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CAP Historical Monograph Number 3 1983.pdf

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Civil Air Patrol
Historical Monograph

Headquarters CAP


A Collection of CAP Wartime Anecdotes
and Odd Facts

Robert E. Neprud

With Foreward by
L t . C o l . L e s t e r E . H o p p e r, C A P

CAP National Historical Committee Monograph Series
Number Three


Through the personal generosity of Mr. Robert E. Neprud, Civil
Air Patrol's historical holdings were considerably enriched by
his gift of material utilized during the writing of his book,
F LY I N G M I N U T E M E N . L o n g a c c e p t e d a s t h e B i b l e b y t h o s e i n t e r e s t e d i n C i v i l - - ~ r P a t r o l ' s e a r l y h i s t o r y, F LY I N G M I N U T E M E N
was originally published by Duell, Sloan and Pearce, Incorporate d o f N e w Yo r k . T h r o u g h t h e e f f o r t s o f C A P ' s N a t i o n a l H i s t o r i c a l
Committee it was reprinted in 1982 and once again made readily
available thru the Bookstore.
Included in the material recently (1983) donated by Mr. Neprud
was a collection of Wartime Anecdotes and Odd Facts entitled
"Propwash". These were not initially published due to last minute editorial changes. They are presented in this monograph for
reasons best explained by Mr. Neprud's contemporary definitions
as; "Being a collection of anecdotes and odd facts from all over
the CAP map---a round-up of some of the stories that will enliven
Civil Air Patrol 'hangar sessions' for years to come., They are
presented in their original unedited version so that the reader
may receive the benefit of the form and feeling of the time.

L. E. Hopper
Lt. Col. CAP
Chairman, National
Historical Committee
August 1983

NUFF SAID - Two tired, dirty CAP coastal patrol fliers landed,
o u t o f g a s , a t E l l i n g t o n F i e l d , Te x a s , a f t e r a s i x - h o u r r a m b l e o v e r
the Gulf. Between them, the two had around 1500 hours over the water.
Across the field they noticed an impressive ceremony was in
progress. "What's doing?" one of them asked.
"They're awarding the air medal to some of the fliers," the mech
" W h a t f o r ? " c a m e t h e q u e r y.
"The men have completed 100 hours of flight over the Gulf on
patrol in their B-25s."
"Oh", came the somewhat muffled reply from the visitors. And
the two climbed back into their 90 horsepower, single engined
S t i n s o n Vo y a g e r f o r a n o t h e r l o n g a n d w e a r y r o u n d o f e s c o r t d u t y.

SUNRISE SERVICE - One spring evening a coastal patrol C.O. was
amazed to have practically every pilot on the base come to his desk
a ~ d r e q u e s t t h e d a w n p a t r o l a s s i g n m e n t t h e n e x t d a y. T h e n t h e r e a s o n
dawned on him. The following day was Easter Sunday and the men wanted to see the sun come up over the rim of the ocean on Easter morning.

"THREE POINT" AGAIN - Previous to being commissioned a "Flight
Officer" at a solemn assembly held by the Beaumont garrison, "Three
Point" - the unit's flying cat - was content to hang around downstairs
with the guards and the mechanics. But once his promotion came thru
and a bar was presented to him on a special collar, the feline aeronaut moved upstairs to the officer's lounge and could usually be found
curled luxuriously in an overstuffed chair when not on a mission. He
also stood all formations with his officer brethren.

AT Y O U R C O N V E N I E N C E - W h e n C a p t a i n Z a c k M o s l e y, t h e c a r t o o n i s t ,
found anyone who was skeptical about the work of the coastal patrol
during the days when he was flying out of Major Ike's Lantana, Florida,
base, he would hand out a card with the following challenge:
"Meet me at your convenience 40 miles off the Florida coast, 400
feet above the ocean, in a single-engine land-plane."

" M AY D AY " - M o s t p o i g n a n t o f a l l c o a s t a l p a t r o l m e m o r i e s . . . . the
c r y o f " 9 9 " o f " M AY D AY " , t h e d i s t r e s s s i g n a l , o v e r a b a s e ' s l o u d speaker system. Every man would run to his prescribed station, and
within a few seconds the rescue plane would be in the air. And all
h a n d s w o u l d h o p e t h a t t h e " 9 9 " h a d b e e n f o r d r i l l p u r p o s e s o n l y.

