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FINAL CAP NHJ Volume 1, Issue 2, JAN-MAR 2014.pdf

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…a journal of
CAP history,
feature articles,
scholarly works,
and stories of

CAP National Historical Journal
Volume I, Issue II: JAN-MAR 2014

The Civil Air Patrol National Historical Journal is published quarterly by professional volunteer staff. As academic historians by trade,
we recognize the demand for quality publications reflecting a variety of interests to Civil Air Patrol readers, and strive to offer the
best in feature and thought provoking articles. We trust you will enjoy what the e-journal has to offer and will consider contributing
to the mission of our staff in providing a forum for the great traditions of our organization.

On Kites and Other
Such Matters of Note
K. J. Efinger


ne afternoon a few years back, I
mentioned to my friend Wayne
that I was unable to attend his Tuesday
evening blacksmithing classes due to
local CAP unit meetings. Wayne looked
at me, scratched his beard, and said
“Civil Air Patrol…Granddad often
mentioned them.” “Yes,” I said,
“They’ve been around for quite some
time…what did your grandfather do?”
Wayne replied, “Well…for starters, I
guess he is identified with what is now
the Smithsonian’s National Air and
Space Museum, but I think as much
recognition is given to him for inventing
the “target-kite.” My reaction was as
tempered as his response, but there
was no hiding the fact that I was no
longer in a rush to leave that afternoon,
and pressed for more information on
Paul Garber, and his legacy. I knew of
target kites, but little more than the
fact that their invention was the result
of needing to train gunners on land and
at sea. I did not, however, give much
attention to their development, or who

exactly came up with the idea in the first place—it was rather trivial,
and admittedly, I had little interest. That changed when Wayne began to
tell me the story as he remembered it from his Grandfather. I suddenly
found myself quite interested as he related all he knew of Paul Garber’s
invention of the “target kite,” and other such things as how Charles
Lindbergh and his Granddad would sit for hours in the senior Garber’s
office at the museum. Wayne related how he would listen, play, and
absorb so much that was going on in the fascinating and privileged
environment around him.


ayne is a consummate sage—a story-teller par excellence. I
experienced this in classic form that one afternoon, and again
just the other day when I went by to see if he was interested in telling
CAP NHJ readers more about his grandfather. In Wayne’s office is a
rather crudely constructed heavy pine bookshelf sitting atop his desk
with a thumb-sized knot protruding from each side of the upright
support. Countless visitors would stand or sit while listening to some
story about this or that—all the while shuttling the large knot back and
forth, and sometimes out of place. This was a rite of passage for anyone
who knew Wayne and visited him at his work, and this day was no
different as I learned more about Paul Garber’s fascinating life than I
had on the first occasion. I never knew Paul Garber—as I suspect that
few readers of the CAP NHJ did—but somehow I have now made a
closer connection to the name I saw every now and again in science
periodicals, Smithsonian magazine, and Civil Air Patrol publications.
In the inaugural edition of the CAP NHJ last year, Jill Robb Paulson wrote
of her grandfather, CAP legend Gill Robb Wilson. When I spoke with Jill
over the phone to discuss what she could add to that very first issue,
she said she could only speak of her grandfather as she knew him—not
as a CAP founding-father. My response was simple: good. It is nice to

know that these individuals whom we
know as such driven and purposed
citizens are, in fact, real people too. I
simply never made the connection that
Wayne Garber—someone I consider a
mentor—was Paul Garber’s grandson.
Frankly, there was no reason to make
such an assumption—Wayne’s
exceptional skills as a craftsman,
Vietnam veteran, and refined Maryland
brogue were enough to impress alone.
Paul E. Garber was “Granddaddy” to
him all his life, and when asked whether
he realized not just the legendary status
of his grandfather, but also the extreme
privilege he had as a child to visit the
museum whenever he wanted, he
replied that he “didn’t know any
different growing up as it was just the
place where Granddaddy worked, and I


asked Wayne if he was willing to share more of what life was like
around his granddad with the CAP NHJ readers, and Wayne
responded that he would not be able to tell much about what he did
with the Smithsonian, but that he would certainly be happy to share
about who Paul Garber was as a person. “I think that is what readers
may want to hear Wayne,” I replied, and we shook on it. I replaced the
knot in the bookshelf, tentatively scheduled a time where we would
meet again, and thanked Wayne for sharing.
Paul Garber was not a combat veteran; neither was he a man of tall
stature, or strong personality. Wayne describes him as being a loving,
caring, and involved grandparent whom he spent many years with as a
child on into adulthood. I am reminded of a quote from a book I read
not too many years ago where the author described a certain individual
as an “extraordinary ordinary man.” This is how we may perhaps think
of Paul Garber. His invention of the target-kite—which I hope we can
highlight at some point in this publication—saved lives. It may be to
some a “simple” invention, but a necessary and ingenious one it most
certainly was. For this, Paul Garber stands as an extraordinary man—a
hero without the pomp and circumstance, and a yet at the same time,
an ordinary man who liked to play with his kites to the very end of his
intriguing, and impacting life.
The Paul E. Garber award is presented to Civil Air Patrol Senior members after
successfully completing Level IV requirements within the Senior Member
Professional Development Program. Paul Garber was the first curator of the
National Air Museum of the Smithsonian Institution (later National Air and
Space Museum (NASM) of the Smithsonian Institution). The Paul E. Garber
Preservation, Restoration, and Storage Facility in Suitland, Maryland is named
for his lifetime of service and passion for preserving aviation history. CAP NHJ
readers can expect an interview with Mr. Wayne Garber in the near future as
well as a comprehensive biography of Paul Garber.

Staff & Acknowledgements
National Commander
Maj Gen Charles Carr
Chief Historian
Maj Frank A. Blazich Jr.
National Historical Editor
Lt Col Richard B. Mulanax
Paul E. Garber, photo courtesy of Wayne Garber ©

National Historical Journal Editor
Capt Kurt Efinger

Who Flew First?
Frederick G. Herbert

Editor’s note: The controversy of who was “first in
flight” will rage well beyond the pages of this journal.
It is a seemingly “hot-button” issue in the circles of
aviation history. Civil Air Patrol ‘s Fred Herbert offers a
matter-of-fact analysis of some fundamental questions
that scholars need to ask—specifically as it relates to
any official record, or eyewitness account of a subject
so debated as this.


ustave Whitehead did not invent the airplane as
we know it—he tried and failed. So too did Octave
Chanute, Samuel Langley, Thomas Edison, Alexander
Graham Bell, and Hiram Maxim—all successful
inventors who attempted to build a practical airplane
and some who could pay for their experiments with
their personal fortunes. They all failed to produce a
controllable flying machine. Whitehead—like the
others—did not have an effective flight control system.

