File #1574: "CAP NHJ Volume 4, Issue 1, JAN-JUN 2017.pdf"

CAP NHJ Volume 4, Issue 1, JAN-JUN 2017.pdf

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

CAP National Historical Journal
Volume IV, Issue I: JAN-JUN 2017

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 provide the
best in feature and thought provoking articles. We trust you will enjoy what the 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.

Clash of the Titans:
Sputnik to Atlas

theory that, to my mind, leaves no longer war,

Alexander Shelby, Ph.D.

point where you are talking merely about race

because war is a contest, and you finally get to a

At a news conference in Executive Office Building across

suicide, and nothing else.”1

from the White House on February 8, 1956, Roland Evans

Eisenhower’s response, however, was misleading. As

of the New York Herald Tribune asked President Dwight D.

early as 1946, the United States began development of

Eisenhower if the United States lagged behind the Soviet

Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs). For the next

Union in the production and development of guided

ten years, the Truman and Eisenhower administrations

missiles. Eisenhower replied,

would allocate millions in government funding to

“Can you picture a war that would be waged with
atomic missiles, well knowing that atomic
missiles can be of little value unless they have a
tremendously powerful explosive head on
them? . . . In other words, they cannot be as
accurate as shooting a gun or dropping a bomb

produce a long-range ballistic missile, the outcome of
which would be the U.S. Air Force’s Atlas, Thor, and Titan
and the U.S. Navy’s Solaris ICBM fleets.


hen the Soviet Union launched Sputnik on 4
October 1957, many Americans assumed that

the United States had fallen behind in missile and rocket

from a plane; consequently, you must visualize
these things in such numbers and using a kind of

succeeded in surpassing America in the fields of science



and technology. All the signs of Soviet inventiveness were

devastation. Now, to suddenly stop everything

there. The Soviets exploded their first atomic bomb in

else and just to do this, you are working toward a


technology. There was a belief that the Kremlin had

1949—four years after the United States detonated two




Dwight D. Eisenhower: "The President's News Conference,"
February 8, 1956. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The
American Presidency Project. (accessed August 4,


atomic bombs over Japan. The Kremlin also produced the

could now reach any American city. The following day

MiG-15, a fighter jet that outmaneuvered the American

Americans watched the news coverage on Sputnik

F-86 Sabre Jet during the Korea War. Only nine months

Continued on page 8

after the United States exploded the first thermonuclear
(hydrogen bomb) device, the Soviets succeeded in

Command & Staff

detonating theirs. The launch of Sputnik was misleading,

National Commander
Maj Gen Joseph R. Vazquez

however, and succeeded only in shocking the public—not

Chief Historian
Col Frank A. Blazich Jr.

the Eisenhower administration. President Eisenhower
understood the dangers of a Soviet ICBM, and as such,
took steps to produce an American ICBM before the
Friday, 4 October 1957, began like any other day in the
1950s. Some Americans looked forward to watching a
new show called Leave it to Beaver, due to debut on CBS
that evening. Others anticipated watching Saturday’s
Game 3 of the World Series between New York Yankees

National History Research Division Head
Lt Col Richard B. Mulanax
National Historical Journal Editor
Maj Kurt Efinger

Heraldry of Select Unit Patches
of the North Central Region
Bruce Kipp, PhD

and the Milwaukee Braves, while others looked forward
to watching the in-state rivalry between the Los Angeles
Rams and the San Francisco Forty-niners. Yet, others were
more concerned about just getting away for the weekend
to relax. Even Eisenhower planned a trip to his 496-acre
farm in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania—the president hoped
to play a round of golf in between rest. This was
Eisenhower’s affluent society based on prosperity,

The North Central Region (NCR) is an administrative

invincibility, and leisure.2

headquarters that provides support and assistance to the
state wings subordinate to it. The NCR is the fifth of the

With the launch of Sputnik, the image of American
invincibly was shattered. The R-4 Rocket that carried
Sputnik showed the world that the Kremlin was capable
of not only launching a satellite into space but also had

eight Civil Air Patrol regions in the United States. The
regions were most likely established in 1946 as they are
given a passing mention in CAP’s annual Report to
Congress for 1947.

first-strike capability, meaning that a nuclear-tipped ICBM

This despite the turbulence of Red Scare led by Senator Joseph
McCarthy’s witch hunt to find Communist infiltrators in American


The seven wings subordinate to NCR are as follows: North

was located in Pierre. From March 1950 to June 2006 it

Dakota Wing, South Dakota Wing, Minnesota Wing, Iowa

was in Sioux Falls and from June 2006 to present it is on

Wing, Nebraska Wing, Kansas Wing and Missouri Wing.

