Ohio Wing Civil Air Patrol

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Ohio Wing Civil Air Patrol
Ohio Wing Civil Air Patrol logo.png
The Ohio Wing of the Civil Air Patrol, the United States Air Force Auxiliary
Associated branches
United States Air Force
Command staff
CommanderUS-O6 insignia.svg Col David J Jennison
Current statistics
Total Membership1207
Statistics as of December 5, 2017[1]

The Ohio Wing (OHWG) of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) is the highest echelon of CAP in the state of Ohio. The Ohio Wing headquarters are located in Columbus at the Defense Supply Center, Columbus. The wing is a member of the Great Lakes Region of the CAP.

For the 70th anniversary of the Civil Air Patrol's founding, the Ohio Wing has created a special page on its World War II activities.[2]


The Ohio Wing’s foundation corresponds with the late 1930s movement to organize civilian aviation for domestic defense. In 1940 in Toledo, Milton Knight organized a Civil Air Reserve unit. After taking office in 1939, Governor John W. Bricker appointed Cleveland resident Earle L. Johnson as Director of the Ohio Bureau of Aeronautics. A graduate of The Ohio State University, Johnson’s interest in aviation began in the mid-1920s thanks to his neighbor and Cleveland native David Ingalls, the only United States Navy fighter ace from World War I. While working for Governor Bricker, Johnson in September 1941 organized Ohio’s civilian pilots into a state Civil Air Defense wing. When the federal Office of Civilian Defense (OCD) established the Civil Air Patrol in December 1941, the state Civil Air Defense wing evolved into a CAP wing, with Johnson serving as the first wing commander. In March 1942, Johnson entered active army service and succeeded Major General John F. Curry as the national commander of the CAP, a position he held until his death in 1947.[3]

Civil Air Patrol pilots and planes in 1942.

The Ohio Wing grew rapidly following the onset of the war. Under Johnson and later wing commander CAP Colonel George A. Stone, Jr., the wing recruited men and women throughout the state. Governor Bricker joined CAP in May 1942, as did Congressman John M. Vorys, himself a World War I naval aviator and former director of the Ohio Bureau of Aeronautics. By July 1942, the wing numbered 3,282 men and women organized in nine groups and 39 squadrons, making the Ohio Wing the third largest CAP wing in the nation; over 4,200 members served in the Ohio Wing by 31 October 1942. Ohio squadrons undertook a variety of missions on behalf of the war effort. The wing conducted statewide searches for scrap metal in response to OCD scrap drives for metal, tires, and other resources, saving countless hour of ground searches and locating well over a quarter million pounds of scrap metal. CAP squadrons also maintained constant aerial patrol over the state’s valuable timber resources. The eagle eyes of Ohio CAP members prevented large forest fires from erupting in 1942. CAP personnel provided further surveillance of coal, oil, and gas resources in the state vital to the war effort and defense industries. Ohio wing members in 1943 volunteered to patrol flood-stricken areas across the state, radioing flood information to state and local authorities on the ground to help in responding to the emergencies. Other Ohio wing members served as aerial couriers during the war. The small light aircraft of CAP could ferry supplies vital for war effort into areas and through conditions when no other options remained viable.[4]

No mission, however, received the prominence of antisubmarine coastal patrol duty. Ohio, far removed from the U-boat menace, resolved to contribute to the coastal patrol effort. In July 1942, Representative Vorys made an open request for volunteers to help form an all-Ohio CAP Coastal Patrol base. On July 16, 1942, national CAP headquarters turned Congressman Vorys’ request into reality by authorizing the activation of Coastal Patrol Base No. 14 at Panama City, Florida. Columbus native Robert E. Dodge, a forty-one-year-old CAP major served as commander. The Ohio men established the base at an abandoned airfield four miles northwest of Panama City at St. Andrews Bay. Training on open water navigation, communications, and bombing practice commenced and the first patrols took off on August 8, 1942 over the Gulf of Mexico. From dawn to dusk, the CAP aircraft patrolled the warm waters of the gulf.

