The World's Largest CAP History Library

Started by Smithsonia, August 21, 2010, 09:49:07 PM

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Lt. Col. Mark Hess has been working 14-20 hours a day... and yes every day to finish his fine online history library. The precursor
to this dedicated CAP/AF history library has been placed on SCRIBd. You can see some of the items that the history library will hold, click here:

Mark wrote me today and said: "The Scribd CAP History account passed over the 500,000 mark for views. CAP History has been the #1 history category on Scribd of 50 million users for 39 straight weeks."

I think this is remarkable for two reasons. (1) It points to the fine work of Mark Hess. He is simply the finest researcher of CAP history in .... well, history. The juices of dedication to CAP history flow with his blood to the enlightenment of us all. He has been kind enough to send me some of his scans and I have posted it here and on the Rediscovery of JF Curry" thread too.

(2) This indicates the pent-up demand for Civil Air Patrol history.

This hunger is worth feeding. Mark has been "cookin'" since May of last year. (17 months) He is getting close to opening his online library. He said he'll let me know soon.   

With regards;


Here's some more from the marvelous collection of Mark Hess. A collection of CAP buttons and wings.

I'll update you soon as to a launch date for the online library.
With regards;



The Camel cigarette advertisement was printed by me and now hangs proudly in the "Heritage Ready Room" at my headquarters.  Right next to the "Night Patrol" ad for Norge washing machines, with the attractive lady CAP pilot who will, when this war is over, "Demand the same reliability from her washing machine that she now demands from her airplane."
Another former CAP officer


I'm just curious? Is this Mark Hess the same individual I knew at DINFOS who would serve as an Air Force broadcaster/public affairs specialist?

This is certainly a great collection...kind of dwarfs my personal collection of insignia, books and magazines that I've collected over the years.


Quote from: DakRadz on August 21, 2010, 10:00:35 PM
Outstanding, sir!

This will not go unnoticed. I promise to use the materials to teach a history class to our cadets when the time comes.

I am proud to be a member of the same organization as Lt Col Hess.

GAWG does produce the cream of the crop, you know ;) ;D


Is that sweet cream or sour cream?   ;D


Quote from: Grumpy on October 13, 2010, 04:34:37 PM
Quote from: DakRadz on August 21, 2010, 10:00:35 PM
Outstanding, sir!

This will not go unnoticed. I promise to use the materials to teach a history class to our cadets when the time comes.

I am proud to be a member of the same organization as Lt Col Hess.

GAWG does produce the cream of the crop, you know ;) ;D


Is that sweet cream or sour cream?   ;D

Both, sir. North of Atlanta and south of Atlanta, respectively :D


Quote from: Grumpy on October 13, 2010, 04:34:37 PM
Quote from: DakRadz on August 21, 2010, 10:00:35 PM
Outstanding, sir!

This will not go unnoticed. I promise to use the materials to teach a history class to our cadets when the time comes.

I am proud to be a member of the same organization as Lt Col Hess.

GAWG does produce the cream of the crop, you know ;) ;D


Is that sweet cream or sour cream?   ;D

For you, Grumps, curdled!  ;)
Dave Bowles
Maj, CAP
AT1, USN Retired
50 Year Member
Mitchell Award (unnumbered)
C/WO, CAP, Ret


Mark Hess emailed me yesterday. He hopes to have his history website and library online by Nov. 14th. Nov. 14 would be a perfect launch day as that is the precise day CAP was to be launched... yes it was. However internal delays in 1941 caused the actual CAP launch day of Dec. 1st.

Mark apologized for the delay but had to take some time off and is also deeply involved in a security revamp of the site. I guess there are new tools and new tactics used by hackers... and Mark needs to account for...

Mark is back on the website nearly full time and is working through the issues. I can hardly wait!!!
With regards;


Lt. Col. Mark Hess has posted many many many CAP Louisiana Wing Pictures from WW2 here.
I think the L2 on floats is a hoot. Listed as Courier Service:

Well worth the look... particularly for you LA-Wing members.
With regards;


I am interested in the website going up to post and share historic CAP items.    I am not a member of CAP and I do not read CAPtalk.  However, I have been involved in promoting the WWII history of the CAP, including collecting and distributing items donated WWII CAP vets or their heirs to appropriate museums.
Most of these items have been scanned or photographed and are available on CD in very high resolution format.  I have releases from the donors letting these out into the public domain and expressly stating that nothing more than the cost of copying and delivery is ever to be charged for their use.  They are intentionally not rights protected.
I also suggest that, when this website goes live, Lindsey Barnes, the Archivist for the National WWII Museum in New Orleans be notified.   I have been working with her to establish an archive on the WWII CAP.  This is the first place authors, historians, video producers will go for WWII information.
If the person who is building this website will post contact information here, I will contact you about seeing you have the materials.


