Sierra Composite Squadron 72 has been chartered since July 13,1948 and has changed names several times; the dedication of our members to
serve our communities, state, and nation has remained a priority throughtout.
During the days of World War II CAP served many roles aiding the US in any way possible on the home front. It’s missions included Target Towing, Search and Rescue, and Reconnaissance. Over 40,000 volunteers served within CAP during WWII.
CAP’s role was crucial during the war. The small aircraft were used off the coast to report sightings of U-boats and aid in survivor rescue.
In the beginning CAP planes were n ot equipped with bombs and were only able to dive on U-Boats in an attempt to make their presence known
while calling for military bombers. Many times their calls were in vein. A Nazi sub was foundered on a sand bar in Florida while CAP planes circled unable to take any further action. It was at this point that CAP was officially armed with bombs.
Using a site that was devised by the Cap pilots themselves they managed to sight 173 U-boats, attacked 57, damaged 17, and sank one, possibly two. By 1943 Germany moved it’s U-boat operations off the coasts and it has been said that German Admiral Doenitz admitted “it was those
damned little red and yellow airplanes!”
In the end 90 CAP aircraft were ditched at sea, 59 CAP pilots were killed, and 26 were lost at sea.
Since the days of WWII the missions of CAP have changed some, but the idea of serving our country is still at the forefront of our missions. Today we do so through three missions: cadet programs, aerospace education and emergency services.
If you are interested in learning more about the history and evolution of CAP please visit our virtual museum. Here you will find more in depth information and historical photography.