Chanute made his money working in the railroad
industry, and designing bridges. Langley procured
grants from the Smithsonian Institution and the U.S.
Army. Edison and Bell made money from their highly
successful inventions and subsequent patents. Hiram
Maxim’s development of the automatic-firing gun made
him rich. The Wright brothers funding came from the
proceeds of their bicycle business in Dayton, Ohio.
Whitehead, however, did not have a personal fortune;
his funding came from investors. He had to convince
these investors that his experiments had a chance of
paying off in the end. If his claims did not successfully
influence investors, there would be no money for his
continued efforts. Stanley Yale Beach invested in
Whitehead’s work for many years and said, “I do not
believe that any of his machines ever left the ground.”
Historian and replica builder Nick Engler says of
Whitehead’s various claims, “a pattern emerges.
Whitehead claims success, his boasts garner him
contracts; but he is unable to deliver on his promises.


very now and again, a claim will surface that
Gustave Whitehead flew a powered, manned, and
controlled airplane in Bridgeport, Connecticut, in 1901.
This was obviously before the Wright brothers’ success
at Kitty Hawk. Even though an overwhelming number of
aerodynamic scientists and aviation historians agree
that the Wright brothers designed, constructed, and
flew the first practical airplane, such reports still claim
that Whitehead’s success preceded that of the
iconographic brothers. The issue becomes even more
confused when publications on an international scale
such as Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft, assert that
Gustave Whitehead flew before the Wright brothers as
was reported in 2013. In spite of this, the Smithsonian
Air & Space Museum’s official position maintains that
the Wright brothers were “first in flight.” This
designation does not discount the efforts made by the
many pioneers mentioned in this critique of the subject.
There is no denying that many early aviation
experimenters’ powered aircraft managed to leave the
ground—one perhaps as
early as 18742 The
Wright brothers
invented a flight control
system that was new
and novel when Wilbur
Wright partially
disclosed it in a speech
before the Western
Society of Engineers in
1901.3 That specific
flight control system
was the first to provide
safe practical flight, and
is still in use today.
The closest research rivaling the Wright brothers was
one-time Yale Physics professor, and aviation pioneer
Edson Gallaudet. Gallaudet engaged in extensive
experimentation of “wing warping” and is celebrated to
this day for his success. Unfortunately, it is believed that

Then the cycle repeats.”1


Crouch, Tom, Who Flew First? (Air & Space, September 2013), 25

Moolman, Valerie, The Road to Kitty Hawk, (Time-Life Books, 1980),
Crouch, Tom, The Bishop’s Boys, (W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.,
1989) , 165


some top Yale administrators did not think it proper for
one of their professors to be tinkering with
aerodynamic apparatus while other duties demanded
his attention. Because of this alleged pressure from the
Yale administration, Gallaudet discontinued his research
for a season, but eventually established an aircraft
production facility along the Thames River in
Connecticut not long after the Wright brothers flight at
Kitty Hawk. In spite of the fact that Gallaudet was not a
contender for the distinction achieved by Orville and
Wilbur Wright, there can be little doubt as to the mark
he left on aviation history.


ilbur Wright researched all available aviation
scientific literature.4 His study led him to the
definition of the “flight problem” as a means of
controlling the machine in the air. He and his brother
Orville developed their flying machine by engaging in
the following steps:

thorough experimentation of wing warping in
1899,5 independent of Gallaudet’s work.
wing warping kite tests at Kitty Hawk in 1900
glider experiments of the flight control system
in 1901.
development of a successful flight control
system thereby solving the flight problem in
patent application in March 1903.
successful powered aircraft flight
demonstration in December 1903.

These steps were all part of a proper series of scientific
research and development procedures.6 They applied
for the patent of a flight control system—not a flying
machine. The Wright brothers never claimed to be the
first to get an airplane off the ground; however, they
were first to fly under control.
Of eleven airplane experimenters from 1874 to 1903
who claimed heavier-than-air powered flight prior to
the Wright brothers, only the Wright brothers’
invention of flight control systems and propeller design
are in use today. None of the other flight control

Ibid.,p. 230
Ibid., p. 172
Caoimh, Fia, The Aviation Book, (Chronicle Books, 2006), 7

designs for powered aircraft were practical before the
Wright Brothers, and none are in use today.7
The challenge to the Wright brothers “first in flight”
status will be an issue in the future as it has been in the
past. Whitehead’s supporters are as prolific as any
other group in claiming their “favorite son” was first. In
its early years, the Smithsonian had been a party to the
attempts of Glenn Curtiss to demonstrate that Langley’s
1903 airplane was capable of successful flight, prior to
the Wrights, by fraudulently modifying the aircraft
structure and control system preceding a test flight.
This outraged Orville Wright, and Lindbergh
subsequently called it “the dishonesty of commerce.”
Orville Wright agreed to allow the Smithsonian to
display the Wright brother’s 1903 airplane only as long
as they never recognized another airplane as being
capable of carrying a man under its own power in
controlled flight before the Wright brothers. Obviously,
Orville Wright was trying to preclude another dishonest
attempt to modify an early experimenter’s airplane and
identifying it as capable of controlled flight before the
Wright brothers. The Connecticut General Assembly
recently established “Powered Flight Day” in
Connecticut, choosing to honor Gustave Whitehead as
the “first” in powered flight, rather than the Wright
brothers.8 Charles Lindbergh might have called this the
“dishonesty of politics.” The fact of the matter is simple:
the flight control system developed by the Wright
brothers was the so-called “game-changer” and literally
made a world of difference, placing them on the top of
the shelf among aviation pioneers.


Callander, Bruce, Five Smart Men Who Didn’t Invent the Airplane ,
(AIR FORCE Magazine, January 1990), 88


Connecticut Government Administration and Elections Committee,
An Act Concerning Government Administration, PA -13-210 Shb
6671, 2013

Col Herbert serves as the NER Historian Emeritus, flew as a
CAP mission pilot for over twenty years on search and
rescue, disaster relief, and counter-narcotics missions,
and commanded the Connecticut CAP Wing. He currently
resides in Connecticut.


Call for Submissions
The Civil Air Patrol National Historical Journal
(NHJ) welcomes articles, essays, and
commentaries not exceeding 2,000 words (unless
otherwise requested) on any topic relating to the
history of the Civil Air Patrol and military aviation.
CAP’s history extends to the present day, and the
Journal seeks accounts of on-going activities and
missions, as well as those of earlier years. We
encourage readers to submit responses to essays,
articles and commentaries.
All historiographical works and essays must be
submitted in Chicago Manual of Style, or they will
be rejected. We encourage authors to submit
digital photographs (minimal resolution of 300
dots per inch) and illustrations only for publication.
All content should be the work of the author or
open source. Adjustments to pixel saturation, color
and size will be made according to the editorials
staff’s recommendations.
The CAP NHJ editorial staff reserves the right to
refuse, edit, and publish any work submitted. All
submissions must be sent as MS Word attachments
and mailed to the editor at

A Systematic Analysis of Air
Doctrine in WWII and The Changing
Attitudes Towards Area Bombing
K.J. Efinger

Dresden 1945 and “Terror Bombing”
he great debate will always be how effective the
Allied area bombing was in breaking the German
morale, or if it was an act of “international terrorism”
on the part of the Allied powers as Manuel Davenport
believes in reference to the bombing of Dresden in
1945.1 Nonetheless, the destruction heaped upon