A L O N G D AY - I n o r d e r t o k e e p u p w i t h s c h e d u l e s d u r i n g t h e
winter of 1942-43, fliers at some of the bases became accustomed
t o fl y i n g a s m a n y a s i 0 h o u r s a d a y. T h e r e w e r e m a n y o c c a s i o n s ,
at the northern bases, when pilots and observers had to be lifted
from their ships and walked up and down the field between two men,
like injured football players. Sometimes they were so stiff and
c o l d t h e y ' d c r y l i k e b a b i e s i n t h e i r a g o n y.

LIGHT RUNNIN' - Down at the bases along the Gulf, everything
was "light runnin'". Just where the expression originated, no one
knew. A good plane was a "light runnin' Stinson"--or a pilot had
a "light runnin' date" ....

GOOD THOUGHT - The two men had been afloat for several hours
in their Mae Wests. Their plane had gone under 45 seconds after
their forced landing on the crest of a wave. Overhead, a CAP rescue plane was vainly trying to spot a rubber boat to the men, but
a high wind camsed them to miss several tries. The boys upstairs
made a couple more passes but failed to drop another boat.
"Damn it, go ahead and drop the boat, you !#!#!" shouted one
of the crewmen in the water.
" B i l l , " a d v i s e d t h e o t h e r m a n , s o l e m n l y, " i f y o u ' v e g o t t o u s e
words like that -- pray!"

ELEPHANT BALLET - At Sarasota, Florida, members of Coastal
Patrol Unit 13 used to enjoy spending some of their free time at the
winter quarters of the Ringling Brothers Circus, which adjoined the
CAP field. One of the more entertaining acts in rehearsal that year
was the "Elephant Ballet", where gorgeous girls dressed in ballet
costumes went through their paces with elephants, who were also bedecked in ballet skirts.
The CAP guards, meanwhile, were getting a nightly workout. It
seems that some of the circus roustabouts, once their daily labors
were finished, had the habit of relaxing just off the Ringling property with a bottle of beer in one hand and a bottle of wine in the
other. Sipping first from one bottle and then from the other gave
them all sorts of adventurous ideas. It made some of the tipplers
want to fly airplanes and awakened a yearning in others to sleep in
the CAP hangars. Sooner or later, the roustabouts -- having been
prevented from realizing their ambitions -- would stretch out on the
ground and snore sonorously until daylight. So peace would reign
once again and the guards could go back to swatting mosquitos.

THE WELLSMERE - The personnel of Base 18 at Falmouth were quartered in a former summer resort hotel on Vineyard Sound, a huge wooden
U - s h a p e d b u i l d i n g c a l l e d t h e We l l s m e r e I n n . T h e v e n e r a b l e h o s t e l r y,
which has since toppled into the ocean, was even then so close to the
water's edge that the spray flew in through second-story windows on
rough days. In winter, the residents either went to bed early or
sat huddled an chalrs wzth blankets wrapped around them as protect%on
against the gusty drafts and the frigid temperature.

CALL ME "LUCKY" - Pilot Buck Pratt and his observer, of the
Beaumont base, were cruising 24 miles offshore one sunny summer day
in Pratt's little Voyager when the motor suddenly emitted a grinding
protest. Buck started to give a "99" (or Mayday) over his radio,
then changed his mind. He had noticed a freighter about five miles
a w a y a n d h e w a s h e a d i n g t o w a r d h e r.
"Maybe I can make it that far," Buck reasoned.
The motor still coughing along as he looked down on the vessel's
deck. "Well, maybe I can make it to Eighteen Mile Light," Buck told
his observer. He did. By this time, the protesting motor was about
to shake the plane into small pieces, but Buck kept going, his courage strenthened by the sight of a Coast Guard cutter.
F i n a l l y, w i t h t h e b e a c h i n s i g h t , B u c k f o n d l e d t h e l i t t l e c r a t e
and deposited in on the Sand in a three-point. The mechanics who
hurried out from the base discovered that the crankshaft had broken
diagonally and was held together only by the main bearing.
After that incident, Pratt's nickname was very nearly changed
f r o m B u c k t o L u c k y.

