File #1513: "FINAL CAP NHJ Volume 2, Issue 1 JAN-MAR 2015.pdf"

FINAL CAP NHJ Volume 2, Issue 1 JAN-MAR 2015.pdf

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

CAP National Historical Journal
Volume II, Issue I: JAN-MAR 2015

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.

Military Insignia as the
Embodiment of Organizational
Louis Toms

“When a wing patch is changed, the history of the unit is


uring the Peninsula Campaign of 1862, an
infuriated New Jersey general perceived a lack of
discipline and leadership in the Military Division of the
Potomac. In contrast, Major General (MG) Phillip Kearny
considered his division far superior to those participating
in the engagement.2 This sentiment seemed vindicated
when he attempted to dress down three straggling
officers. The officers respectfully took the verbal tongue
lashing before stating they belonged to another
command. MG Kearny pardoned himself before
exclaiming that “I will take steps to know how to
recognize my own men hereafter.”3 The General
directed his soldiers to wear a red diamond shaped cloth

affixed to their caps. This mark would come to symbolize
“good character and a badge of honor.”4 Almost a year
following Kearny’s fateful decision, MG Joseph Hooker
ordered divisions to design their own “Kearny patches”
in order to boost soldier pride and morale.5
Confederates would fell MG Kearny at the Battle of
Chantilly so he would not live to witness Hooker’s corps
badge decree.6 Legend tells of a Confederate unit
burying a Union colonel with full military honors out of
respect for the bravery embodied in the little red patch.7
MG Kearny’s badges would fade from history following
the American Civil War. With the demobilization of
regiments, the War Department failed to see a need to
continue identifying divisions and corps with
distinguishing marks. Folklorists, heraldic scholars and
historians would have to wait over fifty years before
America’s military would have such distinguishing marks.
As heritage is an intangible concept, we ought to
approach the subject through the lens of folkloristics.8
Through this prism, researchers should understand


Col Leonard Blascovich regarding the approval of wing
patches, Meeting minutes of the Civil Air Patrol National Board, 19-20
August 2004,
(accessed on 13 November 2014).

Cecil D. Eby, Jr., “The Source of Crane’s Metaphor, ‘Red
Badge of Courage,’” American Literature XXXII, no. 2 (May 1960): 205.


Eby, 205.


J. Watts de Peyster, Personal and Military History of Philip
Kearny (New York, NY: Rice and Gage Publishers, 1869): 367.

Ibid, 369.


Eby, 205.


Folkloristics – the academic discipline of folklore.


John D. Billings, Hardtack and Coffee or the Unwritten
Story of Army Life (Boston, MA: George M. Smith & Co., 1887): 255.


these totems are visual representations
organization’s lineage and achievements.



For the serious historian or heraldist, it is important to
establish a baseline definition for insignia. Too often,
seniors and cadets catalog insignia as patches. This
categorization negates the heraldry and lore symbolized
in these pieces of cloth. During a World War II interview,
the Chief of the Heraldic Section was asked about the
significance of patches. Arthur E. DuBois promptly
corrected the reporter by stating “a patch is a piece of
cloth to cover a hole.”9 Insignia serves as a heraldic
representation of something. Within Civil Air Patrol, wing
and squadron insignia connects past, present and future
through the use of symbolism. Patches have no heraldic
meaning other than to serve as an instrument used by
tailors to fix clothing. Identifying insignia as patches
negates the significance of a unit’s achievements,
history, personnel and traditions.


or simplicity purposes, American military and Civil
Air Patrol organizational markings fall into two
categories. There are devices and insignia. Devices can
be metal or plastic. Worn on collars and hats, these
symbols identify corporate membership. Beginning in
1851, the War Department adopted collar and hat
devices to identify the soldier’s regimental affiliation as
cost cutting effort.10 These simple designs allowed the
Quartermaster Department to quickly manufacture and
issue to troops. The metal devices could also save money
by allowing supply sergeants to reissue turned in badges.
Before devices, soldiers wore uniforms with differing
color trims to identify unit specializations.11 The new
devices featured a hunter’s horn for infantry, crossed
sabers for cavalry, crossed cannons for artillery and
others. There were variations, but generally blue
adornment identified infantry
grunts, yellow

