Records about individual members?

Started by Woodsy, February 08, 2011, 12:04:49 AM

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As a newly joined CAP member, I must admit I knew pretty much nothing about it (had heard of it though) before a professor suggested I look into it. Earlier today I was visiting my 88 year old grandfather who has been in a rehab center after having a stroke several months ago and mentioned it to him.  Well come to find out, he was a CAP member in the 50's and 60's.  He even mentioned flying CAP sorties through the jungle "Back in Nam!"  lol, poor guy...  Stroke really screwed up his memory, he is a decorated WWII vet but was never in Vietnam....   

Anyways, I figured at the time that he was mixing up CAP with his days as an aerial photographer for the navy.  He was in Alaska in the late 40's and 50's and spent thousands of hours in the air mapping the state before it even was a state. So I mentioned it to my Aunt, who comfirmed that he actually was a very active CAP member and served in several wings as he moved around the country in his 25 year Naval career.  Anyways, she told me that he was involved in several high profile SAR missions out west somewhere, and was personally credited for saving several lives. One that she remembered specifically happened sometime in the mid 50's (she thinks)  when a plane crashed in the middle of winter somewhere out west (she thinks it might have been Colorado but isn't sure) while he was stationed as a liasion at some AF base.  The plane was missing for several days during which it was extremely cold and a lot of snow fell in the area.  His aircrew had been searching for a couple days and finally spotted smoke which they tracked to a campfire in the middle of nowhere, then spotted the downed plane nearby.  It was in a very remote area and couldn't be reached by ground due to the snow and mountains around it. So his pilot landed the plane gear up (intentionally I assume in order to skid) on a frozen and snow covered lake that was about 2 miles away, and him and my Grandpa hiked to the downed plane and found that everyone on board was alive, had some exposure and hypothermia issues and banged up a little but not too bad as the pilot was able to make a controlled landing onto another lake when their plane lost power.  They made 2 flights to fly them out.  My Aunt said the governor of whatever state it was came down to honor him and his pilot, gave them some award.  She also said it had pretty extensive media coverage as the likelyhood of people surviving for long in the weather at that tme was kind of a shock.  She said they used to have articles but they have been lost over time.

Anyways, I was just wondering if there is any to find out the history of individual members and their involvement in specific missions.  Would be kind of cool to know what all my Grandpa was involved with. 


Unfortunately, it is very unlikely that any CAP records exist.  Most individual records are discarded after only a few years.  You can try doing a search using the Google News function to see if your grandfather's name shows up in any news stories from the 1950s.  Its a longshot, but without more details to work from finding out anything will be difficult. 


I'll talk to my dad and my other aunt and see if they remember any details about it.  An exact year and location would go a long way.


I am in Colorado. There are too many variables in your family story to offer you much hope unless we get some specifics. That said PM with a name, year, and any details that are certsin... and if it was Colorado - I'll look at my sources.
With regards;