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Kaye Downing
Recruit

Posts: 17

« on: August 23, 2009, 03:15:14 PM »

I have volunteered and was appointed the squadron historian. My squadron has not filled this position before. I have been writing down what is happening at meetings, trying to secure supporting documents for events and appointments and taking pictures of various squadron activities. Since I picked this job up in July I am going to write my first history from July to end of December of this year at the end of the year. Can anyone advise me on things to include in my history or perhaps send me a copy of their history? I would like to see an example of one.

Kaye Downing, Captain
Jacksonville Composite Wing
FL 383
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Smithsonia
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,122

« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2009, 03:49:55 PM »

Kaye;
If you get all the various Public Affairs pieces from the year, inside media like squadron emails, newspapers, and wing media organs, and outside media pieces from local newspapers and the like, and your notes should be enough. My history (I am a Squadron Historian too) is very plain Jane writing with lots of facts and figures.

That said, it is not in narrative form, it is not in and of itself a great read. I go month to month. I expect it to be a reference piece. I save the expressionistic and best writing for other works. I collapse the entire year into 5-7 pages including photos. I use the pieces for end of year recommendations and commendations. Last year The Wing awarded our squadron's Senior member of the year and PD Officer of the year. I'd like to think that my write-ups and notes made some difference to these awards. I think that this is one of the primary duties of the Historian. It's great for morale, camaraderie, and mutual respect.

Here's a suggestion - Do the normal History work for a few years. Get comfortable with the writing of the yearly history --
then do MORE than squadron history. Go get the great stories of your squadron, group, and wing. Interview the oldest members, the heroes, the doers, the revolutionary's, find them, talk to them, make their narratives known. Spread the news! Spread the history! Find the graves of members past. Find the members retired. Find the old photos, scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, uniforms, etc.
It is worth doing and good for the cadets and new and old seniors members too.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2009, 05:16:18 PM by Smithsonia » Report to moderator   Logged
With regards;
ED OBRIEN
IceNine
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,969

« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2009, 04:32:44 PM »

You honestly could not be in a better place.

Between Ed (Smithsonia) and Jim Shaw you have 2 of the most outstanding historians in the organization to guide you (at least from this forum)

Now back to your regularly scheduled programming

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"All of the true things that I am about to tell you are shameless lies"

Book of Bokonon
Chapter 4
Airrace
Seasoned Member

Posts: 372

« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2009, 05:17:51 PM »

You honestly could not be in a better place.

Between Ed (Smithsonia) and Jim Shaw you have 2 of the most outstanding historians in the organization to guide you (at least from this forum)

Now back to your regularly scheduled programming

I agree. Also try and look at other CAP squadrons web site and see what they have done. No sense in re inventing the wheel agian!
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Smithsonia
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Posts: 1,122

« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2009, 05:18:05 PM »

Airrace/IceNine;
That is awfully good of you. I thank you deeply for the kind mention. One never knows if anyone even reads the work. It is gratifying that you have.
Thanks!
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With regards;
ED OBRIEN
MovingOnToOtherThings
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,301

« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2009, 08:01:11 AM »

I have volunteered and was appointed the squadron historian. My squadron has not filled this position before. I have been writing down what is happening at meetings, trying to secure supporting documents for events and appointments and taking pictures of various squadron activities. Since I picked this job up in July I am going to write my first history from July to end of December of this year at the end of the year. Can anyone advise me on things to include in my history or perhaps send me a copy of their history? I would like to see an example of one.

Kaye Downing, Captain
Jacksonville Composite Wing
FL 383

Welcome to the fold Kaye: I am currently working on a "Guideline" for Historians that may be helpful. I have a few more things to add but will share it as soon as I am finished. No more than a couple of days.  The outline for it   is 4 pages long. It will make its "debut" at the NB.
You honestly could not be in a better place.

Between Ed (Smithsonia) and Jim Shaw you have 2 of the most outstanding historians in the organization to guide you (at least from this forum)

Now back to your regularly scheduled programming


Thank you sir. I appreciate that.
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Always seeking to learn.
DesertFlyer
Recruit

Posts: 21
Unit: SWR-NM-084

« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2009, 03:37:01 PM »

Here's an example, though it is not going to be typical for an annual history.  That's because it covers the formation period of a new squadron, and includes events for a few months prior to the squadron's actual chartering.

http://www.geocities.com/capsocorro/history.html

This is more detailed than is usual for annual histories, because I felt it was useful to fully document the process of starting a new squadron from scratch, with personnel having no previous CAP experience.