This is very good news. 

I am not a member of CAP.  Nor am I a regular reader of CAPtalk.   Someone forwarded this notice to me.

However, I have been involved in CAP history outreach around its WWII story  for some time.  I have in my possession quite a few photographs and documents which I have collecerted, scanned and/or photographed in hi resolution format.  Also pictures of artifacts donated.  Also information on where displays are or will be going up  (possible links to the site).  The donors have signed documents releasing these items to the public domain for purposes of advancing CAP history.

If Mark Hess will post a notice here telling me how to reach him directly, I would be glad to discuss what would be useful and would be very happy to contribute it to this project. 


Mark is not a member on this website. He will be launching the website soon (or at least that is my understanding) Could he get back to you soon? He's waiting until his information on the launch date is set. You are welcome to contact me directly. I'll pass it along. So PM me if you like.
With regards;


I am not a member of CAP, but I have been very actively involved in getting its story (esp WWII) out.

In the course of this, I have collected a number of artifacts that have been distributed to the appropriate musuems and according to the wishes of the donors, photographs, documents which are reproduced in hi-res tiff (archival) format.

I would be very happy to turn these over to Mark Hess.   I think it is wonderful and very worthwhile that someone has gone to the trouble of collecting all this and making it available online.

If Mark Hess will leave an e-mail address here, I wold be happy to contact him about getting
making this stuff available for the wesite by copying onto CDs.


The oddest of things has occurred. There are members and those who sell to - or work for CAP that:
1. Misrepresent themselves.
2. Misrepresent their agenda.
3. In an attempt to hoard, corral, restrain, constrain, possess, manipulate, or otherwise own CAP History.

Of course anyone can own a piece of CAP history. Anyone can keep a family heirloom, uniform, medals, items, militaria, etc. What I find confounding (and in the extreme) is those that possess this information or item for their own small purposes.

In the cases I am speaking about: Members (and others) want to build a business outside CAP, to sell to CAP, what was once CAP's materials. These people care little of the actual history and more about the real money. In this case I am speaking about YakYak from the entries just above. In this case the woman has no sense that most of the Neprud Flying Minute Men book is the oddest of concoctions. A bit of Public Relations Press Releases, odds and ends from the field and official reports from the Wings. But it is not history. From the 5 stories I have investigated from the Neprud book - errors in dates, times, places, and relevant facts are abundant. As I say - I have investigated only 5 stories but it does make me think that the rest of the book is rather dodgy as to facts.

The people who hang on to things and not facts are wrong about history. These folks are not evil nor bad. However, I've always believed them misguided. These are members of the "den of archivists."

As I said these people are not evil, nor large in number. However the veneration of objects becomes their stock and trade and not the dissemination of the true history for CAP or other organizations.

Yak Yak (see above) is one of these people. She is a broker - a middle man for CAP articles of cloth. She is of a much different ethos than myself and I assume Mark Hess.

Museums must spend lots of money to acquire items of history. From dinosaur bones to Confederate flags. However, when this collecting goes on year after year - The objects can pervert the intellectual truth. To maintain the objects value, new information is dismissed - old outdated or misunderstood information is defended - the object becomes the legend and the truth is thrown away - and historian blood-battles begin.

To the rescue comes a very different type of institution - A LIBRARY. It owns nothing but information. It makes nothing but loans of this information. It is for reference only. It is for free. It is owned by the community. It is independent of politics. SO:

When Mark Hess' LIBRARY Opens... please remember. We have simply gathered what we can to show all we can on every topic that CAP might be interested in but have no stated agenda other than distributing information for free to everyone. No agenda what so ever but to educate and provide reference material.

Will some of the material be upsetting. Of course. We can not account for the illiberal mind of everyone and even your local library has curse words and controversial topics among it's rows and stacks of information. So expect something different. Something for you to explore, read,
and become educated. We are of no doctrine. We come in peace. We ask that you do too.