Ellsworth Air Force Base in Rapid City.

The region’s unit patch is in the traditional shape of a

There are two variants of the South Dakota Wing patch.

shield with a red scroll at the bottom bearing the region’s

They are very similar in appearance to each other.

name in white. The shield is of medium blue. On the shield

Variant-1 is believed to have come into existence in 1951.

are seven white stars which represent the seven wings

No record has been found as to when Variant-1 was

subordinate to the region. The big white star in the center

superseded by Variant-2. However, anecdotally, Variant-

represents the region headquarters. The yellow number

2 was in wear in the early 1980s [per Lois Schmidt as early

5 is the numerical designation of the region. The central

as 1968].1

logo of a blue circle with a white triangle containing a red
three-blade propeller is the Civil Air Patrol logo that was

Variant 1
The patch, edged in dark blue,

used during World War II. The red V symbol at the five

is in the shape of a circle,

o’clock position on the shield represents a searchlight

banded in dark blue, with a

beam illuminating the large white star (i.e. the North

banner above and below. The

Central Region Headquarters). No record has been found

upper banner bears the name

indicating who designed the patch, when it was designed,

of the Wing in red on a white

or when it was first authorized for wear on CAP uniforms.

field. The lower banner bears

The South Dakota Wing Headquarters, CAP designation

the organizational name in red This Variant-1 patch is from
the Lt. Col. Dick Forman

on a white field. The field of Collection.

NCR-SD-001, is located on Ellsworth Air Force Base in

the circle is white. In the center is a solid outline of the

Rapid City, SD. One of 52 Wings in the Civil Air Patrol it is

state of South Dakota in light blue. Superimposed over

subordinate to the North Central Region. The Wing is

the state outline is a crude representation of the four

named after the state where it is located. It was formed

faces on Mouth Rushmore in white and light and dark

at the same time the Civil Air Patrol was formed on 1

blue surrounded by dark blue that represents the

December 1941. The earliest specific mention of the

mountain. At the bottom center of the circle is an older

South Dakota Wing is in a South Dakota newspaper article

version of the Civil Air Patrol emblem; stylized light blue

dated January 1942.

wings with central light blue circle edged in dark blue

The Wing Headquarters has moved three times since it
was formed. From December 1941 to February 1950 it

containing a white triangle with a red, three-blade


Lt Col Lois Schmidt is a member of the Pierre Composite Squadron,
and a recipient of the CAP Congressional Gold Medal.


Variant 2
The patch, edged in medium blue, is in the shape of a
circle, banded in medium blue, with a banner above and
below. The upper banner bears the name of the Wing in
red on a white field. The lower banner bears the
organizational name in red on a white field. The field of
the circle is white. In the center is a solid outline of the

An argument can be made that when the “CAP
Bookstore” took over the marketing of the South Dakota
wing patch from the previous manufacturer(s) they, or
their subcontractor for patches, used computer design
software to clean up the original pattern. If this is the case
it would explain how the Variant-2 patch was anecdotally
being worn by South Dakota Wing in the early 1980s.

state of South Dakota in light
blue. Superimposed over





representation of the four
faces on Mouth Rushmore in
white and light blue with

The Big Sioux Composite Squadron, CAP designation NCRSD-058, is located in Brookings, SD. It is one of six
squadrons in the South Dakota Wing. The squadron is
named after the Big Sioux River that flows past the city.


