just discovered last summer that my father was the base "aerodrome"officer....he was basically 5th in command.growing up he never talked about this,tho i knew that he was based at cherry point for part of the war(don't know what he did there either).my sis.had given me 1 of his old scrapbooks that had a pic.& reference to base 21.i found the base history book online & was kinda shocked to find more pics.& references about him in the book.i'm looking for more info about him or the base.am going to be in the area(topsail)this wkend & may go to beaufort to chk.the area out.i grew up in nc,but now live in md.i'm a retired piedmont/usairways mech. & went to a&p school in goldsboro.anyone who can give me more info about about the base(other than what's in the book)or even my father would be greatly appreciated.
Very glad you posted here, and welcome to the board.
The field at Beaufort, N.C. is very near and dear to the North Carolina CAP. The field did not exist in the early part of the war, it was basically a swamp just west of the village of Beaufort. CAP personnel, led by Col Frank Dawson, first wing commander of the new North Carolina Wing, came to Beaufort and physically constructed the field, which thoroughly agitated several million mosquitoes. The airport was later named after the astronaut Michael J Smith who died in the Shuttle Challenger disaster. Sadly, the large maintenance hangar and other structures burned down not long after, or as CAP was vacating the field.
Last year, the AOPA did a regional fly-in at the airport and CAP had a prominent presence there. Ironically, a father/son team who visited the fly-in learned about CAP there, and have since joined our squadron, so the 'magic' of the field there at Beaufort continues to this day.
After the CAP anti-submarine mission was canceled in late 1942/early 1943, I believe the unit packed up and moved to Norfolk to be a tow-target unit, but it seems I recall there also being some activity with the new field at Cherry Point in Havelock.
CAP also has a very active history page on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/CAPHistory/
The National Historian, Col Frank Blazich Jr would be very interested in talking to you, as would the North Carolina Wing Historian, Lt Col Phil Saleet. Lt Col Saleet has been instrumental in working with the N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort to establish a prominent CAP display in the museum there near the waterfront. There may very well be some pictures there of your father.
Col Blazich had a significant article about North Carolina CAP during World War II published in the North Carolina Historical Review in 2012, Vol 89, Issue 4 starting on page 399. It is a well-researched article.http://www.ncpublications.com/nchr/arch12/toc-oct12.pdfhttps://ox.dcr.prod.nc.gov/about/history/historical-publications/historical-review
I happen to have an autographed copy of the journal. PM me your father's name and I can skim the article and see if he's mentioned. The Field at Beaufort is covered prominently and there are several pictures included.
MOST IMPORTANTLY -- I'm not fully sure about the criteria, but you MAY be eligible to receive the Congressional Gold Medal on your father's behalf. The CGM was approved for issue a couple of years ago, and has been an important part of CAP and the Nation recognizing the contribution of our founding volunteers.
CAP History Contact page:http://history.cap.gov/contact
Good luck in your quest.