Sporting Donald Duck whimsically riding a flying bomb, the base’s pilots patrolled an area of ocean from Mobile, Alabama to Light House Point, Florida, extending outwards of 60 miles from shore.[5] Aircrews spotted oil slicks, debris, reported suspected U-boats, remains of crashed aircraft, and anything out of the ordinary. Vorys himself flew patrol duty from August to September 1942, the only member of Congress to serve in the CAP coastal patrol. Although the Ohio men on patrol did not sink any U-boats, they assisted in the rescue of shipwreck survivors, reported sinking or suspicious vessels to the military, and ensured that the valuable tankers and supply vessels leaving ports in the Gulf made their way safely to military forces in Europe and the Pacific.[6]

Air Force Reserve Master Sgt. Dan Bryant, a communication and navigation systems craftsman with the 910th Maintenance Squadron, explains the components of avionics equipment to Ohio Civil Air Patrol cadets.

On the evening of August 31, 1943 that the flag at Ohio’s own Coastal Patrol Base No. 14 was lowered for the last time. The closure of the coastal patrol base did not end entirely in Florida, but rather California. In January 1944 the national CAP headquarters assigned some of the base personnel to Grand Central Air Terminal in Glendale, California to become Tow Target Unit No. 7, under the command of CAP Major Lloyd H. Fales, former command of Coastal Patrol Base No. 7, at Miami, Florida. Instead of spotting submarines, the pilots now towed large canvas sleeves at the end of a steel cable that could be played out via a winch up to 5,000 feet behind their aircraft. Pilots with considerable nerve and intestinal fortitude towed the targets while antiaircraft batteries practiced their marksmanship and target tracking and perfected their aerial gunnery procedures. Only the most powerful aircraft could pull the targets for daylight missions, while lighter aircraft flew tracking missions at night for searchlight tracking missions. By March 1945 the tow target mission was complete and the Ohio men returned to home to the Buckeye state, having joined CAP and seen the war. In 1948, the Department of Defense awarded Air Medals to any coastal patrol pilot or observer with over 200 hours of patrol time. Forty-three Ohio CAP members received the medal for their wartime service, the sixth highest total in the nation.[7]

Since World War II, the Ohio Wing has continued to prosper, developing scores of young men and women into model citizens and future personnel in the armed forces. Members of the wing have assisted in the rescue of downed aviators, provided assistance to state and national officials in natural disasters and local emergencies, and proudly represented the Birthplace of Aviation by promoting Ohio’s aviation resources and heritage.

In January 2009, members of the Ohio Wing, along with CAP members from the Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky Wings, flew sorties surveying damage and boosting communications for the Kentucky National Guard following a severe ice storm in Kentucky, while CAP ground crews assisted National Guardsmen in going door to door to perform wellness checks on residents.[8]

Annual encampment[edit]

The Ohio Wing holds a cadet encampment annually. Serving as a weeklong training camp for cadets, the encampment involves instruction in discipline, teamwork, and leadership. Other activities involve instruction in drill and ceremonies, customs and courtesies, basic CAP knowledge and military tradition. Encampment attendance is a prerequisite for the Gen. Billy Mitchell Award. Senior members may also be awarded the ribbon for providing leadership at CAP this encampment. The encampment is held at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio.[9][10]

Groups and squadrons[edit]