distinguished cavalry troopers and red characterized
artillerists. Hues on uniform trim became regimental
colors in today’s United States Army. 12
The appearance of cloth emblems is a bit tricky to nail
down. As a general rule, the War Department frowned
on distinctive organizational insignia. America’s history
provides examples to the contrary appearing during
periods of conflict. The “Kearny patches” of the Civil War
period, and corps devices of the Spanish-American War
provide illustrations to exceptions in official policy.
Although worn, these unique concepts failed to
transition into a post-war environment. If we need to fix
a point in time for modern insignia, the World War I
mobilization of the 81st Division might be the best place
to start. This unit comprised raw recruits from
Tennessee, South Carolina and North Carolina. In the
civilian world, many of these solders grew up on farms
or worked in small communities. Travel was a luxury
many in that day could not afford. Although all
southerners, the regional distinctions provided a barrier
to unit cohesion. Division leadership had to dissolve
these individuals into a cohesive element quickly.
Continued on page 4

Staff & Acknowledgements
National Commander
Maj Gen Joseph R. Vazquez
Chief Historian
Col Frank A. Blazich Jr.
National Historical Editor
Lt Col Richard B. Mulanax
National Historical Journal Editor
Capt Kurt Efinger


Barrett McGurn, “People on the Home Front: Arthur E.
DuBois,” Yank – The Army Weekly 4, no. 20 (November 2, 1945): 8.

Robin Smith and Ron Field, Uniforms of the Civil War – An
Illustrated Guide for Historians, Collectors and Reenactors (Guilford,
CT: Lyons Press, 2001), 126.



U.S. Department of the Army, Guide to the Wear and
Appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia, Army Pamphlet 670-1
(Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Army, December 2, 2014):


Above and Beyond
Hershel E. Fannin
Editor's Note: As a young Staff Sergeant serving in
Vietnam with the United State Air Force, Hershel "Hank"
Fannin, was likely not thinking he would walk away from
the conflict with a Silver Star, as well as the Distinguished
Flying Cross with a first and second Oak Leaf cluster (see
page 8). When I first met Hank, no one could have convinced
me he served in Vietnam—he didn’t look to be a day over
fufty. In the few years I have had an opportunity to interact
with Hank, we have often spoken about him giving a
presentation to some of our local squadrons. Much of that
depends on when he will eventually "retire" from his
otherwise busy schedule. The following account first
published at
describes in his own words the circumstances for which he
earned the gratitude of his nation.

26 AUG 1972
his particular SAR started out routinely. We
departed NKP at first light and headed North across
the Mekong River to a holding zone up near the NE
Laotian border to provide support for air strikes. I can
remember test firing our miniguns shortly after crossing
the river and also remember we were flying between
two layers of clouds, a layer of morning fog and mist that
blocked our view below, and a higher layer that blocked
the sky above. The sun was rising to the East and when it
reached the clear space between the two layers it was
completely surreal.


Before we even reached the area where we were
supposed to do our holding pattern we heard a "May
Day, May Day, I've got two chutes" and then some
coordinates. A Marine F-4 fighter had just been shot
down by a NVAF Mig-21 and the two pilots had bailed
out and were floating down into an area full of bad guys.
The second F-4 was still somewhat busy making sure
there weren't any other MiG's on his tail and for a while
things were just a little frantic.


eanwhile the Marine Pilot, Capt Sam Cordova,
was talking to US Aircraft over his survival radio
and then later radioed that he had fallen into a ravine
and could hear bad guys approaching (this was the only
Marine jet to be shot down by enemy aircraft during the

