As the United States teetered on the brink of war, many worried that the country was woefully unprepared to defend its own shores. Several prominent Americans developed the idea of a civilian defense force to patrol the offshore waters of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and the Gulf of Mexico. A committee headed by Gill Robb Wilson, National Aeronautic Association president and aviation editor for the New York Herald Tribune, presented a Civil Air Patrol (CAP) plan to Fiorello H. LaGuardia, director of the United States Civilian Defense, mayor of New York City, and World War I flyer. Unlike many of his civilian and military counterparts, LaGuardia took seriously the threat of German submarines, once telling a New York Times reporter that “[w]e’ve got to hustle and provide our forces with everything they need so they can end the menace as soon as possible.“1
"Florida's Flying Minute Men: The Civil Air Patrol, 1941-1943,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 76:
4, Article 4.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol76/iss4/4