Dr. Davenport is among those who clearly see the 1945
Allied bombing of Dresden as “case of international terrorism,” and
reaches the conclusion based on “detailed information recently
available,” although, he does not condemn the act as either
reprehensible, or unethical—rather he says that US conduct in WWII

Dresden, attests to the ends to which allied air
commanders would go in destroying all they could of
the German infrastructure and morale. Not all
commanders supported the strategies employed
against Germany and Maj. Gen. Laurence Kuter went so
far as to question Gen. Carl Spaatz on the decisive
nature of Combined Chiefs of Staff (CCS) Directive No. 3,
and whether it was not in effect “an official
authorization to begin indiscriminate American
bombing of population centres” according to McKee.2
Gen. Kuter was concerned with limiting targets to
daytime raids, and only those of military significance.
According to Davenport, he was not only at odds with
General Spaatz, but the British commanders as well—
RAF Commander Sir Arthur Harris, and Chief of Air Staff,
Sir Charles Portal—regarding the execution of area
bombing. As much as he was vocal about his disdain for
certain aspects or logistics of area bombing, Gen. Kuter
was equally supportive of engaging in “precision
bombing” for tactical and moral reasons.” 3 The longterm analysis of strategic bombing would indicate that
Germany was defeated as a result in part by the
persistent and deliberate bombing of cities with some
link to military operations. Whether hindsight
condemns or exonerates those who made the tactical
decisions, is secondary to the fact that Germany finally
surrendered, and the pressure applied to the economic
“center of gravity” was realized in the infrastructures
supported by the cities. Dresden was but one symptom
of a war where things were not so neatly wrapped in a
package with morality and civility keeping it all tied
was in fact ethical. This is a more pragmatic, and tempered view of
Dresden than that offered by Alexander McKee. General Kuter who
was very-much opposed to the way in which “area bombing” was
being carried-out, was placated by assurances that civilians would be
given the greatest consideration. Kuter himself was committed to
only going after specifically recognized military targets, and in the
end, was not so far removed from the goals of Harris. Manuel M.
Davenport, The Leader's Imperative: Ethics, Integrity and
Responsibility, ed. J. Carl Ficcarotta (West Lafayette: Purdue
University Press, 2001), 142-147.

Alexander McKee, Dresden 1945: The Devil's Tinderbox
(New York: Souvenir Press Ltd, 2000), 105.

The Leader's Imperative, 143.


Britain’s Motivation
he British had many reasons to endorse “terror
campaigns” against their German cousins, but it
was not an official objective—nor was it necessarily
anything more than the name given by those detractors
and armchair critics who had only to sit back and
evaluate the situation from newsrooms and golf courses
while enjoying a certain absolution from responsibility.
Phillip Meilinger’s constructive criticism of the role
played by the British is tempered and logical—in
particular when considering the fact that Britain stood
largely alone until the United States was forced to
officially join in the war against Germany and Japan.


…the British army had been thrown off the
continent at Dunkirk—leaving its heavy
machinery behind; Axis forces were moving
rapidly across North Africa; German submarines
were sinking British shipping in the Atlantic at an
alarming pace; London was suffering through the
blitz; and British bombers had suffered such
heavy losses in daylight that they had been driven
to the relative safety of the night. In short, Britain
was alone, outnumbered, outgunned, and
desperate…The choice of Arthur Harris to lead
Bomber Command in this dark period was
pivotal…Harris initiated an urban bombing
campaign against Germany’s major cities, aiming
to destroy German morale by targeting
residential areas where the workers lived.4
Meilinger says of the changing attitudes and climate
leading up to the full-scale practice of area bombing of
the cities that, “There is a tendency to read the history
of Bomber Command in WWII backwards from Dresden
in 1945 to Hugh Trenchard in 1919.”5 There is little
accounting for the logistical quagmires that Britain and
her allies faced in attempting to sever all lines of
communication and transportation. Germany had
centers of command and control nestled within cities
knowing that there would be no small amount of public
outrage over the bombing of major cities—especially

ones of historical significance. The criticism leveled at
Britain seldom took into account the nature of the war
Germany waged against the island nation for nearly a
year. The destruction left by German rockets was
quickly forgotten as the British began to retaliate as
best they could with peripheral support from the
Americans and displaced French fighters. The German
bombing of Britain, or “London blitz” was impetus
enough for people—at least Londoner’s—to overlook
any aggressive campaigns the British would take against
The British, victims of heavy German bombing, adopted
a policy of city-area bombing early in the conflict…in the
course of the war, the Luftwaffe, V weapons, and longrange guns killed more than 60,000 British civilians. The
bombing “blitz” of 1940-41 alone killed 43, 000 and
wounded 139,000. Many persons in and out of
government not only wanted to give back as much as
they had gotten but instead wanted to give back more.
Some clerics and individuals with exceptionally forgiving
and discriminating consciences…opposed area bombing
on ethical and humanitarian grounds…American policy
towards collateral damage and area bombing lacked the
clear and concise definition of British policy and


here is no reason to assume that the British would
be too forgiving of the Germans after only twenty
years separating two wars, the slaughter at Dunkirk,
and the unfettered German “blitz” against London and
surrounding areas in 1940-41. Philosophically, they
would go through changes that would not have been
immediately apparent to American forces joining in the
fray. It is the kind of transformation that occurs when
emotions and experience take precedence and shape
policy accordingly. It is the very sort of thing that also
took Americans from a place of relative isolationism on
December 6, 1941 and the very next day mobilized
them to call for war against the nation of Japan an
ocean away from relative tranquility.


Phillip Meilinger, The Paths of Heaven: The Evolution of
Air Power Theory, ed. Col. Phillip S. Meilinger (Montgomery: Air
University Press, 1997), 71.



Richard G. Davis, Bombing the European Axis Powers: A
Historical Digest of the Combined Bomber Offensive, 1939-1945
(Montgomery: Air University Press, 2006), 448-449.