Base Operations personnel at Grissom Reserve Air Base screen Ohio Civil Air Patrol cadets prior to an orientation flight on a 434th Air Refueling Wing KC-135R Stratotanker.
Air Force Reserve Staff Sgt. Jenelle Rodriguez, an aerospace propulsion journeyman with the 910th Maintenance Squadron, explains the functioning of a C-130H Hercules propeller to Ohio Civil Air Patrol cadets.
A delegation from the Ohio Wing Civil Air Patrol meets with Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown.
Air Force Reserve SrA Jerry Winkler, an aerospace propulsion helper with the 910th Maintenance Squadron, explain the functioning of a C-130H Hercules propeller to Civil Air Patrol cadets.
Air Force Reserve Staff Sgt. Derek Pressell, an aerospace proplusion technician, with the 910th Maintenance Squadron explains the components of a C-130H Hercules aircraft cut away engine to Ohio Civil Air Patrol cadets.
Groups and squadrons of the Ohio Wing[11]
Group Number Squadron name Location
Wing Headquarters OH 001 Ohio Wing Headquarters Columbus
OH 000 Ohio Reserve Squadron Columbus
OH 999 Ohio Wing Legislative Squadron Columbus
Group I OH 044 Group I Headquarters Blue Ash
OH 032 Blue Ash Cadet Squadron Cincinnati
OH 078 Lunken Cadet Squadron Cincinnati
OH 156 Warren County Cadet Squadron Lebanon
OH 229 Harrison Composite Squadron Harrison
OH 244 Lt Col James R. Sanders Senior Squadron Blue Ash
OH 279 Clermont County Composite Squadron Batavia
OH 288 Pathfinder Cadet Squadron Middletown
OH 295 Robert E. Skoog Composite Squadron Hillsboro
Group III OH 254 Group III Headquarters North Canton
OH 051 Youngstown ARS Composite Squadron Vienna
OH 096 96th Composite Squadron Stow
OH 177 Mansfield Squadron Mansfield
OH 219 Medina County Skyhawks Composite Squadron Wadsworth
OH 275 Akron-Canton Senior Flying Squadron Green
OH 277 Tusco Composite Squadron Dover
OH 278 Akron-Canton Composite Squadron North Canton
Group IV OH 058 Group IV Headquarters Cleveland
OH 003 Lorain County Composite Squadron Elyria
OH 004 Eagle Composite Squadron 410 Cleveland
OH 131 Cuyahoga County Cadet Squadron Brecksville
OH 209 Firelands Composite Squadron Norwalk
OH 236 Lakefront T-birds Composite Squadron Cleveland
OH 252 Frank H. Kettlewood Composite Squadron Painesville
Group VI OH 064 Group VI Headquarters Bowling Green
OH 016 Toledo ANGB Composite Squadron Swanton
OH 018 Perrysburg Senior Flight Perrysburg
OH 231 Grand Lake Flight Celina
OH 018 Defiance Area Flight (part of the Perrysburg Senior Flight) Defiance
OH 298 Lt Jacob Parrott Composite Squadron Lima - OH 801 Sandusky HS Cadet Squadron Sandusky
Group VII OH 043 Group VII Headquarters Wright-Patterson AFB
OH 037 Wright-Patterson Composite Squadron Wright-Patterson AFB
OH 070 Ross P. Barrett Cadet Squadron 702 Springfield
OH 114 Don Gentile Composite Squadron 709 Piqua
OH 197 Dayton Aero Cadet Squadron 706 Troy
OH 282 Wright Brothers Composite Squadron Dayton
OH 284 Miami Valley Composite Squadron Miamisburg
OH 285 Dayton Senior Squadron Wright-Patterson AFB
Group VIII OH 291 Group VIII Headquarters Columbus
OH 085 Columbus Senior Squadron Columbus
OH 115 Capt Eddie Rickenbacker Composite Squadron Whitehall
OH 139 Columbus Composite Squadron Worthington
OH 157 Licking County Composite Squadron Newark
OH 210 Rickenbacker ANGB Squadron Columbus
OH 234 Victor A. Hammond Composite Squadron Marysville
OH 243 Ross County Senior Squadron Chillicothe

Wing commanders[edit]

