2nd National Headquarters Building

Started by Smithsonia, February 10, 2011, 07:17:11 AM

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The First National Headquarters Building was at Bolling Field in DC. That white wood frame 3 story building with center main staircase, 3-season screen porches on the ends with outside staircases connecting the porches with a colonial exterior (Looking like a shabby duplicate for the White House) was torn down long ago. Interestingly enough it had been a hospital before. We seem to like to move into old hospitals as that is where our current HQ at Maxwell. BUT...

Our second National Headquarters was called the Dupont Circle Building in Washington DC and it apparently still exists.
So from Aug '42 to sometime after the war CAP HQ was here:

The Office of Civil Defense and the Civilian Defense Authority (I wonder what the difference was?) were located in the same building.
With regards;


When I joined CAP in 1946, National HQ was at Bolling
Gil Robb Wilson # 19
Gil Robb Wilson # 104


Bill B;
All I have to go on is the address they used which wasn't Bolling Field.
Here is a list of personnel from Aug '42. At the top of this letter you can clearly see the
Dupont Circle address.

I had thought everything remained at Bolling Field for the entire war. So I was surprised when Mark Hess
at TeamCap found new information.
With regards;


Ed, now my intersest is peeked.  How many times did our NHQ change locations?  And, where were those locations?


How many CAP HQs? Well I guess we are still discovering them.
So far Command Headquarters go like this.
0. 5th Ave. New York City (Apr '41) LaGuardia, Reed Landis, and Civil Defense Authority begin using the name Civil Air Patrol. At this point CAP
    is an idea and not yet an organization.
1. Denver -1108 15th St. Not an official HQ but Jack Curry as 2nd Air Force Commander delivers the first organizing orders in Aug. 41.
2. Bolling Field for WW2 Dec. 1 '41. (although Bill Breeze places this location as the 3rd HQ so we have a bit of research sorting to do)
3. Dupont Circle Building (again we are sorting research on this location as to how long and in which order these HQ building were used.)
4. Ellington Field (Houston)
5. Maxwell AFB (Montgomery) Current location.

Here's the Organization Chart from '42. http://forum.teamcap.org/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=2752
Thanks to TeamCap for the help and display.
With regards;


Doing a little research on both the Dupont Circle Building and the phone number in the letter Ed posted "REpublic 7500" turned up this.

Dupont Circle Building originally built in 1931 as an apartment building with 700 units. Converted into an office building in 1942.

US Government Manual, September 1941
Office of Civil Defense - Dupont Circle Apartments, Phone REpublic 5050
Director - Fiorello H. LaGuardia, Assistant Director in charge of Participation, Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt

US Government Manual, Spring 1942
Office of Civil Defense - Dupont Circle Building, Phone REpublic 5000
Same staff as above PLUS (drum roll...)
Commander, Civil Air Patrol - Maj Gen John F. Curry
Navy Department Consultant - Rear Adm. Clark H. Woodward
Asst. Director in charge of Civilian Protection - Maj Gen Lorenzo D Gasser

US Government Manual, Summer 1943
Office of Civil Defense - Dupont Circle Building, Phone REpublic 7500*
The staff had grown considerably and none of the names above are listed.
The Asst Director in Charge of Civilian Protection was now Maj Gen US Grant, 3d

There is an appendix to the Summer 1943 edition which states this:
CIVIL AIR PATROL (OFFICE or CIVILIAN DEFENSE). - Established by Administrative Order 9 of December 8, 1941, to enlist, organize, and operate a volunteer corps of civilian airmen, with their own aircraft and equipment, for wartime tasks. . Executive Order 9339 of April 29, 1943, transferred the Civil Air Patrol to the War Department to be operated as an auxiliary of the Army Air Forces.

*REpublic 7500 is listed as the exchange for many government offices, regardless of their physical location.

Forgot to include that PDF versions of the US Government Manual, 1935 to 1951 are available here:



Looking at the back of my 1953 CAP ID Card it says it's "government property and will be returned to National Headquarters, Civil Air Patrol, Bolling AFB, Washinton 25 DC.
Gil Robb Wilson # 19
Gil Robb Wilson # 104


Thanks Mike! Thanks Bill! This overlay of letters, notes, pictures, etc. is nerdy historian fun. I love it.
With regards;


And Mark Hess of TeamCap emailed me this one:
National Headquarters, Civil Air Patrol
Dupont Circle Building, Republic 7500
Room 1015, Branch 6255
Washington, DC
(Located - Connecticut Ave & Dupont Circle, NW)

I found a 1943 Civil Defense booklet listing all the War Agencies around this CAP Building.  I will post it on Scribd soon.  The top CD Directors & Staff were also located here.   CAP's first NHQ Location was Rockefeller Center,  New York City, NY (1941-42).