Note that this link will die in late October, when Geocities shuts down.  I'll try to find someplace else for this material to reside before then.
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Lt Col Dave Finley, CAP
Socorro Composite Squadron
New Mexico Wing

Semper Fidelis -- Semper Vigilans
Kaye Downing
Recruit

Posts: 17

« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2009, 12:49:51 AM »

Thank you all for your replys. You have been most helpful to me.  A very special thanks to Ed  for sending me some examples and Dave for providing a link :clap:.

I am finding that this is a great speciality for a new member such as myself as it forces you to get involved and poke around into all areas of the squadron looking for information and getting familiar with the various squadron functions and activities so I can write about them.

For me it is really going to be fun and I will be able to learn more about CAP because of it.

Kaye Downing, Capt
Jacksonville Composite Squadron
FL-383
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alamrcn
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 641
Unit: NCR-MN-047

Civil Air Patrol Patches
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2009, 03:06:55 PM »

Quote from: Kaye
I am finding that this is a great speciality for a new member such as myself as it forces you to get involved and poke around into all areas

You know, that is a VERY good idea!

I'm going to propose that to my commander! Usually the squadron historian is either the oldest or longest-time member by default. Or even more often, and very unfortunately, just filled with a member who isn't very active or already has many jobs at the unit.

I find there are THREE stages to being a CAP historian...

1. Hoarding & Recording
 - As long as you have preserved the hard evidence, someone sometime down the road will be able to sort most of it out.

2. Compiling & Reporting
 - Outlining and highlighting the most important facts and events from the hard evidence gathered, and submitting it for membership reviewal.

3. Narrating & Sharing
 - Documenting you're own and other's personal experiences to support the facts, through writing and media, and sharing those stories with others. Is essence, story telling!

Personally, I have the most fun with #1, but sometimes get a lot of #2 done... #3 I need to work on more.
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Ace Browning, Maj, CAP
History Hoarder
71st Wing, Minnesota
MovingOnToOtherThings
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,301

« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2009, 07:11:50 PM »

This is lengthy but not "finished" it may help provide you with some ideas. I will be adding some later and rearranging them to put them in a more logical order.

This is a list of some of the things that can be talked or spoke about to enhance any historical presentation

1 – The individuals associated with the earlier days of CAP before it was formed. Some
historical background information on how and why it was conceived.
   Dates Associated
   Individuals Associated
   The catalyst that caused the movement to group.

2 – Basic information about the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
   Dates Associated
   Ships Associated
   Casualties Associated
   Pictures (Ones you can find)
   
3 – The actual forming of the Civil Air Patrol
   Dates Associated
   Events Associated ( Public Law, Incorporation, President)
   Early Bases (21 In all)
   Early Missions from 1941 to about 1945 (Sub Chasers, Tow Targets, Liaison
      Patrol, Forest Patrol Specifically During WWII)
   Activities after WWII from 1945 to 1950
   Activities during the 1950’s to 60’
   Activities during the 60’s to 70’s
   Activities during the 70’s to 80’s
   Activities during the 80’s to 90’s
   Activities during the 90’s to 2000
   Activities during the 00’s to Present
   CAP’s influence in the Air Cadet Training Corps.
   CAP clubs in schools and clubs.


4 – Current missions for America.   
   Cadet Programs
   Aerospace Education
   Operations
   Homeland Security

5 – Now list some of the unusual things that have occurred in our great history.
   Coyote Wrangling
   Crop Cover Warming
   Glade Buggy Rescue
   Mounted Patrol
   Para-Rescue
   Our tow target was made from a toilet plunger and some AA batteries
   We sponsored CAP music hours on radio.
   We have a member who has been in since January 1942 continuously for 67 Years.
   High school clubs,


6 – Individual Highlights
   Prominent Regions stats (operations, save level)
   Your States stats (operations, save level)
   Group stats
   Squadron stats

7 – Mention historical reference points.
   Websites:  CAPHistory.org
   Books: Flying Minute Men Robert E. Neprud (Audio Book Available)
      From Maine to Mexico Louis E. Keefer
      This is your Civil Air Patrol by C.B. Colby
      Collectors Catalogs Louisa B.  Morse
      Music Sources
      Supporting the Historical Committees efforts to preserve our history.
      Library of Congress Archives

8 – Historical Staff from National down to local
   Col. Len Blascovich, National Historian (National Staff)
      100 – 30 Elger Place, Bronx NY 10475 len_b@ix.netcom.com
      Home 1-718-379-8666 Cell 1-347-524-7531 Fax 1-718-320-1631
      
