Pennsylvania Wing
Main Content

OLD-Wing History

Historian BadgeWing Historian: TSgt George Brizek


In the late 1930s, more than 150,000 volunteers with a love for aviation argued for an organization to put their planes and flying skills to use in defense of their country.  As a result, the Civil Air Patrol was born one week prior to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.  Thousands of volunteer members answered America's call to national service and sacrifice by accepting and performing critical wartime missions. Assigned to the War Department under the jurisdiction of the Army Air Corps, the contributions of Civil Air Patrol, including logging more than 500,000 flying hours, sinking two enemy submarines, and saving hundreds of crash victims during World War II, are well documented. 

After the war, a thankful nation understood that Civil Air Patrol could continue providing valuable services to both local and national agencies.  On July 1, 1946, President Harry Truman signed Public Law 476 incorporating Civil Air Patrol as a benevolent, nonprofit organization.  On May 26, 1948, Congress passed Public Law 557 permanently establishing Civil Air Patrol as the auxiliary of the new U.S. Air Force.  Three primary mission areas were set forth at that time: aerospace education, cadet programs, and emergency services.

Civil Air Patrol in Pennsylvania  75th Anniversary (2016)
Link to view on YouTube:


CAP Memorial Article




Civil Air Patrol in Pennsylvania  70th Anniversary (2011)

Link to view on YouTube:


CAP Throwback Thursday Volume 1






Lt. Col. Philip F. Neuweiler 

Pennsylvania Wing Commander

Aug 18, 1945 to Mar 26, 1946


Aug 15, 1947 to Mar 21, 1970


Ask the Historian

Have a question?  email the Historian and we'll reply back and post the FAQs* here


*FAQ = frequently asked questions





Civil Air Patrol - A look at the Historical Perspective (2009)

One week before the attack at Pearl Harbor, the Civil Air Patrol was founded. At a time of national crisis, mobilizing civilian volunteers to defend the nation as in no time since the American Revolution.
They were the Flying Minutemen.
This is a look at yesterday's Homeland Security Force...

© 2024 Civil Air Patrol. All rights reserved.