Historical Jackpot - Historical Documents found

Started by jimmydeanno, March 14, 2008, 12:05:56 PM

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While rummaging through an old cabinet last night at my squadron meeting, I have come across about 4 1/2 paper case boxes full of old communications/uniform pamphlets (1952 - CAPP 10&11), etc ranging in date from 4 MARCH 1942 - 1980s.  All this stuff was just crammed in these boxes in no particular order.

A lot of it is communications from NHQ and a lot of it is related to our Wing's history and Squadron's history.

So, I have a few questions.

1) Do the National Historians accept historical documentation like this and if so, what do they do with it?  I am thinking that I'd like to put all this stuff in chronological order, scan it, burn it to CD(s) and send it somewhere where it can be properly archived and shared.  However, I don't want to send it to someone if it is just going to end up in their basement somewhere.

2) If our squadron doesn't want to part with the original documents, would the National Historians like to receive electronic copies (via CD's)?

3) I'd like to share some of the documents on here (obviously not all of them), but some that may be interesting - is that OK?  They may spur some discussions about our history.

I haven't started scanning yet, but I have a few I'd like to share now, so I'll transcribe them.

Off we go!
If you have ten thousand regulations you destroy all respect for the law. - Winston Churchill



OPERATIONS DIRECTIVE)                                                                                   NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS
                  NO. 4       )                                                                                   WASHINGTON, MARCH 4, 1942


1. We are at war.  The Civil Air Regulations have been modified to meet the requirements of the Army and Navy in providing for the National Defense.  It is imperative that all pilots observe these regulations to the letter.

2. There are certain areas over which no flying is permitted.  These areas have anti-aircraft defenses which are under orders to shoot down any aircraft passing over them.  Civil Air Patrol pilots are hereby directed to familiarize themselves with areas and routes over which their particular flights are to be made and conduct their flying accordingly.  It is important that all pilots navigate accurately and adhere rigidly to their flight plans.

3.  This is no time for foolish flying.  The fact that the Civil Air Patrol insignia is displayed on a plane or that the plane is engaged in an official mission does not give the pilot permission to break the Civil Air Regulations or do unnecessary aerobatics.  On surveillance and search missions, for example, the operations orders governing the missions are not a permit for hedge-hopping.

4. Certain missions, including pick-up message training, will require low flying.  Such flying should be cleared with Civil Aeronautics Administration inspectors and airport managers.

5. Failure of Civil Air Patrol flight personnel to comply with regulations will not be tolerated.  Unit Commanders are hereby directed to take prompt disciplinary action against such personnel under their command who break regulations or engage in careless flying.

6. Without thorough air discipline, the Civil Air Patrol is of no value as a flying auxiliary to the armed forces.  Develop air discipline.

                      By Command of Major General CURRY:

Colonel, Air Corps
Training & Operations Officer

Edit:  Document is not on pre-printed letterhead, heading is manuall typed.  In the upper right hand corner, written in pencil are the numbers "25.302".  In the lower right hand corner are the numbers "26022".
If you have ten thousand regulations you destroy all respect for the law. - Winston Churchill


An Auxiliary of the Army Air Forces

7 May 1944

Subject: Fatal Shooting

To: Lt. Col John F. Brown
      N.H. Wing Headquarters
      Concord, N.H.

1. On 7 May 1944 shortly after noon, Corp. Richard Towle CAP serial No. 1-1-929 attached to the Portsmouth Squadron, accidentally shot Leslie E. O'Brien CAPC., at the Portsmouth Municipal Airport.

2. Pvt. Adrien Frenette, CAPC had just relieved Corp. Towle at Squadron Headquarters and together with CAPC. O'Brien were standing by to receive telephone messages and to serve any incoming flying personnel.

3. The weapon involved - a 45 cal. colt automatic was hanging on a hook in a holster in the Officers day room with nothing in the barrel and the clip only partially inserted - left there for any of the night guards in case of emergency.
Orders had been given that no one was to touch the gun without authority.  Corp. Towle removed gun from holster and in working action accidently discharged it.  The bullet struck Cadet O'Brien in the stomach.

4. Cadet O'Brien was rushed to the hospital in a Police ambulance, given plasma and adrenalin but died shortly after arrival.

5. Portsmouth authorities - Police and County Solictor [sic] made an ivestigation and determined the shooting to be purely accidental, Corp. Towle was immediately released after the finding.

