About Us

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 on December 1st, 1941, 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.

One of the co-founders of Civil Air Patrol, General D. H. Byrd, became the first Commander of Texas Wing, also in December 1941.

Nationally, CAP has nearly 62,000 members, just under 27,000 Cadets and nearly 35,000 Senior Members. Today, Texas has some 3500 members in CAP, which translates to more than 5% of the total organization membership numbers.  Our Texas numbers are virtually evenly split between Cadets and Senior Members.

Each year, CAP handles 90% of all inland search and rescue missions in this country, as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center.