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Vermont Wing

Vermont CAP saves lives

From World War II to present, the Vermont Wing has saved lives. In October 1944, Maj. William Mason, head of the wing, enlisted five Civil Air Patrol cadets for a search and rescue mission after a U.S. Army Air Forces B-24 bomber with 10 men crashed on Camel’s Hump mountain. Believing the Army was searching the wrong area and aided by observations from a CAP airplane, Mason sent cadets to the spot where they found the lone survivor, Pfc. Jimmy Wilson. The cadets provided a sandwich, built a fire and shelter, found water and laid Wilson on pine boughs covering him with a chute and tarp, until he could be stretchered out. Two cadets still alive in 2014 were honored for their actions.

In November 1983, members used ground vehicles to help the Bennington Police Department recover and transport four air crash survivors. After a Mooney M20C crashed among trees in January 1981, a ground team spent hours triangulating the craft’s electronic locator transmitter; a CAP Cessna 172 spotted the wreckage and the team rescued a survivor.

In 1968, five cadets saved a couple after their plane crashed and caught fire. In severe 1998 ice storms, relief activities encompassed mass care, damage assessment, radio communications and logistics. Later that year, the wing helped the Federal Emergency Management Agency assess flood damage.

In 1948, aircrews flew approximately 11,000 miles on forest fire patrol, reporting several large fires and illegal burning.

The morning after CAP cadets found U.S. Army Pfc. Jimmy Wilson and kept him alive, they awaited breakfast served up by Army cooks at the Army base camp. From left are cadets Malcolm Nelson and Peter Mason. Photo courtesy of Special Collections at the University of Vermont
The morning after CAP cadets found U.S. Army Pfc. Jimmy Wilson and kept him alive, they awaited breakfast served up by Army cooks at the Army base camp. From left are cadets Malcolm Nelson and Peter Mason. Photo courtesy of Special Collections at the University of Vermont
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