Vietnam War). We were in the area shortly after the two
fighter jocks hit the ground. Our A-1 Sky Raiders escorts
trolled over the Pilots reported position and met heavy
ground fire. Several attempts to raise Capt Cordova on
his radio were unsuccessful and it was sort of a given
that he had been captured or worse (I found out later
that Capt Cordova's remains were returned for burial in
1988). I wish we could have gotten to him in time.
The F-4 back-seater, Lt Darrell Borders, landed his
parachute on a small ridge and then high tailed it away
looking for better cover. By the time our two HH-53's got
to his location the Sandy pilots were laying down fire
trying to keep the bad guys away and buying us some
time. On the low bird, Pilot Capt Thomas Laud decided
to give it a go and headed down and into a hover over
the survivor only to be hit with extremely heavy small
arms fire. The Combat Photographer, TSgt Don Looper,
was wounded in the leg; they had several leaking
hydraulic lines and possibly damaged flight controls as
they pulled up and away (later, MSgt David McLeod told
me he was thinking he was on his last mission and
couldn't believe only one guy got hit. Everywhere he
looked there were bullet holes and battle damage).
The pilot on my chopper, Capt Mike Swager, (about as
cool a Pilot I've flown with) asked us all if we wanted to
give it a try. I think he already knew the answer. He set
up our approach and as we headed downwind in a very
fast approach. The Sandy pilots were laying down about
everything they had as close to the survivor as they
dared. As soon as we got into a hover all hell broke loose
with small arms fire hitting us from all directions. The
two PJ's, TSgt Mike Walker, on the ramp gun, and Sgt
Charles McQuoid, in the left window, were returning fire
and it sounded like we were in the middle of a war.
Not long after, I spotted the survivor and started the
tree penetrator down I felt a blow on the right side of
my flight helmet and then lost intercom. A small arms
round had hit my boom mike and severed the comm.
line. I signaled the Combat Photographer, Sgt Jim
Cockerill, who happened to be standing right behind me,
trying to take pictures I think, and he jumped up into the
FE seat and started relaying hand signals to the Pilot.

The damn tree-penetrator got tangled in some bamboo
and I had to spend a minute or so getting it free—
though it seemed more like hours. I could see the
survivor slipping and sliding in the mud and finally
managed to place the penetrator right into his hands.
Luckily he had the strength and resolve to hang on for
dear life because, believe me, I was reeling that cable in
at max speed. I think it took me all of five seconds flat to
get him in the door, onto a seat and get my minigun
swung out the door and firing.


e were still taking lots of small arms fire and as
Capt Swager rolled the nose over and started
pulling up and out of there I could see at least two dozen
bad guys that had reached a point in a trail that put
them close enough I could see their eyes. Lucky for us,
one of the Sandy's was making a run straight at them
and they were ducking for cover instead of firing at us. I
lost sight of them as we made a turn, but I doubt many
were left intact after that Sandy (USAF A-1 Skyraider)
rocked their world. As soon as we were in the clear we
did a quick personal assessment and were truly
surprised to find out that not one of us had been hit. Our
chopper was riddled with holes. It looked like Swiss
cheese around my door position and we were dripping
hyd. fluid in several places plus streaming JP-4 from our
fuel tanks. I tried to transfer fuel from the tank that was
losing the most fuel into the undamaged tank but that
didn't work. We contacted a C-130 tanker, plugged in for
some air to air refueling, and took on enough fuel to
make it back home.
On the way out of there we had to make a stop at one of
the LIMA sites on top of a Karst in Laos where we picked
up the crew from our shot up low bird. As luck would
have it they had made it to a relatively safe and friendly
(at the time) LIMA site. Their chopper had so much
battle damage that they barely made it to the landing
site and we had to leave the chopper to be repaired and
flown out later. To this day, I'm not sure that Chopper
was ever recovered. It might have been destroyed.
Hank Fannin has been a commercial diver for over forty years,
and while not participating in historical salvage operations,
he teaches wilderness survival and family skills.

(continued from page 2)
The 81st Division commander had an idea. Before
America’s entry into the conflict, MG Charles Bailey
served as an advisor overseas where he observed British
forces wearing organizational insignia. These pieces of
cloth seemed to reinforce unit cohesion and esprit de
corps.13 Upon America’s war declaration, the War
Department would give MG Bailey the 81st Division.
Taking an option from the British playbook, the General
ordered subordinates to create a Division totem. Colonel
(COL) Frank Halstead brought forward an idea.
Inspired by a stream that
crossed the unit’s
training area, COL
Halstead proposed
a wildcat.
With command
Asheville’s SGT
Dan Silverman
designed a shoulder
sleeve insignia featuring a
silhouetted cat in a circular field. 14


ivision personnel cut out their insignia from old
wool Army blankets and quickly affixed the new
design to their uniforms. This was all accomplished
without the official blessing from the War Department.
MG Bailey understood the implications of wearing
unauthorized insignia upon arriving in France. Not being
someone who rested on his laurels, General Bailey took
the request of divisional insignia directly to the
commander of the American Expeditionary Forces. Upon
review, General John J. Pershing stated: “All right, wear
it. And see that you live up to it.”15 From this one act, the
Expeditionary Forces commander would mandate the

“Once Upon a Patch,” Army Reserve Magazine XXII, no. 3 (MayJune 1976): 24.


