Roanoke Composite Squadron is an active Civil Air Patrol Squadron serving
the Roanoke, Virginia area and surrounding counties. We are comprised of
cadet and senior members with a passion for aviation and community
addition to CAP's missions of Aerospace Education, Cadet
Emergency Services, we strive for excellence in the community and work
with local schools and law enforcement agencies to send a message of
responsibility and adherence to a drug-free lifestyle.
unit has a proud history that includes participation in several search and
rescue missions as well as other CAP missions. Members of
our squadron assisted in the response to the Great Dismal Swamp fire near
Suffolk, VA, which was the state's largest emergency service mission in
history. We have also participated in several missing person/aircraft
searches, and Roanoke members have been credited with several
"finds" over our squadron history.
Our squadron shares Cessna 172 and Cessna 182 aircraft on a
rotating basis with the Lynchburg, Danville and Blacksburg, VA squadrons and we have
an pilot cadre that provides aerial support to CAP emergency service and
counter-drug missions as well as providing flight instruction and
orientation flights to CAP cadets and Air Force ROTC students.
cadet program is very active, and many of our cadets have achieved the
highest level of CAP cadet accomplishment - earning the General
Carl A. Spaatz Award, which requires proficiency and study in numerous
areas as well as a commitment to physical and moral excellence. Many of
our former cadets have gone on to great things: appointments to military
service academies, success in business, political office, judicial
appointments- one former cadet even went on to be the national commander
of the Civil Air Patrol!
OF THE CIVIL AIR PATROL
Civil Air Patrol was conceived in the
late 1930s by legendary New Jersey aviation advocate Gill Robb Wilson, who
foresaw aviation's role in war and general aviation's potential to
supplement America's military operations. With the help of New York Mayor
Fiorello La Guardia, the new Civil Air Patrol was established on December
1, 1941, just days before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.
CAP insignia, a red three-bladed propeller in the Civil Defense white
triangle in a blue circle, began appearing on private aircraft everywhere.
CAP initially planned only on liaison and reconnaissance flying, but the
civilian group's mission expanded when German submarines began to prey on
American ships off the coast of the United States and CAP planes began
carrying bombs and depth charges."
CAP crew first interrupted a sub attack on a flight out of Rehoboth Beach,
saving a tanker off Cape May, N.J. Since radio calls for military bombers
were often unproductive, unarmed CAP fliers dived in mock attacks to force
subs to break and run.
The CAP coastal patrol flew 24 million miles, found 173 submarines,
attacked 57, hit 10 and sank two. By Presidential Executive Order, CAP
became an auxiliary of the Army Air Forces in 1943.
German commander later confirmed that coastal U-boat operations were
withdrawn from the United States "because of those damned little red
and yellow airplanes."
In all, CAP flew a half-million hours during the war, and 64 CAP aviators
lost their lives in the line of duty.
The U.S. Air Force was created as an independent armed service in 1947,
and CAP was designated as its official civilian auxiliary the following
year. Today, nearly 57,000 volunteers
participate domestically or internationally as member to continue the
missions of Aerospace Education, Cadet
Programs, and Emergency Services.