POWERFUL BREEZE - The nor'easter that lashed at the northern
coastal patrol stations in December of 1942 was one of the worst
storms in years and won't soon be forgotten by the CAP members who
were around at the time.
Regular missions were grounded, but some planes took off to warn
outlying Coast Guard units and lighthouse tenders just about the time
the gale struck. When the storm-battered ships returned to their
home fields, wobbling crazily in the wind as they came in for a landing, personnel on the ground lined each side of the runway and literally caught the ships as their wheels hit the ground. Then the reception crew would cluster around the plane and "walk" it into a hangar -- if there was any hangar space left, that is.
But despite these measures, a number of light aircraft anchored
to the ground by means of "dead men" -- usually submerged gasoline
cans or cement blocks -- were ripped loose from their moorings and
dribbled across the fields like jackstraws. After that, they were
good mainly for the spare parts that could be salvaged from them.

CROSSED WIRES - Coastal patrol personnel were constantly studying code, navigation and other subjects that would do them some good
on their treks over the ocean. In one instance, a pilot practicing
code in his room at Falmouth's Wellsmere Inn unwisely hooked up his
practice sending set to some electric wires belonging to the room
above, where another CAP man was sleeping. When the light in the
room of the innocent sleeper kept flashing code in the direction
of the ocean for half the night, FBI investigators broke into the
room and put the man under arrest. No one suspected the codester,
who announced himself the next day when told what had happened.

FIRST STOP - Over and over, observers on
planes were informed that their first stop on la
t h e I n t e l l i g e n c e o f fi c e - - a n d w i t h o u t d e l a y.
six hour flight, the first stop was more likely
room. After all, there were no modern convenien

the coastal p
nding should
B u t a f t e r a
to be at the
ces aboard.

be at
t h r e e t o

RADIO PROCEDURE - A Beaumont flier, recalling the time when a
new radio procedure was introduced, relates that the men felt rather
sissy when they had to say things like, "I say again" and "How do you
hear me?" The training school class pretty nearly broke up the time
when the base commander exploded when it came his turn to say "Twitter,
this is Eagle."

H I S T U R N - S e r g e a n t P a t B r o o k , a o n e - t i m e b a r n s t o r m e r f r o m Te x a s ,
was custodian of the Link Trainer installed at Base 17 for the benefit
of coastal patrol pilots flying out of Falmouth and Suffolk, Major
Ralph Earle's twin bases.
An experienced pilot himself, Pat was nevertheless barred from
overwater missions because he had only one eye and bore the marks of
of couple of crackups. But he learned everything there was to know
about the Link and he turned out to be a whirlwind of an instructor.
It was the outspoken, red-faced Irishman who was largely responsible
for the fact that all of the Suffolk and Falmouth pilots eventually
were checked out with instrument ratings, or green tickets.
Pat, who was operating an airport in Pennsylvania when last heard
from, showed up for a postwar Suffolk-Falmouth anniversary conclave at
Riverhead, Long Island, site of Base 17's coastal patrol operations;
Brook arrived early, landing his Cub at the old familiar field just
before the weather closed down. None of the other coastal patrol vets
were able to fly planes in.
And so it worked out that as a finale to the anniversary weekend,
it was Pat -- the man who had never been allowed to go on patrol -who buzzed out over the Atlantic and dropped a wreath into the ocean.
The gesture was in tribute to Captain Gordon McAlpin Pyle, the one-time
Base 17 intelligence officer who later disappeared in the ocean while
on a tracking mission off Sandy Hook.

MAN-HUNT - Three draft-dodgers who took to the mountains in
the rugged territory along the Colorado-Utah state line were brought
in by the FBI, largely due to the reconnaissance provided by the
Civil Air Patrol.
The fugitives were elusive characters. They kept on the move,
always staying a jump or two ahead of the FBI agents on the case.
They were smart enough not to show up in any of the scattered small
towns of the region, preferring to make their way by stealing food,
ammunition and other supplies from ranchers.
The noose tightened when CAP Wing Headquarters at Salt Lake City
furnished a plane for aerial reconnaisance. Pilot of the craft was
a Major Sherman Falkenrath, executive officer of the Utah Wing and a
captain in the Salt Lake City police department.
The CAP major and the government agents set up a makeshift airport on a plateau near Vernal, Utah, and flew a series of missions
over the area where all signs indicated the trio was in hiding. On
each occasion, a G-Man with powerful binoculars accompanied
Falkenrath. With the aid of a walkie-talkie radio, the pair in the
plane could communicate with authorities on the ground.
The fugitves turned themselves in shortly after the aerial search
began. They admitted being discouraged by the probing CAP plane,
which was coming closer and closer to their hide-out, and which made
movement impossible during daylight.