When this library opens (which I hope to announce soon) You will see the reference material for yourself. You can decide the facts for yourself. You can with some authority complete the real work of the historian... tell the story as true as can be told.
With regards;



I think you are being overly harsh here.
1. She is not trying to sell what she has collected
2. You have no idea what she has collected
3. You say she is a "broker", depending on a defination, you could also be considered a broker. In fact anyone that collects CAP bits of history could be considered a broker.
4. She is offering what she has collected to Mark Hessand I see no way she profits from this. So what is wrong, offering what she has collected?
5. You have no idea of her sources. Did she get the items, whatever they are, directly from World War II CAP members? Has she interviewed them?
I can't see what you're so upset about. Here a woman is offering items of possible historical interest to CAP. I see nothing wrong with her post or offer.
Gil Robb Wilson # 19
Gil Robb Wilson # 104


There were many direct conversations between Yak Yak and Mark. These were private between the two parties. Her initial communications was an offer to help. Instead she has promised (or maintained that others) plan to sue. This of course is without any knowledge of what the library contains. So unless she personally holds the copyrights of material that she "thinks" will be presented in the Library... she has no standing in a lawsuit, and is trying not to help but impede or usurp. We've also been accused by her of being in league with provocateurs who want to cause trouble among command (Think Ray Hayden). This claim is simple minded idiocy. For instance, while I've read of him referred to in CAPTALK... I can't say that I even know what he has written... which I assume (or is described on CAPTALK) is on some scree filled accusation blog, somewhere.

In this thread she introduced herself in one manner -  I see you were taken in also. My point is not to personally hold her accountable for the differences in ethical thinking among historians. But it is to educate the uninitiated as to rocky and hard road to disseminate all historical information to all members.

I have laid out the reasons for the Library. I have also laid out the reasons that there may be some controversy.
With regards;


Quote from: Smithsonia on October 26, 2010, 03:12:14 PM
Nov. 14 would be a perfect launch day as that is the precise day CAP was to be launched... yes it was. However internal delays in 1941 caused the actual CAP launch day of Dec. 1st.

So are we gonna see it on December 1st?


I am YakYak.   There is a great deal of negative misinformation about me, most posted by Ed O'Brien, whom I don't even know.  Let me straighten this out as best I can.

As I stated, I am not a member of CAP.   I have, however, worked on projects to advance CAP history.  For most, I worked with CAP member Ltc Ray Lyon.  These projects include,  among other things:

I am the person who located the opportunity and created the relationship with the National Military History Museum in Auburn, IN, where a sigificant CAP display was dedicated over Memorial Day Weekend.  I researched and wrote the exhibit and acted as Project Manager.  Ray Lyon found, had restored, transported, and personally traveled to spend several weekends to reassemble the Stinson 10-A that is the centerpiece of that exhibit.

I found out and developed the relationship with the Cape Cod Military History Museum, Bourne, MA.   This musuem is new and does not have a building yet,   However, it has a substantial and growing collection of historic items associated with the history of the abutting Massachusetts Military Reservation, including a substantial collection of items from the WWII Coastal Patrol Base #18 in Falmouth.  The Bourne Historial Society has donated three acres of land to this museum, the soldiers at Camp Edwards have volunteered to clear the land, and a WWII plan for a 100 Man Mess that was designed at (then) Otis AFB, now an ANG base.  They are mounting a capital campaign now and have continued to make good progress even through this recession.  (Please note the theme here--what co-operation and collaboration can accomplish).

The Cape Cod Squadron of the MAWG and the NER HQ are located at Otis ANG base.  A terrific collaborative relationship has developed between the MAWG and this musuem.  Right now, they are working together on a MAWG Conf to be held on the Cape in late March.  This is to have an historic theme.  Any vets and their heirs are being invited to this event and are looking forward to it.  Ray and I have identified something like 7-8 vets for honors and provided their documentation to the process. Recently, Mark has provided me personally with six obituaries of vets which I have followed.   Five of them have been productive.    Mark and I are, in other words, working together well. 

In the course of working with the Musuem and the MAWG, we have located several vets and/or their heirs, who have donated items, photographs, documents to the Cape Cod Museum, some duplicates to the National WWII Museum in New Orleans, whose archives we are starting to fill.  Mark Hess has posted some of these on his website and I imagine a pretty full exhibit or gallery on the Falmouth base will appear on the site in good time.  Mark has told me this is some of the best archival materials he has received.

We also collected photos from the late Allison Catheron, vet of Suffolk and TTU 22, the late Thomas Signor Hartness who led  a base in Greenville, SC, with his beloved wife, the late Edna Hartness.   The Greenvill Squadron was particularly good at trining pilots and two of its women members went into the WASPs.  Again. all of these have been copied and turned over to all parties so this history is not lost. 