With regards;


SO -Dupont Circle was National HQ in 42-'43 AND 44? Wait just one minute -
As you can see the New York, New York address being used as National Headquarters as late as 1944.
SEE HERE: http://forum.teamcap.org/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=2459

I love this little "messy-burb address" because it shows:
1. How many groups and officials were working to make CAP happen, provide its guidance and give its orders.
2. That all things in WW2 were fluid including locations of HQs.
3. I am probably the first person in world to enjoy numbers 1 and 2.
4. That CAP members also enjoy these little backgrounders. The fact that we have so many addresses and cross over dates
    will make a nice little 10 minute historians presentation at a squadron meeting. Which is why I write these little goofy pieces.
With regards;

exFlight Officer

Quote from: Smithsonia on February 10, 2011, 09:58:41 PM
4. That CAP members also enjoy these little backgrounders. The fact that we have so many addresses and cross over dates
    will make a nice little 10 minute historians presentation at a squadron meeting. Which is why I write these little goofy pieces.

I, as a squadron historian, appreciate these little goofy pieces! They are also interesting to read and makes me want to investigate more into CAP History.


I am glad you're enjoying it. I talked to Sheila Curry DeKalb the other day. She said that her family lived at Bolling Field post Christmas '41 through May of '42 when they moved back to Denver. They lived in a tiny apartment on the field. She remembers it well and thinks it was the poorest accommodations in which they were ever billeted. So I am thinking.

1. The Bolling address may have been a small shop office for Jack Curry and some other Army Air Corps officers. We think he was working on several duties including Coastal Defense, Civil Defense, Military Transportation, and Mark Hess (of TeamCap) thinks he was also doing Intelligence work. (I don't know about this one) All of these items were done at Bolling at the beginning of the war.

We know Delos Emmons, Robert Olds, and several other protege's from his days at Maxwell were stationed at Bolling too. They were involved in all the fields listed above. We know the office at Bolling '41/'42 was not the same building number as the post WW2 address. The picture of the building with the '41/'42 Office has 15 windows to the right and left of the central entrance. So I am guessing that this building is less than
150ft long and probably had 16-30 offices of 300 to 900 square ft per floor. Meaning these were small offices at best and likely couldn't contain all the personnel needed to get CAP going. However, Curry worked at this office most days. Sheila visited him often at that office.

2. 3 to 6 miles away was the Dupont Circle Office. It was much larger. JF Curry could have easily been both places in the same hour. Washington was full to the brim and spilling into the boat basins with people staffing the war effort. Officers of Jack Curry's experience were doing multiple tasks until they could be relieved by a surge of humanity flowing into the District faster than the Potomac.

Don't forget WW2 changed everything overnight and there was a group of men and women who were called to make a plan, plug big holes, and live with little support through the darkest days of WW2 during the Spring '42. Formalities were dropped, courtesies extended, perseverance required, little sleep taken, services bent to capacity, questions to be answered, and hope in short supply.

3. LaGuardia and Civil Defense had production capabilities for maps, brochures, pamphlets, books, guides, and artists and writers in New York City. Printing facilities in Washington were stretched to the limit for most of the war. So probably CAP materials coming out of New York was mass produced and mass distributed.

4. Dupont Circle was mass Civil Defense information, authority, and planning. CAP had staff support and authorizing bodies all in one place at Dupont Circle.

5. AND, Bolling Flield was mostly Army Air Corps business. When the Army and  CAP worked and confidentiality  was important - the Bolling Field Office was used and important.

It is into this maelstrom of world on-fire conflict the CAP was birthed and grew-up as best it could under duress that must've been mighty. This little story comes and is a tiny part of an amazingly big picture as America transformed into an arsenal.
With regards;


Ed, you and "the guys" are doing some really good detective work bringing the details of our history to light.  I'm finding it more than enjoyable.  I find it educational and enlightening.
Thanks for your work.  And, thanks to Jim and Len as well.


Fred and all;
On this thread - Inside these 12 entries is another gift. Not just the information but the process. A participatory detective story with a happy ending. This is how the process works. This is how to participate. This is how much fun it can be. This is the intellectual reward. This is as far as I know - completely lost information for a generation or more. Found. Polished up anew. AND, placed proudly on the mantle for all to admire. My thanks to all who helped, chimed in, were interested, and www.TeamCap.org for the authenticating documents.
With regards;


From some documents that I transcribed here: http://captalk.net/index.php?topic=4519.msg87631#msg87631 listed on the letterhead:

March 4, 1942 : Washington D.C.
May 1, 1942 : Washington D.C. (Office of Civilian Defense - CAP)
May 15, 1942 : Washington D.C.
May 25, 1942 : Washington D.C. (Office of Civilian Defense - CAP)
October 9, 1944: 500 Fifth Avenue, New York 16, New York (Listed as HEADQUARTERS 32D AAF BASE UNIT (CAP))
April 3, 1946 : Bolling Field, Washington D.C.
January 27, 1947: Bolling Air Force Base, Washington D.C.
February 20, 1948 : Bolling Air Force Base, Washington D.C.
September 19, 1949 : Bolling Air Force Base, Washington D.C.
November 15, 1949: Bolling Air Force Base, Washington D.C.
If you have ten thousand regulations you destroy all respect for the law. - Winston Churchill


I have a Weekly Bulletin, number  6, dated 7 February 1957. with National Headquarters being at Bolling AFB, signed by Robert C. Allphin, Major, USAF Adjutant