The squadron’s distinctive unit patch is in the traditional

below and to the right

shape of a shield with a scroll at the bottom. The entire

representing the mountain.

patch is outlined in yellow. The scroll at the bottom bears

At the bottom center of the circle is an older version of

the squadron’s motto in blue on a silver-gray field. The

the Civil Air Patrol emblem; stylized light blue wings with

field of the shield is divided with the upper three quarters

central light blue circle edged in darker blue containing a

in red and the bottom quarter in dark blue. At the top of

white triangle with a red, three-blade propeller.

the red field is the name of the squadron in white. Below




The primary differences of Variant-2 are that the
depiction of Mount Rushmore is more precise and that
the wings at bottom center are slightly different in shape.

this are two crossed flags on staffs; a stylized U.S. flag on
the left and the flag of the state of South Dakota on the
right. The flag’s staffs cross at the apex of a white triangle
containing a red three-blade propeller, one of the

No record has been found indicating who designed the

organizational symbols of the Civil Air Patrol. At the

Wing patch—nor has any record been discovered

bottom of the red field,

verifying who initially manufactured the Variant-1 design.

to the left, in white is

The 1980 uniform sales catalog for the “CAP Bookstore”
(1980-2000) did not have a photo of the patch so it is not
known if it was Variant-1 or Variant-2. In 2000, the “CAP
Bookstore” was replaced by “CAPMart,” whose catalogs
also did not feature a photo of the patch. Vanguard
Industries began manufacturing the Variant-2 design in
2006 when they acquired the contract from “CAPMart”.

“USAF AUX.” indicating
that the Civil Air Patrol is
the official auxiliary of the
U.S. Air Force. At the
bottom of the red field to
the right is “CAP” in
white, the acronym of the Civil Air Patrol. In the blue field
are three Civil Air Patrol badges in silver-gray. To the left

is the CAP Ground Team Master badge. To the right is the

stylized wing and star emblem that represents the Civil Air

CAP Paramedic badge. At the bottom center of the blue

Patrol’s status as the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force.

field is CAP Command Pilot Wings.

The patch was designed by CAP Lt Col B.T. Marking. A

The patch was designed by then Capt. (now Maj.) Nick

document dated 15 March 2002 with a hand-drawn

Gengler, Capt. Dan Gerwing and Lt. Travis Rupp in 2009

version of this design was sent to the Wing Commander

and was approved for wear shortly thereafter.

for approval. The patch was approved for wear shortly

The Crazy Horse Composite Squadron, CAP designation


NCR-SD-068, is located in Custer, SD. The squadron can

The Lookout Mountain Composite Squadron, CAP

trace its antecedents back to at least the early 1990s. It is

designation NCR-SD-063, is located in Spearfish, SD. The

one of six squadrons in the South Dakota Wing.

unit, which received its charter in 1986, is one of six

The squadron is named after Chief Crazy Horse, a Native
American leader of the Oglala Lakota Sioux tribe. A
monument with the figure of Chief Crazy Horse is

squadrons in the South Dakota Wing. The squadron is
named after a prominent terrain feature near the city of
Spearfish in Lawrence County, SD.

currently being carved on Crazy Horse Mountain in Custer

The squadron’s distinctive patch, edged in dark blue, is in

County, SD.

the shape of a circle, banded in gold, with a banner above

The squadron’s distinctive unit patch is in the traditional
shape of a shield with a scroll at the bottom bearing an
abbreviated form of the squadron’s name in red. The
entire patch is edged in medium blue. The field of the
patch is silver grey with accents and design elements in
the patriotic colors of red, white and light blue. In the
center of the field is a stylized Native American chief’s
headdress. Centered within the headdress is a threebladed propeller that symbolizes the Civil Air Patrol’s
aviation component. Centered below the headdress is a

and below. The upper banner bears the organizational
name in dark blue on a white field. The lower banner
bears the squadron name in black on a dark yellow field.
The field of the circle is light blue. In the center is a large
trout with a spear through it. The official symbol of the
city of Spearfish is a nod to history as prior to the Black
Hills Gold Rush of 1876, the area was used by Native
Americans (primarily Sioux) who speared fish in the creek
(hence the name of the creek and the city). The speared
trout is superimposed over fluffy white clouds. At the
bottom center of the field is the organizational logo used
by the Civil Air Patrol during World War II (dark blue circle,
white triangle and red three-blade propeller).


