History of PA Wing
Pennsylvania Wing is one of the original 48 wings in Civil Air Patrol.
In the spring of 1942, the Pennsylvania Wing conducted a 30-day experiment with the intention of convincing the Army Air Forces that they were capable of flying cargo missions for the nation. PA Wing transported Army cargo as far as Georgia, and top Army officials were impressed. After the 30 day trial period, the War Department gave CAP permission to conduct courier and cargo service for the military, often flying mail, light cargo, and important military officials between USAAF bases.
One of the Civil Air Patrol's very first "Aviation Cadet Programs" was established at the Pittsburgh Army Air Field in the Spring of 1943. Accepting young men as "Aviation Cadets" in a delayed enlistment program for the Army Air Forces, the Pittsburgh Squadron trained these boys (as young as 15) in Aerospace and Military subjects and vetted them for service as Army Air Force Pilots. Graduating a total of 16 Aviation Cadets for the Army in less than ten months, the Pittsburgh Squadron model was copied by units in Philadelphia, New York City and as far south as Florida. Today, the current Squadron with direct lineage to that Aviation Cadet Unit is the CAP's second longest, continually operated unit on a Military Installation.
On December 31, 1999, PA Wing units were put on stand-by in case of any problems arising from the Y2K bug.
During the September 11 attacks, Pennsylvania Wing was ordered to a stand-by state. Although not officially tasked with any missions in direct support, PAWG radio communications centers were operational and prepared to offer assistance.
In 2006, PA Wing was activated to fly reconnaissance missions during the 2006 flood. PAWG aircraft flew over major waterways to provide detailed photographs of flood-affected areas and to monitor floodwaters as they moved downstream.
31 Members from Pennsylvania Wing Civil Air Patrol traveled 28 hours to Pascagoula, Mississippi to aid in Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. PAWG Ground Teams went door-to-door ensuring that local residents had adequate food, water, and medical care.
In August and September 2011, all CAP emergency service teams in Pennsylvania Wing and CAP members from Maryland,West Virginia, Ohio, and Indiana Wings were activated to assist communities affected by Hurricane Irene (2011) and Tropical Storm Lee (2011).
During the time between September 1, 2010 to December 1, 2011, the Pennsylvania Wing saved eleven lives, provided emergency response in Pennsylvania during the 2011 flooding and severe winter storms.
In November 2012, CAP Pennsylvania Wing emergency services air crews and ground teams were activated to assist communities in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and Delaware during flooding and high wind of Hurricane Sandy.
During Late December 2017 and early January 2018, CAP Pennsylvania Wing emergency services ground teams were sent to help dig out Erie Pennsylvania.