Plaque Unveiling Commemorates Civil Air Patrol's 75th Anniversary

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Special guest speaker Jill Robb Paulson (center-right), granddaughter of the Civil Air Patrol's founder, joined NJ Wing Commander Steven M. Tracy (center-left) and members of the Cumberland Composite Squadron for a picture in front of the newly unveiled plaque commemorating the Civil Air Patrol’s 75th anniversary.  Photo Courtesy of 2nd Lt. Christen Morales, Cumberland Composite Squadron Public Affairs Officer.

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – The Northeast Region Civil Air Patrol held its annual New Jersey Wing Conference Thursday, March 9 to Sunday, March 12, 2017, in Atlantic City at the Sheraton Convention Center Hotel. This year's banquet celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Civil Air Patrol in New Jersey (NJ CAP) with a very special guest speaker.

To commemorate the momentous occasion, a plaque detailing the historic role that Atlantic City's Bader Field played in the NJ CAP's history was unveiled by Jill Robb Paulson, granddaughter of the Civil Air Patrol's creator Gill Robb Wilson, and NJ Wing Commander Steven M. Tracy, during the event.

Paulson spoke on her grandfather’s legacy and role in creating the organization, and the importance of its continued success. Prior to WWII, Wilson saw a need to supplement the nation’s home-based military defenses with a civilian aviation defense force—the Civil Air Patrol. The organization was created on December 1st, 1941—six days before the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the U.S.’s entrance into the War—at Bader Field in Atlantic City.

During the War, the Civil Air Patrol played a vital role in conducting anti-submarine patrols and later became known as the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary, adopting three core missions: Cadet Programs, Aerospace Education, and Emergency Services. These missions continue across the organization's nine regions, consisting of 52 wings across the United States, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

The first charted squadron in the organization was the Cumberland Composite Squadron, which has historical ties to the Millville Municipal Airport in Cumberland County. It was formerly known as the Millville Army Airfield – “America’s First Defense Airport."

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