Clarence Walton Johnson, The History of the 321
Infantry with a Brief Sketch of the 81 Division (Columbia, SC: The R.L.
Bryon Company, 1919), 137.

“Once Upon a Patch,” 24.


creation of distinctive marks for every division.
Traditional officers viewed General Pershing’s edict as an
affront to good order and discipline. War Department
officials would endorse insignia during the war with the
intent of phasing them out following the conflict.16
Unlike the previous conflicts, unit esprit de corps
overtook Army policy. Insignia worn on the Western
Front continue within the ranks of today’s active, guard
and reserve elements. The 81st
Regional Support Command carries on
the “Wildcat” heritage bestowed
upon them by the sacrifices of
Division veterans.


24 May 1918 along the Western Front. At the end of
hostilities, the Army would credit the Squadron with 104
combat missions resulting in 21 downed enemy
aircraft.19 Upon completing the requisite time and
service, unit aviators rushed to design their distinctive
emblem. Witnesses recall that “there was a frenzied
fortnight of verbal strife between the parties” proposing
designs.20 Eventually, the group adopted a red and white
pair of dice design proposed by Major
(MAJ) William G. Schauffler. This
design formally flew with the First
Aero Squadron before being dropped
for the American flag emblem. MAJ
Schauffler desired to preserve the
“seven up” scheme with the 90th
Aero Squadron.21

EN John J. Pershing’s decree
produced an avalanche of
theater inspired creations. Within the
On 25 November 1919, the War
fledging U.S. Army Air Service,
Department officially approved the
aircrews wore the emblems of their
pair of dice design for the Ninetieth
assigned division, corps, or army.
PHOTO CREDIT: Public Domain
Aero Squadron. The “Dicemen” would go on to
Modern U.S. Air Force squadron and wing insignia owe
participate in the major engagements of the twentieth
their existence to the period’s "knights of the air."
GEN Pershing’s decree did not allow squadrons to create
century. Since its inception, the unit’s combat role ran
a distinctive insignia. Squadron’s aviators could paint a
the full spectrum. These included bombing, observation,
distinctive unit marking on their aircraft’s fuselage. The
special operations and tactical. The unit served under
only requirement was that a Squadron had to perform
the Army Air Service, Army Air Corps, and Army Air Force
for three months over the Front.17 When compared to
before ending with the United States Air Force. Through
modern aerial combat statistics, three months may
each of these metamorphoses, MAJ Schauffler’s insignia
appear to be a cakewalk. The reality is that World War I
design remains a historic constant. Much like the
combat aircrew life expectancy was between three to
“Wildcats,” airman wearing the 90th Fighter Squadron
eight weeks. Upon achieving the benchmark, aircrews
emblem carry the heritage of the squadron, personnel
feverishly worked to design and paint their emblems on
and achievements.
aircraft before the next patrol.
There are hundreds of examples where lineage and
heritage merge in the symbolism displayed within the
Assigned to the Third Corps Observation Group, the
Ninetieth Aero Squadron began combat operations on
cloth emblems worn by service members. However, our



Carl Mann, Air Heraldry (New York, NY: Robert M.
McBride & Company, 1944), 227.


Leland M. Carver, Gustaf A. Lindstrom, and A.T. Foster,
The Ninetieth Aero Squadron (Hindsdale, IL: Greist F. Harold, 1920),


Carver, 51.




Linda Robertson, The Dream of Civilized Warfare: World
War I Flying Aces and the American Imagination (Minneapolis, MN:
University of Minnesota Press, 2004), 106.