T H I R T Y PA RT S TO A D O G - M e m b e r s o f o n e o f t h e S o u t h e r n L i a i s o n
Patrol units along the Mexican Border, surrounded by sizzling desert
and mesquite country, were understandably startled when they received
a shipment of Army manuals on the subject of dog-team transportation,
complete with pictures of dog sleds and a nomenclature chart of a
husky with 30 parts from muzzle to tail neatly labeled.
The number of this manual was FM 25-6, whereas the publication
on Interior Guard Duty, which should have been sent, was FM 26-5.
Somehow the figures were interchanged in one of the dozen or so forms
involved in the delivery of the books.

COWS BOMBED WITH CORN - One of the flood missions in Kansas
consisted in dropping corn to a herd of stranded heifers, since it
was feared that they might become desperate through starvation and
drown in attempting a break for land a quarter of a mile away. So
a CAP plane loaded up with 150 pounds of corn in grocery bags, which
burst when they hit. Although the knoll was no larger than a submar±ne, the bombing aim was good and 12 out of 14 bags struck home.

S U N B AT H E R R E T R E AT S - O n a
agreed that a white sheet should
the countryside, eyes peeled for
swooped low, only to scare up a g
ran for cover.

simulated lost-plane search, it was
represent the plane. Winging over
a sheet, a pilot spied one and
irl sunbather, who jumped up and

COYOTE HUNTERS - Aerial hunting to protect livestock from the
depredations of coyotes is a serious business out in the Plains
Country--and even more so during the war years when sheep and cattle
ranchers were straining to produce every possible pound of meat for
t h e e x p a n d e d m a r k e t . T h i s l e d t o a p e t i t i o n b y M a j o r T. B . R o b e r t s ,
Jr., South Dakota's first wing commander, which resulted in the granting of clearances by the CAA so the coyote hunters could fly again.
Tracking and shooting these slinking marauders from aloft is no
job for the novice. When a coyote is sighted in the brakes, the plane
makes a circle and flies behind him at 50 to 75 feet altitude, zigging
and zagging to keep from over-flying the quarry. In this way, the
animal is driven to the higher open ground, where the plane circles
and comes in low behind him. The pilot must keep his eyes on his
flying rather than on the coyote while the observer blasts away with
a shotgun.
Then the plane lands on the nearest flat area and the pilot and
gunner get to work skinning their victim.
'The worst part of it", one of the hunters relates, "is that you
have to ride back to port with pelts in the cockpit. When you climb
out at the end of your ride, you usually find that you've inherited
all the fleas that formerly belonged to the animals."
However, since coyote pelts fetch around $8 or $9 on the usual
market, the hunting better than pays for the flying time -- besides
helping to cut down on stock-raisers' headaches.

OLDEST PILOT - They call Starr Nelson, 80 year-old pilot of
Delta, Colorado, the "young man of the mountains."
Nelson, who stands straight as a poplar and looks at least 15
years younger than he is, learned to fly at the age of 73 after 12
hours dual instruction, soloing in 1940. He owns his own airplane
and has made a number of long cross-country hops to eastern and
southern states. On his ranch, which sits at the base of a flat top
mountain, Start maintains his own airfield. The "young man" is as
much at home in an airplane or astride a horse.
A 25-year-old pilot remarked, after being introduced to the
patriarch of all mountain fliers: "Gosh, when he shook hands I
thought I had caught my hand in a steel vise.!"

HELP NEEDED - The pilot of a CAP plane on a search mission over
the San Bernardino mountain range in California noted an object flying
in a deep ravine more than 600 feet below. From the plane, it looked
very much like a person. The pilot called his observer's attention
to the object and ducked for a closer view.
It was a person, all right, and in serious need of help after
falling from a cliff to a lower overhanging ledge. A radio message
to the base resulted in the injured man's rescue several hours later.
CAp cadets, trained in first-aid and in mountain search procedures,
clambered down the cliff and carried the man out of the ravine.