The City Council of Spearfish

The squadron is named after the Shrine of Democracy,

gave the squadron permission

commonly known as the Mt. Rushmore monument, an

to use the emblem of the city in

iconic symbol of South Dakota. As the Rushmore

the design. The patch is a

Composite Squadron is located on Ellsworth AFB, home

composite of several ideas from

to one of the U.S. Air Force units equipped with the B-1

a squadron competition held in

bomber, the squadron’s patch blends elements of both

late 2010 and approved for

into its design.

wear shortly thereafter.
The Pierre Composite Squadron, CAP designation NCRSD-038, is located in Pierre, SD. The squadron can trace
its lineage back to 1942, shortly after the South Dakota
Wing and the Civil Air Patrol were formed. It is one of six
squadrons in the South Dakota Wing.

The squadron’s distinctive unit patch is in the traditional
round shape and consists of two rings and a central
medallion. The narrow outer ring is black. The wide inner
ring is red. At the top center of the red ring is an
abbreviated form of the squadron’s CAP designation in
white. Below, and to the right and left are two white stars
that symbolize the Civil Air Patrol’s mission of aerospace

The Pierre Composite Squadron is named after the city

education. Around the base of the red ring is the

where it is located, and is one of the oldest in the South

squadron’s name in white.

Dakota Wing, having received its Civil Air Patrol charter
possibly as early as 1942.
When the Civil Air Patrol, and concurrently the South
Dakota Wing, was formed on 1 December 1941, Pierre
was the location of one of the eight “Area Group
Commands” within the state. Each Area Group
Commander was responsible for signing up members in
his area. No records have been found indicating that the
Pierre Composite Squadron ever had a distinctive
squadron patch, nor does the squadron have one now.
The Rushmore Composite Squadron, CAP designation

The central medallion depicts a black and grey U.S. Air
Force B-1 bomber trailing white contrails as it soars
through the dark blue South Dakota sky. Below the

NCR-SD-031, is located on Ellsworth Air Force Base in

bomber is a depiction of Mount Rushmore in light blue

Rapid City, SD. It is one of six squadrons in the South

and white with scattered trees in black at the base and

Dakota Wing.

sides of the monument. No record has been found that
mentions who designed the patch, when it was designed,
or when it was approved for wear on CAP uniforms.

The Sioux Falls Composite Squadron, CAP designation

The Sioux Falls Cadet Squadron was located in Sioux Falls,

NCR-SD-050, is located in Sioux Falls, SD. It is one of six

SD. The squadron is believed to have been one of the

squadrons in the South Dakota Wing. The squadron is

oldest in the South Dakota Wing having been formed

named after the city where it is located. The squadron is

around 1945, but possibly as early as 1942. It existed until

one of the oldest in the South Dakota Wing and can


document its lineage to 1950 and, anecdotally to 1942,
when it was the location of one of the eight Area Group
Commands in the South Dakota Wing.

From 1986-2001, there were two CAP squadrons in Sioux
Falls; the Sioux Falls Cadet Squadron (SD-050) that existed
from the early 1940s to 2001 and the Joe Foss Senior

The squadron’s distinctive unit patch is in the traditional

Squadron (SD-061) that existed from 1986-2001. In 2001,

shape of a shield with a scroll at the bottom bearing an

the Joe Foss Senior Squadron merged with the Sioux Falls

abbreviated form of the squadron’s name. The patch is

Cadet Squadron to form the Sioux Falls Composite

outlined in white. At the top of the shield is a horizontal

Squadron (SD-050). When the units merged this patch

black bar bearing the Civil Air Patrol motto “Vigilant

was inactivated and replaced by the new Sioux Falls

Always” in Latin in white. Below the black bar is a nose-on

Composite Squadron patch.

view of a Cessna aircraft
in Civil Air Patrol colors
flying through the vivid
hues of a South Dakota



aircraft is an abbreviated
form of the squadron’s
CAP designator. Horizontally, just below the center of the
shield is a depiction of the Sioux Falls skyline. The brown
and blue area below the skyline represents the waterfall
on the Sioux River. At the bottom of the shield is a
composite of an older version of the Civil Air Patrol’s
winged logo over stylized Air Force style wings. This
symbolizes that the Civil Air Patrol is the official auxiliary
of the U.S. Air Force.