“Squadron Insignia Approved by the War Department,”
The Aeroplane XVII, no. 26 (December 24, 1919), 2114.


story would be incomplete if it failed to explore the
history of at least one wing’s insignia. Pursuant to the
War Powers Act, the Office of Civilian Defense
established the Civil Air Patrol in December 1941.23 The
Office of Civilian Defense authorized Civil Air Patrol
members to wear a circular insignia featuring a threeblade propeller design embedded within the civil
defense triangle image.24 This pattern symbolized the
Civil Air Patrol’s commitment to support America’s
wartime obligations to serve its citizens. The three-blade
propeller design worn during World War II is the same
sported on members’ uniforms today. When donning
this symbol, we informally accept the sacrifices of those
who have come before while promising to preserve the
organization’s heritage for future generations.


ithin Civil Air Patrol’s organizational history,
there is our connection to the past at our wing
and squadron level assignments. One very interesting
emblems belongs to the Connecticut Wing. The insignia
features a flying dog. During World War II, Fairfield
County’s Squadron 153-1 members approached Carl
Rose for an insignia design. Mr. Rose worked as a
cartoonist for the New York World and Boston Herald. 25
The final product was aero-pup. Upon seeing Mr. Rose’s
design, Connecticut’s Wing leadership requested that
Squadron 153-1 turn over the image to the Wing.26 To
this day, Nutmegger’s wear Carl Rose’s whimsical design.
Connecticut members wore this insignia while engaging
in civil defense, disaster response and aircrew rescue
activities for over seventy-two years.
There are rare occasions when units must change their
insignia design. The catalyst transforming patches may
come from a unit reclassification, repurposing of
mission, political sensitivities or organizational morale.

Civil Air Patrol. Civil Air Patrol Manual, vol. 1.1
(Washington, DC: Civil Air Patrol National Headquarters, 1 August
1949), 1-3.

The nature of the beast limits one’s ability to provide an
exhaustive examination of insignia. Civil Air Patrol
historians should understand that they are
preservationists of heritage. This responsibility requires
historians to actively engage and advise leadership about
the implications of proposed changes to insignia—
especially when you consider that the organization has
very few ties that bind past, present and future members
together. Organizational insignia provide that historical
bridge. If we fail to understand this basic principle, there
is a likelihood that members will forget their heritage
and willingly seek to change traditions as they have no
meaning or relation to the past.
TSgt Louis Toms serves as Assistant Squadron Historian with

Civil Air Patrol, 1-9.


“Carl Rose of Rowayton designs Conn. C.A.P. insignia.”
Norwalk Hour [CT] (November 9, 1942), 12.

This brings us to the Thunderbird Division’s insignia.
Comprised of Southwest National Guard elements, the
45th Infantry Division initially chose the Native American
symbol of a swastika. Unit personnel wore the image on
World War I.
Great War, the
National Socialist
German Worker’s
Party organized
and adopted the
swastika emblem.
public associated
PHOTO CREDIT: Public Domain
the division’s image
with the brutality of the Third Reich. Division personnel
solicited the War Department to change their emblem.27
In 1939, soldiers would stop wearing the swastika-like
emblem, and begin sporting a thunderbird design. The
new insignia preserved unit morale while hushing
criticism of the division’s choice in totems.28



“Swastika will go as guard emblem,” Winona RepublicanHerald [MN] (February 6, 1939), 2.



Letters to the Editor
The Editor at the CAP NHJ welcomes your comments and
feedback. Please submit letters for review by emailing the
editor at the address provided. All comments will be reviewed
by the entire editorial staff prior to publication. The CAP NHJ
Editorial Staff reserves the right to refuse publication to any
member based on the content of the letter. CAP members are
encouraged to maintain a professional, and collegial attitude
when submitting correspondence.

Eyes on the Home Skies: The
75th Anniversary of Civil Air
Edited by Richard Mulanax, assisted by Kurt
Efinger, and Frank Blazich
As Civil Air Patrol (CAP) approaches its 75th Anniversary
in 2016, it is a time to reflect on the contributions of the
hundreds of thousands of members who have served in
the organization, from the dark days at the beginning of
World War II to the 21st Century.
This book is being written by historians with a link to Civil
Air Patrol. Some have been members for decades, while
others have volunteered to serve more recently. They
include the grand-daughter of Gill Rob Wilson, who will
write the chapter on the foundation of Civil Air Patrol,
the sons of World War II veterans, retired Air Force
officers, graduate students in History, and college
professors with Master’s and PhD degrees in History. All
have a common link – a bond with Civil Air Patrol and the
United States Air Force through CAP membership and an
interest in CAP.
The book will be organized chronologically, as follows:
Chapter 1 - The foundation of Civil Air Patrol by Gill Robb
Wilson, working with the Director of Civil Defense,
Fiorello LaGuardia, and others.