1st Lt. John E. Palmer, CAP
Commanding Portsmouth Squadron

1cc Lt. Col Brown
1cc File


Upper left hand corner of the document appears to have a form number for the letterhead "WF-9-7-43-100M.  The document is on preprinted letterhead and has the CAP Emblem (Dark blue circle with white triangle.  Inside the triangle, the CAP Tri-prop.  In the lower part of the circle the letters "US")
If you have ten thousand regulations you destroy all respect for the law. - Winston Churchill


Auxiliary Army Air Forces
Portsmouth Squadron
Portsmouth, N. H.

25, Feb.1947

          SUBJECT: Restricted Comm. of 15 Feb.1947

          TO:          The Wing Commander

1. The question of dues for members ranging from Three Dollars to Twelve dollars raises the question in my mind if this would not be about the end of CAP.

2. These dues would be about the highest dues for any kind of a group or club ever heard of.  I donot [sic] believe but what it would be very hard to get members at that rate.  It seems as if tihis [sic] is a large tax to impose on officers who realy [sic] get very little but a lot of work anyway you look at it.  When a man gives his time and some money and he can see where he has done maybe a little good to some kid, he is glad to do it, but if he has to pay for the privilige of doing it, I am afraid we will have trouble geting [sic] officers.  I do not think we can get very many returned service men if they have to pay that much.

Raymond C. Whitcher
Lt. Commanding
Portsmouth Squadron

Pre-printed letterhead, no emblems.  Appears to be locally printed.

EDIT: Just as a note: $3.00 at the time is the equivalent of $25.83 today.  The proposed $12.00 is the equivalent of $103.00 today, that is a substantial increase.
If you have ten thousand regulations you destroy all respect for the law. - Winston Churchill


Civil Air Patrol
Washington, D.C.

May 15, 1942

To: All Group and Squadron Commanders

From: Russell Hilliard

Subject: Volunteers for Guard Duty - Delaware

     We have just received word from Regional Headquarters that it is desired to obtain twelve men from the First Corps Area to serve as guards on Army and Civil Air Patrol equipment at the patrol base at Rehobeth, Delaware.

     Guards will be paid a per diem of $5.00, with one full day per week off and some time off during the week.  They will be paid 3 cents per mile for transportation to and from their homes.  They will be required to pay all other expenses and must furnish their own pump-type shotguns; ammunition will be supplied by the Army at the base.

     Please advise immediately if you have any personnel interested in the above work and how long they would be willing to fulfill such duties.

Russell Hilliard
Wing Commander

Pre-printed letter head with Civil Defense white triangle and circle.  In the circle is the CAP tri-prop.  There is no "US" in the circle.

Also on the page is a hand stamp from "Civil Air Patrol, New Hampshire Wing, Room 318, State House, Concord, N.H." next to the pre-printed header.

In the lower right corner is an image of the National Guard minuteman with the text "FOR DEFENSE, BUY United States Savings Bonds and Stamps."
If you have ten thousand regulations you destroy all respect for the law. - Winston Churchill



20 February 1948


SUBJECT: Promotion of Wing Commanders

TO:          All Wing Commanders

      (CAP Letter 35-1 dated 7 March 1947 is hereby superseded)

                Effective this date, Wing Commanders who have served satisfactorily in the assignment of Wing Commander for not less than twelve (12) consecutive months will be eligible for promotion to the rank of Colonel.

Brigadier General USAF
National Commander


Not pre-printed letterhead, heading is typed on a typewriter.  No other marks.

If you have ten thousand regulations you destroy all respect for the law. - Winston Churchill

Maj Ballard

L. Ballard, Major, CAP


Thanks for sharing.  I for one would purchase a CD of these items.  Maybe a fund raiser for your unit?.



Wow this is great to read. Better then reading in a history book. You would hope NHQ would want this to preserve. Better yet maybe the Smithsonian in Washington D.C.

Thanks for sharing it with all of us.



3 April 1946

SUBJECT: Autonomous Air Force

TO:          All CAP Unit Commanders

    1. A few months ago, we could still talk of maintaining the air supremacy we then had.  Since VJ-Day our Air Force has been cut fron 2,200,000 almost to the peacetime level of 400,000.  When that level is reached in June, a large proportion will be raw recruits.  Our airplanes, though abundant, are obsolete and soon will be antique.  Planes of greater speed, range, load, and striking power will be available to all nations.  However fast and well the AAF trains its new men, the cannot defend our country, with yesterday's planes, even against a second-rate power armed with the planes of today and tomorrow.