The Sioux Falls Cadet Squadron’s distinctive unit patch is
in the traditional shape of a circle with banners at top and
bottom. The banners bear the name of the squadron in
green on a white field. The entire patch is outlined in
black. The patch consists of a
round white field bearing a
large yellow sunburst. In the
center of the sunburst is a
brown eagle with white tail
feathers and head. It is a
patriotic image and alludes to

Photo credit: 1Lt Vincent

the link between the U.S. Air Brown of Sioux Falls

Composite Squadron

Force and the Civil Air Patrol, its official volunteer civilian
auxiliary. Clutched in the eagle’s claws is an older version
of the Civil Air Patrol Cadet Programs badge. The badge is

The squadron patch was designed in 2006 by Lt. Col. Rick

in the shape of a shield. The top third of the shied is a blue

Larson and the then Squadron Public Affairs Officer Lt.

field with white stars. The bottom two thirds of the shield

Shawn Anderson. It was approved for wear shortly

are alternating vertical red and white stripes. In the


center of the badge is a large, white three-blade aircraft

propeller. CAP Lt. Col. Steward Evans, former Executive

bombers, and intermediate-range ballistic missiles.

Officer of the Sioux Falls Cadet Squadron, confirmed that

Senator Kennedy would later use this event as a battle cry

the patch depicted here is valid and that it was designed

for his election campaign: “Let’s Get This Country Moving

by the cadets of the squadron, but he does not recall the


specific time in the squadron’s history this was done.
Scientists, too, like Edward Teller, the father of the
Lt Col Bruce Kipp is a former Department of Defense employee
who holds a Master of Science in Strategic Intelligence from the
Joint Military Intelligence College (JMIC, now the National
Intelligence University), and a Ph. D. in European History. He
currently serves as the South Dakota Wing's Director of Public

hydrogen bomb, called the launch of Sputnik a
technological Pearl Harbor.5 What really shocked
Americans—Democrats and Republicans alike—was the
Soviet ability to hit the United States with a nucleartipped

Continued from page 2

on their televisions or tuned in to their ham radios to
listen to the relentless “beep… beep … beep” that came
from the artificial satellite, wondering if Sputnik’s
messages sent reconnaissance data back to the Soviet
Union.3 Many Americans feared that Sputnik not only
symbolized the Soviet conquest of space but would also
became the harbinger of America’s defeat.


n Washington, partisan bickering began almost as





Sputnik’s significance, calling the artificial satellite “a neat
scientific trick,” and nice “small ball in the air.”6 The
reason Eisenhower showed no concern for Sputnik or the
R-4 Rocket was due to intelligence briefings and U2
photos that confirmed there was no missile gap and that
U.S. missiles and rockets were more advanced and
superior to the Soviet R-4.7


quickly as Sputnik’s first signals reached the Kremlin.

The first American attempt to put a satellite in space

At the same time, Senators John F. Kennedy and Lyndon

failed, when on December 7, 1957, the Navy’s Vanguard



TV3 exploded on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral,

Eisenhower and the Republicans for the defense budget

Florida. It appeared on the surface that the Soviet Union

cuts that defined Eisenhower’s Cold War strategy: New

had a better ballistic missile than the United States; in

Look—as it was called—espoused budget cuts in

reality, the American rocket had a better guidance

conventional military spending for unconventional

system, which made it more accurate for targeting. The

weapons such as tactical nuclear weapons, long-range

United States began development of its ICBM fleet shortly



after the Second World War when Werner von Braun, and

CIA, Information Report, “Announcement of the Soviet Satellite and
Comments on the Satellite and the Soviet Space Program,”
November 28, 1957. (accessed August 4, 2017).
4 United States, and Lyndon B. Johnson. Public papers of the
Presidents of the United States: Lyndon B. Johnson, containing the
public messages, speeches, and statements of the President, 1968-69
(Washington: U.S. G.P.O., 1970), 19:1173.