Chapter 2 - World War II service in support of Civil
Defense and the Army Air Forces, including important
and dangerous wartime missions such as the antisubmarine patrols.
Chapter 3 - Establishment of CAP as the official auxiliary
of the newly created United States Air Force and
definition of its peacetime mission in support of search
& rescue and support of the nation and the Air Force.
Chapter 4 - The changing mission of Civil Air Patrol in
response to America’s role in the war in Vietnam and
continuing Cold War tensions.
Chapter 5 - The evolution of Civil Air Patrol toward more
internal management by the membership and the
expansion of flying operations through CAP expansion of
aircraft acquisition and management.
Chapter 6 - The changing mission of Civil Air Patrol as the
Cold War ends. This results in new and refined missions
such as Counter Drug Operations and Hurricane relief.
Chapter 7 - Expansion of Civil Air Patrol involvement in
Homeland Security as a result of the 11 September 2001
terrorist attacks. CAP assisted the Air Force and the
Army immediately after these attacks and continues to
do support them on a continuing and permanent basis.
CAP also assisted in domestic emergencies such as the
Gulf Oil Spill.
The Civil Air Patrol has a legacy of almost 75 years of support
of the United States Air Force in support of its mission. This
book will demonstrate how this was done in the past and how
CAP will continue to provide essential services to the United
States Air Force and the nation.

Editor’s Note
Th e v i ew s e x pr es s ed i n t h e Ci v i l A ir Pat ro l
Nati o na l H is tor i ca l J o u rna l a r e th os e of th e
a uth o rs o nl y a nd do no t r e fl ect t h e of f icia l
pol icy o r pos it io n o f t h e Jou r na l S ta ff ,
Edi to r ia l Boa r d, t h e C i vil Ai r Pa t rol , it s
of fic e rs o r m em b e rs , n or th e U ni t ed Sta t es
Ai r F o rc e.


Text from Hershel E. Fannin's Silver Star,
and Distinguished Flying Cross Citations.
Editor, K.J. Efinger
Staff Sergeant Hershel E. Fannin distinguished himself by
gallantry in connection with military operations against
an opposing armed force in Southeast Asia on 26 August
1972. On that date, Sergeant Fannin, a Flight Engineer
on an HH-53C Rescue Helicopter, with full knowledge
that a previous recovery attempt had been met with
intense automatic weapons fire, courageously
volunteered to attempt the rescue mission for a downed
American airman. Although his aircraft was being riddled
by bullets as it hovered within meters of the North
Vietnamese gunners, he stood in the open and
unprotected crew entry door while operating the rescue
hoist to raise the downed airman to safety. By his
gallantry and devotion to duty, Sergeant Fannin has
reflected great credit upon himself and the United
States Air Force.
Staff Sergeant Hershel E. Fannin distinguished himself by
heroism while participating in aerial flight as a Flight
Mechanic of a CH-53C helicopter in Southeast Asia on 19
October 1972. On that date, Sergeant Fannin was in a
formation assigned to airlift a contingent of allied
soldiers deep into hostile territory to a tactical objective
long held by hostile forces. Despite heavy antiaircraft,
small arms, and automatic weapons fire directed at his
aircraft from all sides of the contested landing zone,
Sergeant Fannin remained at his exposed position giving
accurate approach instructions to the pilots and calling
out ground fire. Although his aircraft sustained
numerous hits from the heavy hostile fire, Sergeant
Fannin willingly disregarded the safety of his own life to
ensure the survival of a beleaguered allied force and to
aid the initiation of a new offensive in a vital area. The
outstanding heroism and selfless devotion to duty
displayed by Sergeant Fannin reflect great credit upon
himself and the United States Air Force.

