air Patrol received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2014 in honor of the heroic efforts of its World War II veterans. Civil Air Patrol also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans. Visit www.capvolunteernow.com for more information.

The National WWII Museum tells the story of the American experience in the war that changed the world – why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today – so that future generations will know the price of freedom and be inspired by what they learn. Dedicated in 2000 as The National D-Day Museum and now designated by Congress as America’s National WWII Museum, it celebrates the American Spirit, the teamwork, optimism, courage and sacrifices of the men and women who fought on the battlefront and served on the Home Front. For more information, call 877-813-3329 or 504-528-1944 or visit nationalww2museum.org.

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