Zuoyue Wang, In Sputnik's Shadow: The President's Science Advisory
Committee and Cold War America (New Brunswick, N.J: Rutgers
University Press, 2009), 77.
6 Yanek Mieczkowski, "Eisenhower's Sputnik Moment: The Race for
Space and World Prestige," Journal of American History, 100, no. 4:
1263. 99.
7 The U.S. produced three nuclear-tipped ICBM missiles: the Atlas,
the Titan, and the Minuteman. The focus of this paper will be on the


1,600 other Nazi scientists were brought to the United

October 1945. This materialized with the Navaho, a

States as part of Operation Paperclip to develop

winged cruise missile that looked similar to the German

America’s first missiles and rockets—based on the V-1

V-1 rocket, and the MX-774, which was developed jointly

and V-2 rockets that rained terror on European cities

with the U.S. Army and resembled the German V-2 rocket.

during the Second World War.8 The research and
development into ICBMs began in 1946. Progress was
extremely slow due to lack of funding for the missile and
rocket program. Indeed, Truman gave little priority to the





appropriating only $1 million for their development, but,
nonetheless, the program did successfully lead to the first
Atlas ballistic missiles.


The Truman administration’s Cold War strategy did not
rely on missile and rocket technology, and this resulted in
budget cuts for research and development. As a result of
the budget cuts, the Air Force had to cancel the MX-774
program in 1947. However, Consolidated-Vultee Aircraft
(Convair), the company the Air Force contracted to build
the MX-774, continued research and development of the
missile. From 1949 to 1950 Convair continued tests and

he Army, Air Force, and Navy all began separate

to make design improvements to ballistic missiles. When

programs to produce an ICBM. However, the Air

the Air Force looked for a new and improved ballistic

Force had to overcome some cultural obstacles before its

missile project in 1951, Convair had already made

missile and rocket program fully advance. A culture of

substantial improvements to the MX-774, and was

reluctance to change had developed in the Air Force

awarded a new contract by the Air Force to produce an

shortly after the Second World War. Air Force strategy in

even more advanced MX-774. The result was the X-11

this early Cold War period revolved around Strategic Air

Atlas, the same rocket that carried not only America’s

Command (SAC) that relied on long-range bombers rather

nuclear warheads but also John Glenn into orbit.

than long-range missiles. General Henry “Hap” Arnold, a


first and last five-star General of the Air Force, however,
embraced new technology as part of the Air Force’s new
mission. He forced the Air Force to overcome its
reluctance to change, and he pioneered the effort to
produce the Air Force’s first ICBM, advocating that longrange missiles with greater accuracy were part of the Air
Force’s future.9

y 1954, the Air Force began work on the Atlas, Thor,
and Titan ICBM rockets. Work on the Atlas began in

1954, and a fully operational Atlas A was successfully
launched on June 11, 1957. This led to the development
of an even longer-ranged ICBM, the Atlas B, a missile with
a range of almost 6000 miles, and the Atlas D, the first
operational ICBM, that became the standard for all other
Atlas rockets, going into service on October 31, 1959.10

Due to General Arnold efforts, the Air Force began its

Furthermore, the Atlas D became the first American ICBM

research and development of missile technology in

capable of carrying a nuclear warhead anywhere on the


Monumental Projects that Changed the World, (New York: Pantheon
books, 1998), 155.
10 A modified Atlas D would later make John H. Glenn Jr. the first
American to orbit the earth in his Mercury capsule on February 20,

The Soviet Union also used Nazi rocket scientists to develop their
missile and rocket technology.
9 Arnold predicted that future wars would relying more on missiles
than on pilots. See Thomas P. Hughes, Rescuing Prometheus: Four


globe and was cost-effective, which compared to other

Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA).