Air Force Reserve Staff Sgt. Jenelle Rodriguez shows the engine room to Ohio Wing Civil Air Patrol cadets.
Ohio Wing Civil Air Patrol members during an encampment at Youngstown Air Reserve Station in Ohio.
Air Force Reserve Technical Sgt. Mike Lamantia explains the C-130 Modular Aerial Spray System (MASS) to a group of Ohio Civil Air Patrol cadets.
Commanders of the Ohio Wing of the Civil Air Patrol[2]
Commander's name Period of service
Earle L. Johnson* December 1, 1941 – April 1, 1942
Col George A. Stone, Jr. April 7, 1942 – June 1, 1947
Col John R. McGuire June 1, 1947 – July 17, 1951
Col Edmund P. Lunken July 17, 1951 – September 23, 1953
Col John O. Swarts September 23, 1953 – September 14, 1957
Lt Col Lyle W. Castle September 14, 1957 – August 12, 1960
Col Robert H. Herweh August 12, 1960 – December 6, 1963
Col William W. Kight December 6, 1963 – December 8, 1967
Col Patrick R. Sorohan December 8, 1967 – June 1, 1970
Col Gerald M. Tartaglione June 1, 1970 – June 1, 1974
Col Leon W. Dillon June 1, 1974 – January 4, 1978
Col Claude H. Fore, Jr. (interim) January 4, 1978 – December 1, 1978
Col Marjorie J. Swain December 1, 1978 – February 20, 1983
Col Loren G. Gillespie February 20, 1983 – May 6, 1987
Col Larkin C. Durdin May 6, 1987 – December 31, 1989
Col Leslie S. Bryant December 31, 1989 – January 1, 1992
Col Carl C. Stophlet, Jr. January 1, 1992 – October 1, 1994
Col Jacquelyn L. Hartigan October 1, 1994 – September 19, 1998
Col Robert M. Sponseller September 19, 1998 – August 4, 1999
Col Michael J. Murrell August 4, 1999 – September 14, 2003
Col Charles L. Carr, Jr.* September 14, 2003 – March 1, 2007
Col Dave Winters (interim) March 1, 2007 – June 6, 2007
Col Dave Winters June 6, 2007 – June 11, 2011
Col Gregory L. Mathews June 11, 2011 – June 23, 2013
Col Theodore L. Shaffer Oct 13, 2013 – Oct 14, 2017
Col David J. Jennison Oct 14, 2017 - Present

* denotes commanders who have gone on to become the national commander of the Civil Air Patrol.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "eServices, National Headquarters". Civil Air Patrol., login required
  2. ^ a b Blazich, Frank. "Ohio Wing of the Civil Air Patrol in World War II – A Brief Overview". ohwg.cap.gov. Ohio Wing, Civil Air Patrol. Retrieved March 8, 2012.
  3. ^ "Civil Air Patrol Commander, Two Others Killed in Crash," The Washington Post, 17 February 1947.
  4. ^ "Civil Air Patrol Volunteers Comb the Clouds for Uncle Sam," The Columbus Sunday Dispatch, July 26, 1942.
  5. ^ "Robert E. Arn". Mywarhistory.com. Retrieved March 8, 2012.
  6. ^ Louis E. Keefer, From Maine to Mexico: With America's Private Pilots in the Fight Against Nazi U-Boats. Reston, V.A.: COTU Publishing, 1997, pp. 316-45.
  7. ^ National Historical Committee (1984). "Civil Air Patrol Historical Monograph: Air Medal" (2). Headquarters CAP.
  8. ^ "Ice Storm Puts Kentucky in Deep Freeze" (PDF). Capmembers.com. 2009. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  9. ^ "2012 Ohio Wing Encampment". encampment.ohwg.cap.gov. Ohio Wing, Civil Air Patrol. Retrieved March 8, 2012.
  10. ^ "Encampment Location". encampment.ohwg.cap.gov. Ohio Wing, Civil Air Patrol. Retrieved March 8, 2012.
  11. ^ "Units". ohwg.cap.gov. Ohio Wing, Civil Air Patrol. Retrieved March 8, 2012.

External links[edit]