External Assessments and the Facts
ver since the American economist John Galbraith as
a matter of “intellectual honesty” revealed in 1945
that the bombing of Germany had accelerated rather
than reduced production, the Anglo-American bomber
offensive has been regarded as a flawed
campaign…These were provocative claims, but they
have solidified since the war into historical orthodoxy.
The bombing of Germany has generally been regarded


as a waste of strategic effort.7
Richard Overy only highlights some of the criticism that
the Allied powers have received as a result of
propaganda, and hastily prepared assessments of the
strategic Bombing Survey of which Galbraith was a
senior official.8 The fact remains that the directives
given to the bombers called for civilian areas to be
targeted—not necessarily as an individual act of war,
but rather as a coincident operation with the military
targets as the primary objective. The bombing of
civilians would become the “unintended consequences”
of war. No matter how it might be construed, the idea
of intentionally targeting civilians was repugnant at the
highest levels with few exceptions, though the latitude
for interpreting directives was a shady area that seems
to have guided mission commanders on an individual
and conscionable level at times.9 Even meddling with
the Casablanca “Directive,” was still not a cause to
advocate civilian bombing—regardless of the changes
that had been made.10

Curiously, the larger disagreements between the Allies
centered on the application of air power, and how the
bombing raids would be carried out respectively. The
fundamental difference between the British and
American approach to bombing was more of an
operational matter, and one where the Americans
sought to specifically engage in daylight targeting. The
British were skeptical—as well as fearful—of sending
bombers into Germany for daylight raids as the “RAF
had concluded that bombers lacked the speed and
maneuverability to fend off enemy interceptors by
daylight and that no feasible amount of defensive
armament could compensate for their disadvantages.”11
The Americans appeared to have more concerns about
reaching and eliminating the military targets, and were
willing to take the risk in order to avoid hitting anything
but “vital parts of Germany’s war machine,” according
to Gen. Arnold.12


ansell and others have articulated that the
philosophical differences between the Americans
and British were more than just simple disagreements,
but rather strong opinions revealing strained emotions
on the matter of daylight v. night bombing. Ultimately,
the Americans would prevail in convincing Churchill that
it could be done, and it would not only be
advantageous, but necessary in order for the bombing
to be of strategic, and material value.13 Ironically, the
American Eighth Air Force would lose fewer bombers
than the British during daylight raids on Germany.14


Richard J. Overy, The War in the Air 1914-1994, ed. Alan
Stephens (Montgomery: Air University Press, 2001), 107.

Ibid., 108.


American Way of War, 336.


Ibid., 337.


Meilinger does not specifically state this as fact, but
rather alludes to the ambiguity with which the directives were
written. The question of course was what exactly constituted a
“military target.” Paths of Heaven, 68-69.

Neither the AWPD-1, AWPD-42, or any revision to any
directive named civilians as a target in and of themselves outside of
the expectations that there would be occasions where they were
lost to Allied sorties. However, the implication was there from the
beginning. Haywood S. Hansell, The Strategic Air War Against
Germany and Japan: A Memoir (Washington D.C.: Office of Air Force
History, 1986), 77.


Every source examined comes to the consensus that
Maj. Gen. Ira Eaker was the pivotal officer who was able to convince
the British that they would be successful in daylight bombing.
Eaker's friend, Sir John Slessor, British Vice Air Marshall was also
instrumental in moving towards an agreement which eventually
found itself drafted in the Casablanca Directive. Hansell, A Memoir,
69-71, 72-77.

Paths of Heaven, 253.


According to Overy, and in spite of Galbraith’s hastily
uttered criticism of the overall bombing, the results
were positive:
Almost all the senior German officials
interrogated at the end of the war agreed that
the systematic disruption of traffic by bombing
was the critical factor in the collapse of the
industrial economy from September 1944…The
collapse of the rail network split Germany into
smaller economic regions which were unable to
support armaments production…bombing made
it impossible to support a serious economic war
effort. Its effects were, according to one senior
German official, “catastrophic”…The effects on
German morale were equally debilitating.
Although bombing did not produce a popular
uprising against the German government, nor the
complete collapse of war-willingness, all the
evidence suggests that the experience of
bombing was uniquely demoralizing.15
This is in keeping with the final analysis of the United
States Strategic Bombing Survey of Europe which
evidently did not reflect Galbraith’s larger criticism that
the entire several years of persistent operations against
Germany was of no consequence.
he Allies were dubious of Germany’s commitment
to avoid civilian casualties. There was more than
enough evidence to suggest that Germany was
indifferent towards the rules of war established by
powers they chose not to recognize. With the
circumventing of the Treaty of Versailles, they clearly
snubbed their noses at the conditions placed on
rearmament and what nature of military they were
allowed to create.


The Condor Legion’s exposure to air-combat and close
ground support was an invaluable tool that the
Germans carried with them into the invasion of Poland
on September 1, 1939. Even though they miscalculated
the duration of the war, and were not equipped to
carry-out the same air-strategies as the Allied powers,
Germany sustained a formidable war machine from

September 1939 through May 1945. The air-doctrine
applied by Germany and the force used wantonly
against Britain would come back to haunt them. They
set the tone for how the Allies would ultimately
respond, and how the world would perceive them when
all was said and done. The British pulled-out as many
stops as was practicable; not only to eliminate any
chance of Germany again bringing the war to the British
Isles, but discreetly to direct campaigns of a punitive
nature against population centers in Germany. They had
learned from the Germans that centers of gravity could
extend well beyond the purely tangible military
objectives to include the more oblique psychological
effect of reducing morale to the point of either
surrender or insurrection. In spite of the fact that
neither transpired in Germany, the economic losses
were staggering, and directly contributed to the
collapse of Nazi Germany and the will of the people to


inally, there is no evidence (at least any that is of
academic consequence) pointing to the American
bombing of Dresden as being a “dog and pony” show
for the Russians. It disrupted the line of
communications as well as flow of materiel from in and
out of the city to areas where it was used against the
Allies. As to whether or not the raid was “excessive,”
the decisions made at the time were more or less to
eliminate the potential for Dresden to serve as a means
to supply German troops in the field. There is no
evidence to the contrary, though the bombings were
undoubtedly horrific in Dresden as much as they were
in Hamburg and Leipzig.
In the final analysis, the Americans and British were
able to put aside philosophical differences, work
together, and engage the Germans on the only level
that worked to frustrate and destroy the will of the
people and economy that fed the Third Reich. The
sustained bombing was horrific, but even so, it alone
did not win the war, and air-doctrine would be put to
the test in two other major conflicts before the end of
the twentieth century in which bombing played a major
role in attempting to break the will of the enemy.

War in the Air, 117.


There was perhaps more success in Europe during
WWII, than Korea or Vietnam. Nonetheless, pressure
applied accordingly, and steadily was the remedy that
the Allied commanders needed to use against Germany
in order to win the war. With that in mind, the
willingness to compromise and lay aside individual
moral convictions had to take precedence in order for
the larger picture of a German surrender to take place
in the end.
Capt Efinger is the Deputy Chief of Staff for A5 (Plans,
Programs and Requirements) at Southeast Region HQ. He is a
full-time teacher of Economics and Adjunct Professor of
History at Indian River State College in Ft. Pierce, Fl.

Earle L. Johnson:
CAP’s Wartime Commander
Frank A. Blazich, Jr.