military expenditures at the time, was economical and

This officially became known as the “Sputnik Moment”

centered around Eisenhower’s New Look policy that

because Sputnik not only propelled the Soviet Union into

advocated government frugality in conventional military

space but launched the American initiative in education

spending while relying on nonconventional weapons.11

and research funding. Perhaps this is why Eisenhower


showed little concern for the Soviet “small ball in the air”

fter the successful launch of Sputnik I, the United
States missile and rocket program went into

overdrive. On 31 January 1958, the Army Ballistic Missile
Agency launched Explorer I, America’s first satellite, into
orbit on a Jupiter-C rocket. Although significantly smaller

called Sputnik.13
Dr. Alexander Shelby is a CAP Aerospace Education Member,
(AEM) and Assistant Professor of History at Indian River State
College in Ft. Pierce, Florida. He holds a doctoral degree in
American Diplomatic History from Florida State University.

than Sputnik, Explorer I was more advanced, with an





Call for Submissions

temperatures, as well as a cosmic ray detector,

The Civil Air Patrol National Historical Journal (NHJ)
welcomes articles, essays, and commentaries on any topic
relating to the history of the Civil Air Patrol, or military/civilian
aviation and aerospace history.

microphone for recording micrometer impacts, and
Geiger tubes which detected the Van Allen radiation
belt—charged particles around Earth’s magnetic belt. In

All historiographical works and essays must be submitted in
Chicago Manual of Style (CMS). Authors should submit
digital photographs (minimal resolution of 300 dots per inch)
and illustrations for publication. Content should be the work
of the author or open source. Adjustments to pixel saturation,
color and size will be made according to the editorial 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 when published.

addition, Explorer I continued to send signals back to
earth for four months. By contrast, Sputnik I transmitted
for 21 days and Sputnik II for only 7 days.12 Sputnik’s
monopoly in the ICBM race proved to be a short-lived
By 1959, the Air Force had a fully operational Atlas missile
capable of carrying nuclear warheads anywhere on earth,

Editorial changes are at the sole discretion of the editorial
staff, and will be discussed with the author prior to
publication, and require release from the author.

or men into space. Additionally, the Eisenhower
administration and Congress began to reorganize the U.S.
education system under the National Education Act of

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

1958, with emphasis on science, technology, engineering
and mathematics (STEM).

Moreover, Washington

developed new civilian-controlled agencies, the National
Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the

Christopher Gainor, “The Atlas and the Air Force: Reassessing the
Beginnings of America's First Intercontinental Ballistic Missile,
Technology and Culture, Volume 54, Number 2, (April 2013): 346.
12 Mark Williamson, Spacecraft Technology: The Early Years (London,
UK: Institute of Engineering and Technology, 2008), 93.


John Lewis Gaddis, Strategies of Containment: A Critical Appraisal
of American National Security Policy during the Cold War (New York,
New York: Oxford University Press, 2005), 185.


A Uniform of Historical
Proportions: The process of
making an authentic CAP WWII
era uniform
Vanessa M. Muñiz-Medina

The effort was proving to be more difficult than I
anticipated. One day, while I was browsing through an
antique store with no more success than I had earlier in
my quest, the store owner suggested that I could simply
make my own composite uniform, “buy a WWII Women’s
Army Core (WAC) uniform, CAP patches and pins put it all
together and have your uniform”.

During the first Civil Air Patrol (CAP) history class I ever
taught, I showed cadets a WWII Olive Drab (OD) Green
Army garrison cap with an original tag reading December
16, 1941. The cap had a hand sewn CAP cadet patch.
I had no
idea if this
used by a
cadet or if
this was a
WWII era Garrison cap (top), and 2015 CAP
Flight Cap
made with
original parts, but the effect it had on the cadets of my
squadron was something difficult to ignore—the
expression on their faces and their curiosity was priceless!
As the historian for the Upper Montgomery Squadron
(MER-332), I have a passion for teaching history to the
cadets. If a garrison cap can help me to create curiosity
and a love for history in Cadets, imagine what a full
uniform could do! That is why I started looking for an
original WWII era CAP uniform.
I visited antique
reenactments, and
Internet websites
with no luck. The
conclusion I came to
was that WWII Civil CAP cadets at WWII Reenactment. Photo
Air Patrol Male provided by author.
uniforms were scarcely available (when found they were
pricey), and female uniforms were seemingly nonexistent.

