Winter, 1942: America
was in shock over war
events, including Nazi
subs operating unopposed
off the East and Gulf
Coasts. Burning tankers
were visible from the beach.
CAP volunteers ranged from experienced (but older) WWI pilots to younger pilots (often later bound for the military), and people from Hollywood stars to average Joes (and Janes!). Some 40,000 volunteered in the months after Pearl Harbor.
Among them, actress Mary Astor worked a plotting board at the CAP anti-sub base in Brownsville, Texas, for a time.
The Sun Oil Company contributed the first $10,000 to establish the Tanker Protection Fund. Other oil companies joined in. Housewives set up “Sink a Sub Clubs” to raise money among friends and neighbors. Later, government funding was obtained but early on, was often late.
Many leaders in aviation and society joined CAP and actively participated. Among many notables were members of the DuPont family. There were colorful characters, too.
George Haddaway became the young commander of the Beaumont / Port Arthur anti-sub base that protected tankers leaving Texas refineries for the Gulf of Mexico. Haddaway founded an early aviation magazine, Southern Flight, in 1934.
In later years, he became one of aviation’s most influential journalists, promoters and advocates. A co-founder of the “Wings of Hope” charity flying organization, he is also credited with developing the concept of regional or “commuter” airlines.
Artist Zack Mosley flew his share of missions out of CAP Anti-Sub Base 3 in Lantana, Florida, but he’ll be forever loved for using his art to promote CAP. His wildly popular “Smilin’ Jack” syndicated comic strip taught young people (and their parents) about CAP’s role in the war effort.
|Exhibit II: Subchasers…|
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