CAP GREMLINS - Like all airmen, CAP fliers were occasionally
harried by Gremlins. The type that associated themselves with the
Civil Air Patrol was described by a Cleveland group publication, and
the little fellow's portrait was executed by Jimmy Canborn, a Plain
Dealer artist.
"The CAP gremlins seem to be a special breed," the Patrol's
newspaper commented. "He has short, stocky legs, a little round
t u m m y, a n d a b i g h e a d , p i n k c h e e k s a n d a s t u b b y n o s e . H e i s a l w a y s
seen with a wrench and a screw driver in his belt, since one of his
favorite tricks is to loosen screws and bolts. His costume, too, is
unique. The shoes turn up at the toes and on each heel is a suction
cup enabling him to walk all over the outside of a plane in flight.
His coat has king-size buttons that shine like beacons and on his
head is perched a miniature CAP overseas cap. Usually his pranks are
of an ornery nature, but it's said he can be bribed into behaving
if you keep a supply of used postage stamps on which he can munch."

JAP BALLOONS - CAP fliers as far inland from the West Coast as
Nevada became acquainted with the weird Japanese bomb-carrying paper
balloons that had been wafted all the way across the Pacific by prevailing air currents.
Four came over the vicinity of Reno in the late summer of 1944
and were tailed by CAP planes, who were giving a hand to Reno Army
Air Base fighters. Reports were radioed from the planes to Wing
Headquarters at Reno, giving full details on direction, estimated
speed, altitude and the rate of descent. Army authorities, with
detonation specialists among them, were called when the Jap callingcards finally landed.
Eleven of Reno's hard-riding "mounties" stalked one of the
balloons early in 1944 along an old stage-coach road near Paramint
Lake, following a call from the Reno Army Air Base. CAP was warned
not to get too close to the balloon in the event they succeeded in
tracking it down, but merely to post a guard near it. The horsemen
spotted it, saw the wind pick it up again and when they thought they
had it cornered, then followed it for two more miles. An Army contingent from the air base took over a short time later.

LOST SHEEP - A Utah squadron was once asked to find 600 sheep
that had strayed from the main flock. Due to the rough terrain and
high bush, herders were unable to locate them. Captain Art Mortenson,
a squadron commander, finally found the sheep, plus three deer and
an elk, sighted enroute.

CALIFORNIA DUCK COWBOYS - A bizarre but practical mission was
flown by pilots of the California Wing to protect the rice crop in the
San Joaquin Valley against the depredations of wild ducks and geese
in the autumn of 1943. The farmers had increased their rice acreage
from 150,000 acres to 230,000 acres that year, and the wildfowl -apparently tipped off by their scouts -- moved into the area three
weeks earlier than expected, just as the crop was heading. And since
the flocks, numbering uncounted thousands of birds, could devastate
40 acres of rice in a night, the threat to the entire rice growing area
was very real.
Flares, smoke bombs and other ground tactics merely chased the
birds from one field to another. In desperation, the farmers raised
a fund and called on the Civil Air Patrol for an aerial 'blitz" that
might turn the tables on the flocks that continued to blanket the rice
Grounded for much of the war because of West Coast defense restrictions, CAP fliers of the Sacramento area were given special
permission by military authorities to assist the Fish and Wildlife
Service in its efforts to check the ravenous birds.
The early morning and dusk attacks delivered by the light CAP
planes, which flew at grass-skimming height, produced the desired
results. Sometimes blasting at the ducks with shotguns, sometimes
tossing practice hand-grenades into them, the duck "cowboys" succeeded in routing thousands upon thousands of the birds. Then, flying
behind the flocks, they drove great numbers ahead of their planes to
the Willows game refuge and to Benecia, where the Fish and Wildlife
service had deposited 400 tons of feed in an effort to divert the
ducks from the ricelands.
CAP fliers quickly learned that the trick was to keep over the
birds and to avoid collisions which might shatter props or windshields and result in a crack-up in a marshy paddy field. Ducks
seldom fly up in front of planes, but there was always the danger of
their coming down in the path of a plane below them. The ducks flew
at a speed of about 60 miles an hour and so did the CAP puddlejumpers, making the planes ideal for the herding job. With operations
at 25 and 50 feet, on the average, and involving many turns and constant radio communication, the Californians at the controls had to be
on their toes every second.
The successful techniques used by CAP were described as follows
in the Oakland Tribune:
"They fly out over the field and then roar down to 25 or 50 feet
over the birds. Usually that scatters the flocks and brings them off
the water. But sometimes, after they have been frightened a time or
two, the birds stick to the water and watch the planes fly over. when
the ducks don't take to the air, the planes swoop low a second time
and the fliers drop hand-grenades and blaze away with shotguns. The
grenades, which go off five seconds after the pin is pulled, usually
explode well above the ground and don't give the fliers much time to
pull out of range."
Chief of the "cowboys" was Captain Ed Meyers, commanding officer
of the Sacramento squadron, who was in charge of the aerial operation
in 1943 and again in 1944, when the ducks again threatened the rice
fields. Meyers, a mechanic and a pilot since 1914, received major
assistance from Lieutenant Gene Hughes, a rice farmer and a one-time
crop duster, Lieutenant George W. Hancock, a Sacramento jeweler, and
Lieutenant G. W. Hilton, 62 year old tractor salesman from Modesto.

