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North Carolina Wing

North Carolina CAP on duty 24/7

Tropical Storm Ernesto drowned thoughts of sunshine and relaxation over the 2007 Labor Day weekend. Instead of relaxing, CAP volunteers in North Carolina chronicled flood damage through photographs detailing vital information on search and rescue needs as well as farm and residential flood damage. Ernesto provided a chance for CAP to use the Geographic Information System flight tracking and reporting equipment while flying sorties.

During Hurricane Irene in 2011, the Winston-Salem Composite Squadron and 11 other North Carolina Wing units helped distribute food and supplies to damaged areas around the state. The CAP units managed four distribution points and a central distribution point in Beaufort County. More than 140 North Carolina CAP volunteers participated in the various missions.

Not all disasters occur during the daytime or during the week. In November 1988, the North Carolina Wing responded to a call at 1:30 a.m. A tornado had struck during the Thanksgiving weekend and destroyed a Kmart shopping center, 500 homes and damaging another 1,500 homes in Nash and Wake counties. Less than an hour after the initial call, 15 CAP volunteers stood in the Kmart parking lot ready to help in every way possible.

North Carolina CAP units have a long history of providing eyes in the sky. During Desert Shield, CAP worked with active duty and reserve units to watch the skies over the U.S. CAP volunteers flew 140 hours of reconnaissance missions over a 10-week period in the Sunny Point Weapons depot area. Each sortie lasted between two and five hours and had two U.S. Army personnel on board.

Coastal Patrol Base 16 in Manteo is visible in this aerial photo, circa 1943. The base later relocated from Skyco Field to Naval Auxiliary Air Station Manteo. Source: Dare County Regional Airport, Manteo, N.C.
Coastal Patrol Base 16 in Manteo is visible in this aerial photo, circa 1943. The base later relocated from Skyco Field to Naval Auxiliary Air Station Manteo. Source: Dare County Regional Airport, Manteo, N.C.
After considerable effort, Coastal Patrol Base 21 Commander Maj. Frank Dawson worked with the North Carolina Office of Civilian Defense to submit a Federal Works Agency War Public Works application that gained federal approval to construct three permanent 4,000-foot runways at the Beaufort coastal patrol base. Construction on grading, paving and improving drainage at the base commenced in June 1943 and was completed by fall. This CAP initiative remains in operation today as Michael J. Smith Field, serving Beaufort and Morehead City, N.C. Visible are the original hangar built by the personnel of Base 21 and a hangar built using funds appropriated by the state General Assembly. Source: Charles Small family, Richmond, Va
After considerable effort, Coastal Patrol Base 21 Commander Maj. Frank Dawson worked with the North Carolina Office of Civilian Defense to submit a Federal Works Agency War Public Works application that gained federal approval to construct three permanent 4,000-foot runways at the Beaufort coastal patrol base. Construction on grading, paving and improving drainage at the base commenced in June 1943 and was completed by fall. This CAP initiative remains in operation today as Michael J. Smith Field, serving Beaufort and Morehead City, N.C. Visible are the original hangar built by the personnel of Base 21 and a hangar built using funds appropriated by the state General Assembly. Source: Charles Small family, Richmond, Va
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