On Monday, December 1, 1941 with the assistance of General Hap Arnold, The Director of civilian defense, La Guardia signed the order that officially created the Civil Air Patrol.
The following Sunday the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and the Philippines.
The next day, Monday December 8, 1941, Director La Guardia published administrative order #9 detailing the organization of the C.A.P. and they were in business.
Three months later (march 1942) the C.A.P. was giving 90 days to prove their worth in a desperate experiment called the COASTAL PATROL. The original mission to be confined to searching the US coastline for U-boats and ships in distress. This soon turned into armed off-shore patrols.
The CAP coastal patrol operated for 18 months during WWII before the job was handed off to the regular military. During that time they sighted U-boats on 173 occasions. They also made 57 armed attacks against some U-boats (blowing two into the next world) and assisted the crews of ships that had become victims of torpedoing.
While this was going on, other CAP units were doing primary pilot training and screening for the armed services, as well as:
target tug duties,
search & rescue,
classified courier duty
aerial predator control in the west
forest fire spotting
as well as moving 1600 metric tons of cargo for the various military services.
Although over 30 of these VOLUNTEERS died while serving their country during WWII. They never received veteranís status or recognition as did members of the WASP (who were paid positions) and the Merchant Mariners.
There are very few left to thank...