Staff Sergeant Hershel E. Fannin distinguished himself by
extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial
flight as Helicopter Flight Mechanic of a CH-53C
helicopter in Southeast Asia on 24 October 1972. On
that date, Sergeant Fannin flew in a formation of six
helicopters carrying allied soldiers mounting an offensive
to regain valuable territory captured by a hostile force.
Despite the proximity and threat of enemy small arms
fire and mobile antiaircraft weapons, Sergeant Fannin
made repeated landings in the landing zone to off-load
his troops thus making possible the success of the allied
offensive. The professional competence, aerial skill, and
devotion to duty displayed by Sergeant Fannin reflect
great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Staff Sergeant Hershel E. Fannin distinguished himself by
extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial
flight as Helicopter Flight Mechanic of a CH-53C
helicopter in Southeast Asia on 20 January 1973. On that
date, Sergeant Fannin flew in a formation of seven CH53C helicopters assigned to airlift a large contingent of
allied soldiers to a vital route junction deep into territory
long held by hostile forces. Despite automatic weapons
and small arms fire directed at his aircraft from both
sides on the run into and final approach to the landing
area, Sergeant Fannin remained at his exposed position
giving accurate approach instructions to the pilots and
calling out ground fire. Sergeant Fannin’s willing
disregard for his own safety aided the insertion of the
allied force and insured the initiation of a new offensive
in a vital area. The professional competence, aerial skill,
and devotion to duty displayed by Sergeant Fannin
reflect great credit upon himself and the United States
Air Force.

PHOTO CREDIT: Public Domain


Editor's Column
K.J. Efinger


ot only is it understandable, but it is also a
justifiable tendency to associate CAP history with
World War II. So much history of the organization rests
with those early formative years, and it would be a
disservice to the many sacrifices of the men and women
who were part of that specific era to fundamentally
ignore it. However, it is equally important for CAP
historians to become the standard-bearers of a history
that extends well into the 21st century. We often forget
the "space-race," and Cold War period—so much that
aerospace education classes for Cadets, and professional
development for Senior Members are scarce the only
purveyors of such information. In other words, unless
one specifically enters into the AE Specialty Track area as
a SM, there is little exposure to the history.
Squadron, Group, Wing, and Region history should be a
continual, effective process of record-keeping, and
reporting. Every change of command at all levels,
noteworthy events in the unit history, influential leaders,
special activities, promotions, etc., should all be placed
within the context of a fluid and organic historical
record. In other words, the unit historian is responsible
for collating data, and recording anything of historical
value that may tie that unit to the past from any point in
the future.
Suffice it to say, history is important, and those educated
in the craft should take it as seriously as any other
responsibility with which we are tasked in the
organization. CAP historians are part of the greatness of
what transpires on a daily basis within the framework of
the vast and growing influence we have in the United

Call for Submissions
The Civil Air Patrol National Historical Journal (NHJ)
welcomes articles, essays, and commentaries not
exceeding 2,000 words on any topic relating to the history
of the Civil Air Patrol, or military/civilian aviation history.
CAP’s history extends to the present day, and the NHJ
seeks accounts of on-going activities and missions, as well
as those of earlier years.
All historiographical works and essays must be submitted
in Chicago Manual of Style (CMS), or they will be rejected
unless otherwise permitted. We encourage authors to
submit digital photographs (minimal resolution of 300 dots
per inch) and illustrations 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.
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
Editorial changes are at the sole discretion of the editorial
staff, but will be discussed with the author prior to
publication, and require a signed release from the author.
The CAP NHJ editorial staff reserves the right to
refuse any work submitted. All submissions must be
sent as MS Word attachments and mailed to the
editor at

When first joining the Civil Air Patrol in 2010, I heard a
SM remark that the Civil Air Patrol was "the best-kept
secret in America." Let us strive to eradicate such
thinking, and establish a precedent of exposure within
our communities, and service to the good citizens of the
United States and our friends abroad.
Capt Efinger is the former Deputy Chief of Staff for A-5 Plans,
Programs and Requirements at Southeast Region HQ. He
currently serves as the Deputy Historian for A-1 SER HQ, and is
a full-time teacher of Economics and Adjunct Professor of
History at Indian River State College in Ft. Pierce, FL.