Neither Ray Lyon nor I has kept any of these items.  Nor have we sold them.  We are not collectors.  We have taken these items in temporarily to photograph or scan them and record information about them.   This information has been put in high-resolution format and copies have been captioned, IDed as possible.  Copies of these have been sent to CAPHF, the CAP, MAWG, the National WWII Musuem, the Falmouth Historical Society  and now, Mark Hess.   Mark is completely free to post this on his website and there is absolutely no agenda except to contribute to the store of useful historica infomration that website will make public.

We have also provided information to the Icehouse Museum, in Rehoboth Beach, DEL, which is preparing an exhibit on Rehoboth in WWII, including the CAP.

The archivist at the National WWII Museum informs me that the only CAP items in their files are the one we have sent.  They would love more.

We are trying to work with the MEWG on a major project there.  More about that later if it takes shape.   If this project comes through it will be because I created the opportunity, brought key parties outside CAP to the table, and the MEWG has come in behind this magnificently. 

We have also found something like seven or eight WWII Falmouth vets, two of them living vets, one of whom died 2.5 months after receiving the awards.    Col. Meskill and members of his wing are working on getting honors to these vets, even if posthumously.

At no time, has either Ray or I taken in money for these artifacts.    On the contrary, a lot of this work has gone forward with a substantial investment of time and money from us.  None of these items is in any personal collection.  We are not collectors.  IN fact, we took care to obtain signed documents from the donors designting where the orginals are to go and relesing all to the public domain to advance CAP history.

Mark Hess should know by now that I am full agreement with the philosophy of this website--specifically that so much more can be accomplished by sharing information and by collaborating on project to advance CAP history.  I regard the relationship between the Cape Cod Musuem and the MAWG and the potential Maine project as some of the most rewarding work I have done on CAP history and as models for what can happen with openly sharing information and putting people with complementary intersts in contact with each other. 

I have no intention of getting involved in any legal entanglements with CAP and CAPHF and certainly not a lawsuit.  That is totallly FALSE.

Neprud is not my sole sourve of information about CAP.  If there is anything I have said that is in error, I would be happy to hear about it and correct it.  I have used Nerpud, Operation Drumbeat, From Maine to Mexico, conversations and documents from the vets or their heirs.

ALL I have tried to do is to turn over anything and everything I know to places and activities that would share this history publicly.  I believe that CAP history outreach is a superb opportunity to advance understanding, trust and support for CAP.  I bring 30+ years of professional corporate communications experience to the table, some of it at high levels.

My interest in this history is the model it provides for volunteer service. As you know, the men and women who served the CAP in WWII worked for some tie without resources and had to radi dumps and old Civilian Conservation Corps Camps for supplies.   They could have made more money working in wartime manufacturing.  There  are many, many heroes from our Wars.   I do not diminish their contributions.   I merely want to show what determined people who are considered too old, too young, too fat, too nearsigthed, too diabetic, to serve in conventional military forces can do when they come together.

I hope this clears things up.  It's too bad that a person who is unknown to the community and who seeks nothing but the contacts to make contributions available finds themselves attacked like this with no basis in fact.


You have missed the point yet again by stating your Museum credits and misstating our project's purpose.
A Museum and a Library are both wonderful, important, and treasured civic institutions.

There is a difference between the ethos
expressed in a museum
and the ethos of a Library

This difference been made for you several times, both on this thread and discussions that you've had with Mark Hess.

The differences are subtle yet not small. TeamCAP is a library. The fact that your resume (above) states your museum experience (which is admirable) and does not directly address the issue of the difference, which was the point of my post above regarding you - makes the distinctions even more important, so that all understand.

The CAP Historical Foundation is set up as a museum. Over the years this need to possess, own, contain, physically collect items, sell, copyright, (hold in 3 dimensions) etc. has delayed the distribution of historical material in image form.

The internet has been around for 30 years and popular for 15, yet the Historical Foundation has been unable to present, update, or change much of their website for years and years. A museum can have trouble and be restricted in items on display. The commercial nature of some museums acts as a deterrent to distribution. Think of a Museum as a bank. A library is different. I'll followup on this analogy in a minute.

The Mark Hess' Library known as has 2 stated purposes.

1. To distribute to anyone with access to a computer and the internet - research materials of CAP Historical Documents, pictures, briefings, catalogues, memorabilia, events, images, and other items of interest.

Except for those items which are specifically owned by members or interested parties - the images (only) are donated and distributed free of charge for the education of unspecified parties. Exhibit permission has been asked for and granted on items not in the public domain.

However, TeamCAP is not a publisher, owner, or author of these items unless specifically stated otherwise. Just like a library.