Original WWII WAC Jacket with replica shirt and tie.

I intended to follow the shopkeeper’s suggestion, but
when I finally got a WWII WAC uniform I could not bring
myself to change its buttons, change the green epaulets
for red epaulettes and take off the beautiful patch. I could
not take away its own history and change it to another.
Faced with this dilemma, I decided that the best way to
make my own WWII CAP uniform replica was to make it
from scratch.
Making a uniform
would not be as
simple as it sounds.
important—thing (or
person) I needed,
was my mother. Her
name is Migdalia
Medina-Perez and
Author with her mother; credit author
she is the best
dressmaker I have ever known! She takes after her mom
(my grandmother) and when I asked her if she could help
me out she said “yes” without hesitation.


Once I got my mother on board, the next thing I needed
was the right fabric, a sewing pattern, WWII-era CAP
buttons, shoulder patch, and lapel pins. The fabric was
difficult to find. I settled on something close enough with
respect to color and material (100% wool), although the
fabric weave was not exact.
As you might
expect, I was not
able to find a WWII
Military Uniform
either, but I found
a 1940’s style
sewing pattern for
a skirt and jacket.
This was a step in
the right direction.
I then researched
pictures of WWII
Photo credit: Author
CAP female officers
and with the pictures in hand, my mother was able to
make the jacket, a skirt and the cap. We were finally on
the way to recreating an authentic WWII era CAP uniform.

Col. Louisa Spruance Morse, wearing CAP Uniform from
December1944 to August 1951. Source: CAP National
History Program

One of the most difficult items to find on my own was the
red arm braid worn by CAP officers. With the help of other
CAP historians I was able to find the red cuff braid (for the
jacket), the silver prop and wings, and C.A.P cutout
insignia for the lapels. The most prized accoutrement,
however, was an original WWII Service Ribbon!

Uniform lapel pins, service ribbon and red arm
braid provided by Major Greg Frazier

WWII CAP Officer, CAP archival photo

It took my mother about a week to assemble the uniform
and all of its various parts. Any reference we had available
was used to check, and re-check the authenticity of the
uniform’s progress. This included the proper placement
of ribbons, pins, insignia, and braid. CAP Chief Historian,
Col Frank Blazich, jr. provided assistance as well by
sending me a copy of an authentic handbook showing
where to place the various uniform items.

CAP WWII Replica vs. Original WWII Jacket

Replica Flight Cap

CAP ARCHIVES; Provided by Col F. Blazich, Jr.

The following photographs reveal a little of the process
from start to finish:

Author's mother sewing parts of the uniform


The story of my CAP uniform is unique and filled with the
love I have for history itself. It was made possible by the
sense of duty and volunteerism that defines the spirit and
mission of the Civil Air Patrol.

Col Blazich’s encouragement motivated me to write this
article for the CAP NHJ:
“…your uniform represents the spirit of the World
War II CAP members, where a commitment of
service drove a desire to assemble a uniform by
whatever means were available.”
It would be difficult to fully recognize the number of CAP
members who stepped forward to make this project
possible. It was a huge undertaking, and the result will last
for many years to come. CAP cadets wherever I take the
uniform, will have an opportunity to see history, and the
story behind recreating a part of it.
Vanessa M. Muñiz-Medina is the squadron historian for the
Bethesda-Chevy Chase Composite Squadron. As a profession,
she is an associate scientist for a Maryland-based
pharmaceutical company.

I would like this to be my tribute to the Civil Air Patrol and
its history. Perhaps just as important, I wish to honor
WWII CAP volunteers and the nearly half million members
of the Greatest Generation whose efforts were an
integral part of the defense of our country.
Lastly, it is my earnest hope this work will serve to instill
in future generations of CAP cadets and officers the same
sense of devotion to service, pride and love for our
nation’s glorious past.