Colonel Earle L. Johnson, circa 1946. Source: Florida Wing


hile the basic history of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP)
is broadly known, few members are familiar
with the man who led and managed the organization
during World War II. A former Ohio State University
(OSU) football player, diversified businessman in
Cleveland, and three-time member of the Ohio General
Assembly, Earle Levan Johnson’s involvement in politics
and aviation would culminate in March 1942 with his

appointment as national commander of the CAP. Under
his tutelage, the organization blossomed during World
War II into a viable instrument of homeland security for
the Office of Civilian Defense (OCD) and later the United
States Army Air Forces (USAAF). Although
predominantly a civilian-cum-military officer, Johnson’s
skillful use of his business and political skills of
persuasion, public relations savvy and perpetual
optimism managed to maintain order and unity among
48 wings and over 200,000 civilian volunteers from
1942 to 1945. Originally designed as a temporary,
emergency measure, Johnson saw the CAP through to
Congressionally-chartered incorporation prior to his
untimely death.


n 29 January 1895 in Great Barrington,
Massachusetts, Levan Merritt and Nellie
(Hartshorn) Johnson welcomed the birth of their son,
Earle Levan. In 1903, the family moved west and settled
in Painesville, Ohio, making their home on Old Orchard
Farm, three miles west of the town. In his formative
years, Johnson worked with his father on the farm and
attended public schools, graduating from Painesville
High School in 1914. That fall, he entered OSU to pursue
a college education. At OSU, Johnson was a member of
the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity and played right guard
for the Buckeyes on the 1915, 1916, and 1919 football
teams. At 6’3” tall and 190 pounds, Johnson was a
defensive starter on the 1916 Buckeye football team
which won the first Big Ten championship in school
history. A member of the Reserve Officers’ Training
Corps at OSU, he entered military training at Fort
Benjamin Harrison (Lawrence, IN) following entry of the
United States into World War I. With the death of his
father in 1917, however, Johnson returned to
Painesville to run the family farm and that of his close
friend, David Ingalls, for the duration of the war. He
returned to Columbus in 1919 to finish his education,
graduating with his Bachelor of Science in agriculture in


Francis J. Wardega, ed. Sandra Berman, Earle Levan
Johnson (1895 – 1947): A Register of His Papers, 1803 – 1967
(Cleveland, OH: Western Reserve Historical Society, 1974), 1;


While Johnson produced food to win the war, his friend
Ingalls took to the skies over Northern France to fight
for the Allied cause. In 1917, Ingalls enlisted in the
United States Navy’s (USN) aviation branch and arrived
in France in September. During combat in 1918, Ingalls
became the first fighter ace in the history of the USN
(and only USN ace in World War I). After the war, Ingalls
would finish a degree at Yale in 1920 before earning an
LLD from Harvard and entering the law profession.
Maintaining his close friendship with Johnson, Ingalls’
aviation experiences would greatly influence Johnson in
the 1920s and serve as the catalyst for Johnson’s
pursuit of a pilot’s license at the end of the decade.2


ollowing graduation, Johnson returned to
Painesville to pursue his fortune. On 15 October
1921, he married Miss Doris Doan of Cleveland and
vigorously engaged himself in business activities in the
Cleveland area. He established the Johnson Land and
Building Company and the Earlevan Realty Company to
fuel an interest in real estate. He served as vice
president for the Northern Ohio Insurance Corporation
and worked as a sales representative for Cadillac and
LaSalle Motor Cars in Cleveland.3

“Civil Air Patrol Headed by Ohio Stater,” Ohio State University
Monthly, May 1943; draft registration card for Earle Levan Johnson,
5 June 1917,, U.S. World War I Draft Registration
Cards, 1917 – 1918 [database online]; Ohio State University, FortyThird Annual Commencement (Columbus, OH: Ohio State University,
1920), 14; War Department, Headquarters of the Army Air Forces,
Dudley M. Outcalt to Air Inspector, on “Survey of the Civil Air
Patrol,” 8 March 1944, 18, folder 3, Earle Levan Johnson Papers
(ELJP), Western Reserve Historical Society, Cleveland, OH (WRHS),
Box 5; Junior Class of The Ohio State University, eds., The Makio
1917, vol. 35 (Columbus, OH: The Ohio State University, 1917), 159,
173; Junior Class of The Ohio State University, eds., The Makio 1920,
vol. 39 (Columbus, OH: The Ohio State University, 1920), 120.
Johnson listed on his draft card that he was supporting his mother,
and the registrar commented that he thought Johnson’s reporting
for service not necessary for this hardship.

1916 Ohio State University football team. Johnson is fourth from the right on
the back row. Source: Ohio State University Archives


fter the death of his father, Johnson found himself
assuming his father’s position on the Lake County
Republican Central Committee in 1917. In 1926,
Johnson and Ingalls both won elections to the Ohio
House of Representatives, the first of three consecutive
terms for Johnson. While members of the Ohio General
Assembly, Ingalls began to cultivate and refine
Johnson’s interest in aviation. Beginning in 1928,
Johnson and Ingalls served together on the Ohio Joint
Legislative Committee on Aviation to recommend
aviation legislation for the state. In January 1929,
Johnson earned his private pilot’s license. Two months
later in March, Ingalls introduced the Ohio Aeronautics
Act to establish the Ohio Bureau of Aeronautics under
the office of the Secretary of State. Passed unanimously
by the Ohio General Assembly, the act represented the
first general aviation law in Ohio.4
Johnson and Ingalls often flew together from Cleveland
to Columbus for their legislative duties. In April 1930,
Johnson earned his commercial pilot’s license and
purchased his own aircraft, flying them from a field he
constructed on his farm in Painesville. In 1931, he sat on


Geoffrey L. Rossano, Hero of the Angry Sky: The World
War I Diary and Letters of David S. Ingalls, America’s First Naval Ace
(Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2013), 327-28, 337; Izetta
Winter Robb, “Navy’s First Ace,” in Adrian O. Van Wyen, Naval
Aviation In World War I (Washington, DC: Chief of Naval Operations,
GPO, 1969), 82-83; “Earle Johnson Directors Ohio Aeronautics,”
National Aeronautics, October 1939, 25; Wardega, Johnson, 2.

“Marriages,” Ohio State University Monthly 13, no. 1
(October 1921): 48; Wardega, Johnson, 1; advertisement, “Cleveland

has changed its mind about Used Cars,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, 23
May 1926, 16C.

“Resume of Flying and Training Experience of Major Earle
L. Johnson,” undated, folder 1, ELJP, WRHS, Box 7; Wardega,
Johnson, 1-2; Bruce Ian Larrimer, “Ohio Aviation Agencies, A Forty
Year History” (master’s thesis, The Ohio State University, 1969), 1820; Cong. Rec., 80th Cong., 1st sess., 1947, 93, pt. 1: 1145.