For instance - I believe that some of the photos collected by Mark Hess were used in the Auburn Museum exhibit that you were Project Manage on - and these pictures were NOT attributed to Mark's Collection. While not encouraged, this use was not illegal or even out of bounds. It was however poor citizenship. This is not a credit to your museum style perspective. In other cases, members of CAPTALK have gone in to Mark's website and downloaded every image sequentially while not contributing or joining the site. Once again, this is not encouraged but within the stated purposes of the library. If TeamCAP was a museum and you stole the material for the National Military Museum CAP Exhibit... we'd have a much testier conversation. Be thankful that TeamCAP is a library (virtual facility) and not a museum (collection treasury).

That said, in the cases cited above, it is a disrespectful but not disgraceful or unlawful act.

The Library is not meant to compete with your work on Museum Projects or the CAP Historical Foundation. It is designed to accent, enhance, and facilitate both and all CAP historical enterprises.

2. is designed to seek out, receive, and distribute donated images from personal collections. In this way TeamCAP is a ground up, not top down, enterprise.

TeamCAP is free, at all times. While entrance fees, usage fees, and tracking donated items are important for museums, that is not TeamCAPs purpose. So a cadet needing an image for a squadron paper, an AEO giving a powerpoint lecture, a PAO needing an expositive picture, and a third party needing a tie-in for a military history meeting are all acceptable reasons for the TeamCAP site  Sharing is encouraged but not required. Give what you like. Take what you need. Come in peace. Be nice. Don't impose. Don't control. Contribute. Participate. TeamCAP is for the appreciation, education, and growth of CAP and Military History.

Frankly, your (YakYak's) Museum "view" about lawsuits, copyrights, donations of the TeamCAP library to other entities, and behind the scenes maneuvering including daily and multiple emails on this topic to other members have been read but are not in the same collegial ETHOS as the TeamCAP library. Think of a library as a bank lobby. You can see the money, but you can't own it. The bank lobby is for everyone even casual walk-throughs, the bank's money has assigned commercial purposes. Think of a library as a place of welcome and for intellectual purposes.

I trust this clears up the issue for you and all those reading this thread. Join TeamCAP if you like. Everyone is welcome.
With regards;


     This is beyond bizarre and it ends here.  I'm sorry I ever came onto this site.
I have electronic copies of vintage photographs and documents from the WWII CAP.  I came by them honestly from vets and their heirs and delivered the originals according to their wishes. The donors all expressed their desires to share these materials openly.
When I learned of Mark Hess's website project, I asked for contact information so I could contribute these to him, which I have done.   I sent these to Mark with a very clear understanding that he has always intended to create an online wiki-archives of CAP history.  In alignment with that wiki-philosophy, they were sent to Mark with no conditions, no costs, no copyright restrictions (on the contrary), no hidden agenda, and nothing about lawsuits.  Anything I said to Mark about legal matters had to do with pro-actively protecting the website.
Why Ed O'Brien, whom I do not know at all and who does not know me at all, thinks he has any grounds on which to publish very negative and false accusations he heard from third parties about conversations he did not audit or witness, is beyond me.  Nor do I have a clue on what basis he thinks he knows how I interpret or misinterpret anything about libraries or museums or CAPHF's approach to history outreach.  I do not have anything close to Mark's technical knowledge.  I have long thought about such a website, but I don't have the know-how to build oneā€”let alone one this massive and complicated. 
I have forwarded to Mark collections of materials on Coastal Patrol Base #18, Falmouth, MA, from the late vets Everett L. King and Donald V. LaCouture; on Tow Target Unit #22 from Ev. King and the late Allison Catheron; on  CP Base #17, Suffolk, L.I. from Allison Catheron;  and  on the WWII Squadron in Greenville, SC, which was under the leadership of the late Thomas Signor Hartness (donor), and a few isolated other pieces. Mark will post them as he has time.  I hope you will find them interesting and possibly useful.  As I understand it, they constitute the tiniest fraction of what will ultimately be available.  But they are the extent of whatever crimes against good citizenship Ed O'Brien thinks I have committed.
I do not know on what basis there is a claim that Mark furnished photographs to the National Military History Museum that were not credited.  Has anyone seen the exhibit?  All contributions were credited in a separate panel at the end of the exhibit to keep the look of the exhibit clean.  If there is an oversight, I am sure the museum would be happy to correct it. 
Ed, thank you for your posts on John Curry.  I look forward to reading your book.  Whether you write a book, and I work with museums, or someone else creates a documentary, or a CAP historian or PAO finds materials for his or her work, this website will enable more outreach than has been possible before.  I agree with you that it is a great thing.