The Gathering Threat

War clouds loomed in Europe and Asia long before U.S. entry into WWII. Pilots remembered enemy sub operations off U.S. coasts in WWI, feared civilian flying would be banned, and knew small planes could play a role in national defense.

A number of civilian groups were organizing, but Gil Robb Wilson, head of the N.J. Division of Aeronautics, advanced the N.J. Air Guard as a model.

Wilson sold the concept to NY mayor Fiorello LaGuardia (also national Civil Defense chief), who sold it to the Roosevelt administration.

CAP’s insignia illustrated its original connection with Civil Defense. The standard CD insignia (blue circle, white triangle) was modified with symbols for scores functions… air raid wardens, ground spotters, etc. For CAP, a red propeller appeared inside the triangle.

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