the Ohio Aviation Committee and was named a trustee
of Lake Erie College for Women. The following year,
Johnson managed Ingalls’ unsuccessful campaign for
the Ohio governor’s office. With the inauguration of
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1933 and
passage of the twenty-first amendment, Johnson
became vice president of the Leisy Brewing Company.
Prior to the outbreak of war, he became president of
the I and J Hardware Company, also in Cleveland.
Although no longer an elected official, Johnson retained
a strong interest in aviation and kept active in his
community. He participated in the Lake County YMCA,
served as chairman of the “Come to Cleveland
Committee” of the Cleveland Advertising Club, and held
memberships in the Masons, Odd Fellows, Rotary
International, University Club, and the Cleveland Big Ten
Club, among others.5
ohnson’s absence
JOn 3 August 1939,from politics would beBricker
Ohio Governor John
appointed Johnson as director of the Ohio Bureau of
Aeronautics. He remained as director until 1945, when
the bureau was replaced by the Ohio Aviation Board. As
director, Johnson’s early work involved assisting with
the Civilian Pilot Training Program (CPTP) established by
the U.S. Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA). The
CPTP program intended to train and create a large
reservoir of civilian pilots, whereby selected aviators
could be chosen for advanced training as military pilots
in the event of war. Johnson and the Aeronautics
Bureau assisted Ohio communities and developers in
the construction of airports to feed the increasing
national defense effort. In promoting aviation in the
state, Johnson and the bureau began to court aircraft
manufacturers to construct plants in Ohio to meet the

burgeoning demand for aircraft and spare parts by the
War and Navy Departments.6
The outbreak of war in Europe in September 1939 and
German military success in Western Europe in 1940
stirred aviation enthusiasts in the U.S. to action.
Independently and then collectively, people began to
consider means to organize and utilize the nation’s
civilian aviators for defense purposes. In Toledo, Milton
Knight, vice president of the Libbey-Owens-Ford Glass
Company, incorporated the Civilian Air Reserve (CAR)
on 17 November 1938. The organization intended to
“plan, develop, organize, sponsor and carry into effect a
program for developing and maintaining a broader
interest in aviation,” and sought to “promote the
further development, experience and training of
amateur flyers and others interested in aviation in a
manner that would enable them to be of substantial
value in any program of national defense and in any
period of national emergency.” Organized along military
lines with ranks and uniforms, the organization’s
volunteer pilots and aircraft practiced formation flying,
navigation, meteorology, radio communication, aerial
photography, theory of flight, and aircraft and engine
maintenance to augment the nation’s air defense forces
should the government request their services.7
Subsequent CAR units developed across the country
from 1939 to 1941. From the original Toledo unit, CAR
units formed in numerous states, including
Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New
York, Utah, Florida, and Colorado. In July 1940, shortly
after the fall of France and with the Battle of Britain
barely a week old, Knight began to schedule a national


“Resume of Flying and Training Experience of Major Earle
L. Johnson,” undated, folder 1, ELJP, WRHS, Box 7; Walker S. Buel
and Fletcher Knebel, “Ohio Under the Dome: Maj. Earle L. Johnson is
Proud of Trick Index of Civil Air Patrol and Work Flyers Do,”
Cleveland Plain Dealer, 19 July 1942, 16A; Rossano, Hero of the Angry
Sky, 330; Wardega, Johnson, 1-2; “Regrets Error in Brewery Heads,”
Cleveland Plain Dealer, 3 April 1938, 33A; “Biographical Data on Civil
Air Patrol Staff,” folder 3, ELJP, WRHS, Box 4; “Earle Johnson Dies in
Air Crash Here: Crew Chief and Hiker Also Lose Lives with Civil Air
Patrol Head,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, 17 February 1947, 1, 3.

John W. Bricker to Earle L. Johnson, 3 August 1939; Earle
J. Johnson to John W. Bricker, 7 December 1940, folder labeled
“Bureau of Aeronautics,” Governor John W. Bricker Papers (GJWBP),
Ohio Historical Society, Columbus, OH (OHS), Box 16; Larrimer,
“Ohio Aviation Agencies,” 30. For more on the CPTP, see Dominick A.
Pisano, To Fill the Skies with Pilots: The Civilian Pilot Training
Program, 1939 – 1946 (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution
Press, 2001); Patricia Strickland, The Putt-Putt Air Force: The Story of
the Civilian Pilot Training Program and the War Training Service
(1939 – 1944) (Washington, DC: Federal Aviation Administration,

Civilian Air Reserve, Organization Handbook, 3-10.


convention to establish a permanent, national Civilian
Air Reserve. In October 1940, the Aeronautical Advisory
Council for the CAA appointed Knight to chair a
committee to plan for the establishment of a national
program. The same year, the Airplane Owners and
Pilots Association launched a similar organization, the
Civil Air Guard.8

Major Earle L. Johnson and Mr. Gill Robb Wilson discuss Civil Air Patrol
matters at the national headquarters, 1942. Source: Jill Robb Paulson©


rior to Knight’s work, Gill Robb Wilson foresaw the
use of the nation’s civilian aviation resources for
war following a visit to Germany in 1936. A veteran
aviator from World War I, editor of the New York Herald
Tribune aviation page, president of the National
Aeronautics Association (NAA), and director of the New
Jersey Bureau of Aviation, Wilson was convinced that
war was imminent. Throughout the summer and fall of
1940, he used the NAA to urge support for the Civilian
Air Reserve and Civil Air Guard efforts, albeit as a
private and not exclusively federal effort.9

Milton Knight to All Wing Commanders and Group
Commanders regarding National Convention, 19 July 1940, folder 1,
“Personal Correspondence, August 1939 – December 1942,” ELJP,
WRHS, Box 7; “Milton Knight to Attend First Meet of Air Board,”
Toledo Blade, October 2, 1940, 13; “Civil Air Reserve,” National
Aeronautics, October 1940, 32; Elwyn A. Mauck, “Civilian Defense in
the United States, 1941 – 1945” (microfilm, unpublished manuscript
by the Historical Officer of the Office of Civilian Defense, July 1946,
typed), Chapter IX, pgs. 1-2; Robert E. Neprud, Flying Minute Men:
The Story of the Civil Air Patrol (1948, repr., Washington, DC: United
States Air Force, 1988), 22.

Louis E. Keefer, From Maine to Mexico: With America’s
Private Pilots in the Fight Against Nazi U-boats (Reston, VA: COTU
Publishing, 1997), 1-3; Neprud, Flying Minute Men, 22; “National

In March 1941, just prior to the Office of Civilian
Defense’s establishment on 20 May, the Aeronautical
Advisory Council’s committee recommended that a Civil
Air Reserve be formed under the CAA. This program
would organize civilian aviation assets in each state to
supplement regular military forces in the event of
emergency. Months later, OCD director Fiorello
LaGuardia, himself a former World War I aviator,
appointed an aviation committee for the OCD to
develop a blueprint to organize civilian aviation
resources nationally. LaGuardia’s committee included
Wilson, publisher Thomas H. Beck, and newspaperman
Guy P. Gannett. The men crafted a program known as
the Civil Air Defense Service, using civilian flyers for
home defense and disaster relief in the event of a
national emergency. Wilson first put the plan to work in
New Jersey in July, with operational objectives including
aerial liaison, assisting with civilian evacuation in
emergencies, guarding public works and industrial
areas, and supplementing and assisting military aviation.
Wilson’s Civil Air Defense Service program would serve
as the direct model for the Civil Air Patrol.10
Johnson kept abreast of these national developments
and maintained correspondence with Knight. In late
August 1941, Johnson called a meeting of civilian flyers
in Ohio to help develop a Civil Air Defense unit for Ohio.
On 19 September 1941, Johnson publicly announced
the creation of the Ohio Wing of Civil Air Defense
Service and recruiting for the wing commenced on 22
September. Johnson saw this organization as a means
to counter military authorities’ possible grounding of
civilian aviation in the event of war.
Aeronautic National Defense Committee,” National Aeronautics,
September 1940, 14; “Developments on Civil Air Reserve,” National
Aeronautics, December 1940, 14, 43.