   Major Jim Shaw, National Curator (National Staff)
      1447 US HWY 19S Apt 4D Leesburg, GA 31763 caphistorian@mchsi.com
      Cell 1-229-881-7744     

Regional Historians (Regional Staff)
   State Historians (Wing Staff)
   Group Historians (Group Staff)
   Squadron Historians (Squadron Staff)

9 – Historical Conservation
   Record Keeping
   Record / Photo Storage
   Old Uniforms and Such
   Ask before you throw away.
   Oral Interview

10 – Historical Markers
   Individual base dedication markers.
   Museum with CAP displays.
   CAP Memorial for those who have died in the line of duty.
   CAP items in historical areas. 
   
11 – Miscellaneous Items
   Past National Commanders from the area
   Past Regional Commanders from the state
   Any large activities in the area, air shows, encampments and such…
   Bronze and Silver Medal of Valor Recipients from the area
   Major activities done in the area. Encampments, Hawk Mountain, Glider
      Academy, Search and Rescue, NCASE just to name a few.
   Honoring those who are no longer with us!
   Everyone is part of history.
   Civilian support of the war effort and CAP effort.
   Vintage posters, signs, banners
Spaatz Recipients
Wilson Recipients
Bronze and Silver Medal of Valor Recipients
IACE Participation
Members who join Active Military
50 Members
Retirements
Squadron of Merit
Squadron of Distinction
Wing of the Year
Region of the Year

12 – Historical Property Rights
   What belongs to CAP and what belongs to the individual?

13 – Historian Recruitment
   Are you a historian?
   Are you interested in history?
   Who is rated in the historian track?
   Who would make a good Historian?
   How can you get started as a historian?

14 – Down through the ages…
   Uniform Changes
   Insignia Changes
   Structural Changes

15 – CAP Members in the news.
   Outside work or other volunteer work.
   CAP Activities they participate in.
   Family members who are members of CAP.
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Always seeking to learn.
Kaye Downing
Recruit

Posts: 17

« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2009, 02:20:39 PM »

Some great ideas here. How about some guidance on classification of histories?. Are histories to be unclassified only or can they be FOUO?  I am thinking of including some of our operational missions that are considered FOUO. If they are to be unclassified then how do we santize the FOUO parts?

Kaye Downing, Captain
Jacksonville Composite Squadron
FL 383
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MovingOnToOtherThings
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,301

« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2009, 03:30:31 PM »

Some great ideas here. How about some guidance on classification of histories?. Are histories to be unclassified only or can they be FOUO?  I am thinking of including some of our operational missions that are considered FOUO. If they are to be unclassified then how do we santize the FOUO parts?

Kaye Downing, Captain
Jacksonville Composite Squadron
FL 383

Usually they have to be unclassified. If you have something specific then you should go through your Squadron Commander and then to the Wing Legal Officer to check on the current status of the informaiton. I hope this helps.

Jim
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Always seeking to learn.
tarheel gumby
Seasoned Member

Posts: 312
Unit: MER-NC-019

« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2009, 10:48:04 PM »

Kaye,
     I couldn't add anything to what has already been said, other than welcome to the club and good luck. Here is my squadron's website, we have a quick history of the squadron on the site  www.ashevillecap.org
 
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Joseph Myers Maj. CAP
Squadron Historian MER NC 019
Historian MER NC 001
Historian MER 001
PlaneFlyr
Member

Posts: 71

« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2009, 11:41:15 PM »

Kaye,

Glad to see you asking for guidance.  Hopefully, you'll get some good info on here to help make it easier to get started. 

Historian duty is similar to PAO, in that pictures and stories are collected.  That's also why you can start by saving squadron newletters and other PAO items.  But also keep staff listings, anything noteworthy that occurred, fliers, newpaper articles, brochures from special events. 

And get stories from people (either written or recorded).  The best way to honor those who have served our organization is to tell their story.  It also inspires newer members to try harder if they know they won't be forgotten the day the leave.

Typically, there shouldn't be too much FOUO stuff, but it occurs sometimes.  For items like old rosters with peoples SSN's (before we knew better), you could redact them by blacking out the critical info with a highlighter, then photocopying and only keeping the copy (hopefully the info will be obliterated).  For mission info, it's a bit trickier, but usually the FOUO items can be left out without significantly altering the historic value of your documentation.

Good luck.
Todd
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Lt Col Todd Engelman, CAP
Historian
President of the Medal of Valor Association
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