Cost of the CAP's successful month long war against the wildfowl
in 1943 was $1600, which was considered something of a bargain by the
farmers, who stood to loose at least $100,000 had the ducks been
allowed to eat their fill. The'process was successfully repeated
in 1944, with the "cowboys" using their earlier techniques to advantage.

BUGGED UP - The South Dakota Wing, through its publication,
once made the suggestion that a grasshopper emblem be presented to
pilots of the Plains Country who had the experience of flying into
a swarm of these insects.
" To t h o s e w h o a r e u n i n i t i a t e d , " t h e W i n g b u l l e t i n e x p l a i n e d ,
"it might be of interest to know that swarms of grasshoppers have
been encountered as high as 4000 feet. When you fly into a cloud
of them, you'd think you were in a hailstorm. All you have to do in
South Dakota to get bugged up is to fly through an army of "hoppers."

NORTH WOODS ADVENTURE - CAP planes played a part in the tracking
down of a bearded fugitive in the Maine woods in 1943. The desperado,
who had a habit of shooting into windows to see whether anyone was
home, was a Canadian draft evader who had been living in the woods
for more than a year by robbing camps. When a guide was killed, the
hunt was on. For weeks, CAP planes made many flights to transport men
and supplies and to search for campfires that might give a clue. The
search for the killer ended with the shooting of the bearded figure.

THE PICKLE KING - Since the beginning of Civil Air Patrol, a
number of its finest pilots -- several of them women -- have died in
airplane crashes. One of the most lovable and colorful of them was
North Carolina's wing commander, Colonel Frank E. Dawson, of Charlotte,
who was nicknamed the "pickle king" because of his civilian Occupation.
Colonel Dawson spearheaded North Carolina's participation in the
CAP program throughout the war and into the difficult peacetime transsition period. Along with carrying the ball as wing commander, he was
C.O. at the Beaufort coastal patrol base and also directed the Manteo
base during much of its existence. A man who insisted on sharing the
same dangers that his men faced, Dawson flew hundreds of hours on
patrol missions in the stormy Cape Hatteras sector.
The jovial, story spinning wing commander, who possessed a wonderful talent for making friends and for getting things done, was returning from a luncheon flight and safety conference at Rocky Mount in
November, 1946, when his PT-10 crashed in the woods near Cannon airport, just outside of Charlotte and within sight of wing headquarters.
Dead wi£h Colonel Dawson in the wreckage was Captain W. E. Merck,
wing operations officer.

TA L E N T P O O L - O n e o f t h e g r e a t e s t s e r v i c e s o f t h e C i v i l A i r
Patrol during the war was its maintenance of a pool of trained
people for special jobs. CAP Headquarters kept a punch-card system
of detailed information on personnel. If a rush inquiry came in
for a man who could pilot a two-engine plane and speak Spanish -or one who was an expert photographer and a seasoned night flier -the IBM operator ran the punch cards through the sorting machine
at the rate of 400 per minute. Out would come the dozen or the
hundred who suited the specifications. The man culled from the pack
was sometimes on his way to an important assignment within a few

PA R A - TA L K I E - T h e M i c h i g a n W i n g , w h i c h n u m b e r e d a s e a p l a n e
squadron and several parachute units among its components, even
developed a para-talkie system for chutist-to-ground communication.
The transceivers, which were designed by Lieutenant Arthur
C o p l a n d , a g r o u p c o m m u n i c a t i o n s o f fi c e r , a n d R a d i o Te c h n i c i a n
Ed Pietrasik, emerged after a year's experimentation -- five units
being built and discarded before the final version was pronounced
a success.
The para-talkie was demonstrated to the public one Sunday
afternoon when a two-way conversation was carried on at Wings airport between Lieutenant Ralph Berkhausen, who bailed out of a plane,
and Lieutenant James Allen, who gave instructions to the descending
jumper from the ground.