“Civil Air Reserve under CAA,” National Aeronautics,
March 1941, 26; “Civilian Defense and the Private Flyer,” National
Aeronautics, July 1941, 7; Gill Robb Wilson, “Civil Aviation Requests
Clearance,” National Aeronautics, August 1941, 21-22; New Jersey
Defense Council, New Jersey Wing: Civil Air Defense Services
(Trenton, NJ: New Jersey Defense Council, November 1941), 1-2;
Neprud, Flying Minute Men, 22-23; “Organizing for the Civil Air
Defense,” National Aeronautics, October 1941, 12; “Civil Air Patrol,”
National Aeronautics, November 1941, 13; “Founders of CAP,” Civil
Air Patrol Bulletin, 27 November 1942, 1.


A volunteer organization, the wing would be organized
like the Army Air Corps, with a training program much
like the CAR. The ultimate goal, as Johnson articulated
to potential members, would be to create “better
disciplined, better informed, and more effective civil air
personnel – a personnel which is equipped to render
efficient auxiliary service if the nation goes to war or a
personnel which will be constructively better fitted for
civil aviation if war should be avoided.”11


ith the establishment of the Civil Air Patrol on 1
December 1941, Johnson shifted his
development of the Ohio Wing of Civil Air Defense to
conform to the new CAP plans. On 24 December, he
went to Washington to serve as the Assistant Executive
Officer for the CAP. On 27 January, national CAP
commander, Major General John F. Curry, appointed
Johnson as executive officer at national CAP
headquarters, replacing Wilson. In late March, the Army
assigned Curry as commander of the Fourth District Air
Corps Technical Training Command, and elevated
Johnson to the position of national commander of the
CAP. Appointed as national commander of the CAP on
24 March 1942 and commissioned as a captain in the
USAAF, Johnson formally assumed the command of the
CAP on 1 April. For the remainder of World War II, he
built the CAP into a viable instrument for the nation’s
defense. Throughout the war, the organization
conducted an array of missions and programs, including
antisubmarine coastal patrol, courier service for war
industries, border patrol, target towing and tracking,
and a cadet program for the USAAF. By 1945, over
200,000 civilians had participated in CAP nationwide.12


Milton Knight to Earle L. Johnson, 26 August 1941;
Milton Knight to Earle L. Johnson, 3 September 1941; Earle L.
Johnson to Fellow Pilot, 25 September 1941, folder 1, ELJP, WRHS,
Box 7; document titled “Ohio State Private Flyers Convention,
August 30th, 31st, September 1st, 1941;” document titled “Ohio
Wing of Civil Air Defense,” folder 2, ELJP, WRHS, Box 5; James D.
Hartshorne, “Ohio’s Pilots to Join Civil Defense Wing: Recruiting of
3,740 for Patrol Operations to be Started Monday,” Cleveland Plain
Dealer, 20 September 1941, 1.

John W. Bricker to Fiorello H. LaGuardia, 23 December
1941; Fiorello H. LaGuardia to John W. Bricker, 16 December 1941,
folder labeled “Defense F.H. LaGuardia,” GJWBP, OHS, Box 29;
“Meet the National Commander – Maj. Earle L. Johnson, AAF,”

Johnson frequently toured the nation on inspection
tours. Flying himself, he visited bases, squadrons, and
wings to learn first-hand of operational difficulties,
boost morale, and aid in war bond and membership
drives. A charismatic leader and enthusiastic promoter,
Johnson was not without fault, particularly in his
military duties at CAP National Headquarters. A USAAF
inspector general reported deficiencies and low morale
at the headquarters, deeming it “disorganized and
chaotic.” While holding Johnson accountable as the
commander, the inspector spoke well of the man: “It is
probably fair to state that essentially Colonel Johnson is
a civilian heading a civilian organization. He has the
confidence and loyalty of the civilian members of the
CAP. He has advanced their cause and under his
leadership this civilian organization has grown to large
proportions.” Rather than discipline or remove Johnson
from command, the inspector recommended assigning
him those duties within his capabilities.13
In response, Johnson initiated the requested changes
and the CAP continued to improve as an organization.
Johnson rose to the rank of colonel in the USAAF on 5
June 1944, and for his wartime leadership of the CAP
the Army awarded him the Legion of Merit. Johnson’s
other wartime decorations included the Army
Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the
American Campaign Medal, and World War II Victory

Buckeye Wing News (Columbus, OH), 7 December 1942; press release
from Governor’s Office, 2 January 1942, folder labeled “Bureau of
Aeronautics,” GJWBP, OHS, Box 16; Dallas Dort to Earle L. Johnson, 2
January 1942, folder 1, ELJP, WRHS, Box 3; “Ohio Director
Aeronautics to Capital,” Times Recorder (Zanesville, OH), 3 January
1942, 1; “Staff Announcements,” Civil Air Patrol Bulletin, 27 January
1942, 3; “New National Commander,” Civil Air Patrol Bulletin, 27
March 1942, 1; Outcalt, “Survey of the Civil Air Patrol,” 2; U.S.
National Cemetery Internment Control Form for Johnson, Earle L.,, U.S. National Cemetery Internment Control Forms,
1928 – 1962, [database online]. The exact periods of Johnson’s
commissioning and promotions is unclear without his personnel file.
In studies of his correspondence and existing records, he was
commissioned as a captain on 24 March 1942, promoted to major in
early May 1942, and rose to lieutenant colonel in April 1943.

Outcalt, “Survey of the Civil Air Patrol,” 18, 21-22, 43,46.


In April 1945, the Army reassigned Johnson and the CAP
headquarters staff to the 2000th Army Air Forces Base
Unit in Fort Worth, Texas. He subsequently was
assigned to the Army-Navy Liquidation Committee for
the disposal of surplus aircraft in North Africa, receiving
the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
for his work. Johnson returned to the states and
resumed command of the CAP in the spring of 1946.14


n 16 February 1947, Johnson lifted off from the
present-day Cleveland Hopkins International
Airport at the controls of a C-45 Expeditor, an aircraft he
flew throughout the war. Accompanying Johnson were
USAAF Staff Sergeant Kenneth Wood of Williamsport,
Pennsylvania and USMC Private Edward J. Malovic of
Cleveland, who was hitching a ride back to Marine Corps
Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina. Shortly after
takeoff at around 2,000 feet, one of the aircraft’s
engines reportedly exploded. The aircraft nosed over
and plummeted to the ground, crashing in the suburb of
North Royalton just before 1:00PM. All three men
aboard the aircraft died on impact. At the time of
Johnson’s death, his promotion to brigadier general was
pending before the Senate Armed Forces Committee.
The previous month, Army Air Forces Chief of Staff
General Carl Spaatz had recommended Johnson for the
Army Distinguished Service Medal in recognition of his
“inspiring leadership and devotion to duty” in leading
the CAP. Both honors would be awarded posthumously.
Johnson received full military honors as