     2. Perhaps the folly of the past generation in letting Air Power decline after the last war was excusable.  Air Power was a theory then.  Today it is a compelling fact.  We can make no excuses to the next generation if we fail them now.  If another war is caused by our unpreparedness, many American lives will be forfeited not only on remote battlefields and in our coastal cities but in our strategic centers across the country, all vulnerable to attack.

     3. Far from regaining air supremacy, we cannot be sure of meeting minimum defense requirements if our Air Forces again are subordinated to the surface forces, concerned with surface tactics and equipment.  American Air Power was supreme in the war because, after decades of subordination, our Air Forces were given a degree of autonomy.  That autonomy must not lapse.  You know of the official proposals to that end, approved by the President and the War Department.

     4. What do you intend to do about it?  Do you know the full facts?  Have you taken pains to study -- really study and inform yourself intelligently?  Do your friends and neighbors know these things?  Have you told them?  Informative material is within easy reach in your CAP unit library.  Further material is being sent to all units.  Read it; discuss it; tell it.  If you can impress the facts upon your friends so they will tell their friends, you will be doing a service to our country.

     5. Knowledge is power.  See that your knowledge makes Air Power.

Colonel, Air Corps
National Commander

"Z" (5) (2) (2) (2)
5 cys to CG AAF (AC/AS-1)
5 cys to CG AAF (AC/AS-3)

Typewritten header, not formal printed letterhead.
If you have ten thousand regulations you destroy all respect for the law. - Winston Churchill


Thanks for the replies so far.  I am really interested in preserving this information and getting it somewhere where it will be preserved.  While much of it isn't necessarily "historically significant" it is at the very least interesting to read and gives good perspective on the climate and culture of CAP during the different times.

I have decades worth of this stuff, the 1940s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s.  Some of the stuff includes a CAPP 10 (male) & 11 (female), which is a uniform pamphlet from 1952.  A CAPP 10 from a later date that is some sort of leadership training pamphlet.  There are things like medical evaluation forms, old membership cards, communications, airport logs that note target towing missions, aircraft accidents, old hock shop price books, some application for a "Civil Air Patrol League, Inc" - I'd like more information on that...

I have a bunch of stuff that talks about CAP pursuing non wartime activity and it talks about setting up CAP flying clubs.  It even includes the bylaws of a CAP Flying Club (the first) established in Oakland CA and suggests that CAP set itself up that way.

The more I find, the more I'll share.  Once I get them all on CD, I don't see why I couldn't distribute them. 
If you have ten thousand regulations you destroy all respect for the law. - Winston Churchill


Quote from: Ohioguard on March 14, 2008, 01:42:25 PM
Thanks for sharing.  I for one would purchase a CD of these items.  Maybe a fund raiser for your unit?.

I second that idea. I thnk are a great many members who would easily pay five or ten bucks for a CAP Historical Documents cd. Who knows, you inspire others to dig around in old files...


Keene, New Hampshire

30 October 1950

MEMORANDUM:  To All Unit Commanding Officers

    1. Each unit of the Civil Air Patrol is now authorized two Chaplains.  

    2. Unit commanders are requested to solicit membership in Civil Air Patrol to fill these vacancies.

    3. Squadron chaplains will be commissioned in the grade of Captain.  Flight chaplains will be commissioned in the grade of 1st Lt.

    4. It is suggested that Form 19 be submitted with applications.

    By Order of Colonel Wilson:

1st Lt, CAP
If you have ten thousand regulations you destroy all respect for the law. - Winston Churchill


Bolling Air Force Base, Washington 25, D. C.

15 November 1949
NUMBER 16             )


      1. Under the provisions of Air Force Regulation 45-11, 11 January 1949, and pursuant to the provision of letter, Department of the Air Force, subject "Activation of Puerto Wing [sic], Civil Air Patrol" dated 23 September 1949, the fifty-second Wing of the Civil Air Patrol, to be known as the Puerto Rico Wing, Civil Air Patrol, is activated at San Juan, Puerto Rico, effective 0001 22 November 1949.

      2. The address of the Puerto Rico Wing, Civil Air Patrol, will be as follows:

                                 Commanding Officer
                                 Puerto Rico Wing, Civil Air Patrol
                                 Post Office Box 829
                                 San Juan, Puerto Rico


Carl W. Adams
Lieutenant Colonel, USAF
Chief of Staff


Captain, USAF


typewritten letterhead, signed by Jermore H. Keating.
If you have ten thousand regulations you destroy all respect for the law. - Winston Churchill


I would also like to see the replies from the National Historian you pose in the beginning of this thread.

