File #1290: "CAP News Bulletin No. 13, 24 April 1942.pdf"

CAP News Bulletin No. 13, 24 April 1942.pdf

PDF Text


Washington, D.C.
April 24, 1942
Wing and Group Commanders: Now it can be revealed that the Civil Air Patrol has been in actual contact with the enemy in the fight to protect shipping
against the submarine menace in America’s coastal waters.

COAST PATROL-- "The Flying Minute Men" -- that's our lads--"have spotted enemy submarines and
survivors of torpedoed ships. On several occasions enemy submarines about to attack tankers
carrying oil to America's overseas forces have dived in fright without releasing their torpedoes on
approach of Civil Air Patrol planes. Several sinkings scored by Army and Navy bombers are credited
directly to a tip-off by civilian volunteers."
Thus reads a recent announcement by Maj. Gen. Follett Bradley, commanding the First Air Forces and
the Air Forces, Eastern Defense Command, with headquarters at Mitchell Field.
"Each volunteer task force operating from an East Coast locality is composed to the last man of
members of the Civil Air Patrol", the announcement states. "They brought their own planes, tools, and
spare aircraft parts with them and they arranged to secure sufficient radio equipment to set up
transmitting and receiving stations at their bases capable of maintaining communications with planes
on patrol.
"The Flying Minute Men have established strict military discipline at the bases on their own initiative.
Their leaders, acting on the oft-proven theory that good football teams -- and offshore patrols -- are
created by constant practice, have authorized classes in Morse code, signaling, Infantry drill, and
similar subjects....
"Neither the number nor the location of the I task forces can be disclosed for military reasons."

MILITARY SECRECY--Note well that although the existence of trial operations to aid the armed forces
in protecting our shipping may now be discussed, every member of the Patrol is bound by the strictest
rules of secrecy against revealing any information which might inform the enemy as to the location of
bases, the number of men and planes employed, or the method of operations.
Gen. G. C. Marshall, Chief of Staff, in War Department Circular No. 113 issued April 17, hears down
heavily upon the release of any information which might be of value to the enemy. "Such information",
he warns, "includes the organization, composition, state of training, equipment, or armament of any
unit; ... identification and location of units; assignment of personnel; the activation or contemplated
activation of new units; tactical employment for which units are organized; ...military operations
contemplated or proposed, or information which might focus attention upon training, personnel, or
equipment from which the character of location of future operations might be deduced ..."
THAT MEANS YOU. The enemy is listening.
CAP Intelligence Officers have been advised that, subject to instructions of their unit commanders,
they may release information on practice operations of a routine character. When their unit cooperates
with a military unit on work such as courier service, involving no element of national security, they
must clear with the public relations officer of the military unit for which the work is being done.
But on all matters affecting national security, especially in coast patrol or other area patrol work, all
information MUST be cleared through the National Intelligence Officer of the Air Patrol. National
Headquarters will be obliged to take severe action should any member, no matter who he may be,
deviate from this necessary rule.


WHO MAY SERVE—To the extent that CAP personnel may be needed to man operations for the armed
forces, men will be assigned by National Headquarters on the basis of recommendations from Wing
Commanders, When work is under way in a given area, not only the nearest Wing but other Wings within
a reasonable distance will be given an opportunity to furnish volunteers, according to present plane.
The best way for a member to become eligible for active service is to work with his Squadron the best he
knows how, study diligently, attend all meetings, complete the training directives, and perform the
prescribed flight practice missions with smartness and dispatch. Don’t write headquarters.
If you have exceptional qualifications and equipment, see that your Wing Commander knows.
REGULAR CHANNELS—In the above, as in all other matters, CAP members MUST follow regular
channels. Squadron member must not write his Wing Commander or the National Commander directly but,
under the military procedures followed by the patrols should refer questions and suggestions through his
unit commander. Most members understand this but many letters still come into busy CAP offices with
questions which could be answered from the directives available at all unit headquarters.
Only by weeding out needless inquiries can the National and Wing and Group offices function at top
efficiency and give the really important letters the prompt attention which they deserve, Above all, individual
members should not write directly to official agencies In Washington on Patrol matters, Unit officers are
expected to check with local and regional CAA inspectors, Army officers, etc. to the extent necessary. But
contacts with Washington should be handled through Patrol headquarters,
SQUADRON STRENGTH—All CAP Squadrons have been instructed by Col, Harry H. Blee in Operations
Directive No. 11 that they must be recruited to the minimum strength of 50 members by May 15 or else be
reorganized as Flights and attached to the nearest Squadron, The maximum authorized Squadron strength is 200.
Henceforth all enrollments will be limited to Pilots, Observers, Mechanics, Radio Operators, Radio Mechanics, and
Parachute Riggers except when, in the opinion of the Unit Commander, the enrollment of other specialists is
necessary to meet operating requirements. Applications for the specialists listed should be encouraged even if a
Squadron is up to strength as the recruits can be assigned to other Squadrons. Otherwise, a Squadron is
expected to assemble the people it actually needs to function effectively as a self-contained unit with members of
the necessary skills to perform its missions.
But members should not be admitted haphazardly, They must have the skills needed to fill existing vacancies in
the Squadron.
LOW-COST TRANSPORTATION—On the wind-up of the 3-day experiment in courier service performed
for the Army by the Pennsylvania Wing of the Civil Air Patrol, the average cost of cargo carried was
computed at scarcely more than $0.001 per pound mile, or about 10¢ to carry one pound 100 miles.
CAMPING MISSION--Squadron 461-2, Birmingham, Ala., is frequently cited in this news bulletin because it comes in
early and often with reports of interesting activities.
Recently the members spent the week-end camping in tents staked out beside their tethered planes, to fly a practice
mission over the Warrior River and familiarize the pilots and observers with the lock system on that important stream,
Pictures sent to headquarters tell the story of the encampment and show the uniformed squadron in smart military
array. It was an excellent job of photography. Pictures like these would be welcomed from other units.