Earle L. Johnson to Commanding General, Army Air
Forces, about “Report of Air Inspector’s Investigation of Civil Air
Patrol dated 8 March 1944,” 31 August 1944; Earle L. Johnson to
Commanding General, Army Air Forces, 14 October 1944, folder 3,
ELJP, WRHS, Box 5; “Civil Air Patrol’s Chief Now Colonel,” Cleveland
Plain Dealer, 6 June 1944, 11; “Civil Air Patrol Chief Dies with Two
Others in Crash,” New York Times, 17 February 1947, 3;
Headquarters 32d Army Air Force Base Unit (CAP), Special Orders
No. 81, 12 April 1945, folder 2, ELJP, WRHS, Box 1; “National
Commander on Foreign Duty,” Civil Air Patrol Bulletin, 27 July 1945,
1; Wardega, Johnson, 2; Neprud, Flying Minute Men, 113-115. The
2000th AAF Base Unit became the third national headquarters of the
CAP. See Leonard A. Blascovich, “Home is Where the Hearth is!” Civil
Air Patrol Historical Monograph. Other decorations based upon
examination of photographs of Johnson during the war and prior to
his death.

he was laid to rest in a private service at Arlington
National Cemetery.15
Without Johnson’s steady leadership and promotion of
the CAP through its infancy in 1942, the organization
may not have survived the end of World War II.
Whereas the OCD ceased to exist in the summer of
1945, by the summer of 1943 CAP’s success in coastal
patrol operations had proven their worth to the army
and navy. On 29 April 1943, President Franklin D.
Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9339, transferring the
CAP to the War Department, thereby making the CAP
the auxiliary of the USAAF, and later the USAF. CAP’s
postwar permanence would be secured on 1 July 1946,
when President Harry S. Truman signed Public Law 79476 into law, incorporating the Civil Air Patrol. Ever the
skilled promoter, Johnson served as toastmaster that
previous March for a dinner in honor of Truman, the
79th Congress, and General of the Army Henry H. “Hap”
Arnold. The dinner, together with a blitz of joint CAP –
USAAF airshows undoubtedly helped raise CAP’s profile
to the President, Congress, and the American people.16
In a eulogy in the Congress, members of the House of
Representatives paid tribute to Johnson. Congressman
John M. Vorys of Ohio declared how “Only a man with
the energy and resourcefulness and tact and ingenuity
and force of Earle Johnson could have organized and

“Truman Names 24 Regular Generals,” New York Times,
6 February 1947, 2; “Earle Johnson Dies in Air Crash Here: Crew
Chief and Hiker Also Lose Lives with Civil Air Patrol Head,” Cleveland
Plain Dealer, 17 February 1947, 1, 3; “Civil Air Patrol Chief Dies with
Two Others in Crash,” New York Times, 17 February 1947, 1, 3; “Civil
Air Patrol Commander, Two Others Killed in Crash: Army Plane Dives
from 2000 Feet Near Cleveland Airport,” Washington Post, 17
February 1947, 1,4; “Medal for Johnson,” Evening Independent
(Massillon, OH), 25 February 1947, 14; “DSM is Awarded to Col.
Johnson,” New York Times, 25 February 1947, 51; Cong. Rec., 80th
Cong., 1st sess., 1947, 93, pt. 2: 1415; U.S. National Cemetery
Internment Control Form for Johnson, Earle L.,, U.S.
National Cemetery Internment Control Forms, 1928 – 1962,
[database online].

Mauck, “Civilian Defense in the United States,” Chapter
IX, 11-14; Mae M. Link, Army Air Forces Historical Studies No. 19:
Civilian Volunteer Activities in the AAF (Washington, DC: GPO, 1944),
82; An Act to Incorporate the Civil Air Patrol, Public Law 79-476, U.S.
Statutes at Large 60 (1946): 346-47; Neprud, Flying Minute Men,
115; Senate Judiciary Committee, To Incorporate the Civil Air Patrol:
Hearings on H.R. 5744, 79th Cong., 2d sess., 1946, 1-7.


directed the vast volunteer organization of the CAP in
war and peace.” Congressman John Edgar Chenoweth
of Colorado noted that “Aviation in this country
suffered a heavy loss in his passing,” and called Johnson
“an expert flyer . . . tireless in his leadership of the Civil
Air Patrol.” Listing his service to Ohio and as leader of
the CAP, Ohio Congresswoman Frances P. Bolton
concluded that “The Nation can ill afford to lose such a
man.” Although his contributions are often forgotten
today, Johnson’s legacy lives on in the CAP he helped
develop from a temporary wartime to a permanent,
postwar organization.17
Maj Frank A. Blazich, PhD is the Chief Historian at NHQ, and
serves as Historian, U.S. Navy Seabee Museum, Port
Hueneme, CA.

Author’s Corner:
Richard Mulanax

Eyes on the Home Skies: Seventy-Five Years of the
Civil Air Patrol


s the seventy-fifth anniversary closes in, a new
book will be written, encompassing all of Civil Air
Patrol’s history. From the development of ideas and
concepts in the 1930s, to the operations of the present
day, this book will be an edited work, with each chapter
covering a time period written by a different CAP
historian. These chapters will average around 30 pages
with footnotes and illustrations. The intention is not to
create a coffee table piece but rather a quality history
of value to the membership and the American public.

The National Historical Editor, Lt Col Richard Mulanax,
will serve as the overall editor of this volume. The goal
is to seek publication through Air University Press or a
suitable nationally-recognized publishing house. By
early 2014, the five needed CAP historians will be
selected and contacted with specifics about the
research requirements and formatting. Chapter drafts
must be returned by fall 2014 to allow editing and

revisions, at which point the overall introduction and
conclusion will be drafted. The complete manuscript
will be sent to the publisher by the summer of 2015
with a scheduled publication and release of book by
mid- to late 2016.
If you are interested in having your name considered as
a potential author, and can approach the project with a
serious commitment to researching and writing, please
contact Lt Col Richard Mulanax for more information at
the address listed below:
Lt Col Richard Mulanax, PhD:

Editor’s Note
The views expressed in the Civil Air Patrol National
Historical Journal are those of the authors only and
do not reflect the official policy or position of the
Journal Staff or Editorial Board, the Civil Air Patrol,
its officers or members, nor the United States Air
Submissions must be sent to the editor at the
following address:
Please note that when submitted to the editor at the
Civil Air Patrol National Historical Journal, all
works and related media are released from copyright
infringements if published in the CAP NHJ. Editorial
changes are at the sole discretion of the editorial
staff, and will be faithful to the original text as much
as possible. Significant changes will be discussed
with the author prior to publication when practicable.
“Letters to the Editor” will be published at the
discretion of the CAP National Historical Editor, and
the Chief Historian at CAP NHQ. The CAP NHJ
staff is not required to respond to, or publish

Cong. Rec., 80th Cong., 1st sess., 1947, 93, pt. 1: 1146.