I've run across 6+ large footlockers of Missouri Wing material from the 1960's on.

It's very interesting stuff!  Mundane and jaw-dropping.

One thing I might mention, and would like an answer to from the National Historian, is what to do with the fact that member's CAP ID numbers in the past were their social security numbers.  Do we black those out now?  Does that destroy the value of these historical documents? 

Dr. Dave
Lt. Col. (Dr.) David A. Miller
Director of Public Affairs
Missouri Wing

"You'll feel a slight pressure ..."


Box 92, Laconia, New Hampshire

18 April 1949

SUBJECT: Neglect of Official Duties

TO: Raymond C. Whitcher, Captain
       CAP 1-2-541
       Portsmouth Squadron, CAP

       1. During the investigation of an aircraft accident which occurred at Conway Valley Airport, Conway, New Hampshire, 30 March 1949, causing damages to USAF L-4 #42-15192, while operated by personnel of your Unit, the following violations of existing regulations were noted:

                       a: Pilot was not wearing official CAP uniform. (Reference Paragraph 2c, CAP Reg. 60-1).

                       b: CAP Form 3, Flight Release, was not witness as required.

      2. In view of the fact that you, personally, as squadron commander, signed CAP Form 3, authorizing the flight in L-4 #42-15192 on 30 March 1949, without requiring the pilot to wear proper uniform and without proper completion of CAP Form 3, the undersigned is of the opinion that you were most negligent in the performance of your official duties.

      3. You are hereby officially reprimanded for neglect of official duties.

      4. A copy of this letter will be placed in, and become a permanent part of, your official 201 file.

      5. It is directed that you acknowledge receipt of this letter by indorsement [sic] hereon.

Lt. Col., CAP
If you have ten thousand regulations you destroy all respect for the law. - Winston Churchill


Quote from: jimmydeanno on March 14, 2008, 12:30:28 PM
An Auxiliary of the Army Air Forces

7 May 1944

Subject: Fatal Shooting

Follow up to this message included this document:


Portsmouth Squadron
Portsmouth, N.H.

10 May 1944

Subject: Service Record

To:         Lt. Thomas Cleworth
              Chaplain, U.S.A.
              Camp Langdon, N.H.

1. Cadet Leslie O'Brien enlisted on Jamuary[sic] 26, 1944 and completed his basic training March 29, 1944.  He was a member of the Rifle Team and qualified as an expert rifleman.  He was, at the present time preparing himself to be a pilot, by studying navigation and radio communications.

2. While in the Civil Air Patrol, Cadet O'Brien's service was honorable and faithful.

3. Resolved: that in the death of Cadet O'Brien the Civil Air patrol has lost a loyal and trustworthy member.

Lt. John E. Palmer, CAP
Commanding, Portsmouth Squadron.
Hand typed letterhead, no emblems or seals.  Both of these documents also include the hand written drafts and a 1st typed draft with corrections noted.
If you have ten thousand regulations you destroy all respect for the law. - Winston Churchill


This is very interesting and fascinating stuff! Thanks for your efforts in sharing, and I'm glad that someone who cares about these things has "rescued" the documents from future loss or destruction!

In regards to our SSNs on older documents that should be preserved:

I had a long time squadron member request that his information be withdrawn from our squadron's archives - about 20 binders with sheet protectors containing stuff back to our charter. This had been my little project over several years as the unit historian.

Almost EVERYTHING from mission participation lists to promotion and award documents have SSNs. I almost felt ill, being asked to remove or alter dozens of preserved documents. That because of the modern threat of "identity theft" and the ilk, I'd have to (in my mind) destroy our historical records.

I told him that while I respected his request, I absolutely did not agree with it. My own information appeared right along side his, along with 100s of others. I'm not the current historian any longer, so it really wasn't my place to make any decisions. I don't know if he went any further than talking with me, or if anything has been done since his original request. I hope the archives have been left untouched.


Ace Browning, Maj, CAP
History Hoarder
71st Wing, Minnesota


This is really incredible, just the day to day workings of CAP, but absolutely facsinating. I'm sure the wartime documents are particularly interesting.


Wow, someone got the smackdown for flying in the wrong uniform... :)

In 1949! 
Darin Ninness, Col, CAP
Wing Dude, National Bubba
I like to have Difficult Adult Conversations™
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