Civil Air Patrol Coin

This month’s featured custom challenge coin celebrates some of America’s unsung heroes. Often, everyday patriots like the members of America’s Civil Air Patrol (CAP) are overlooked when we think of those who serve. This is one of the best reasons to give custom challenge coins: by designing a one-of-a-kind coin to honor your unit, you guarantee that the memory of their service will last a lifetime. Custom challenge coins by Unit Coins are created here in America by people who appreciate the time and sacrifice it takes to give back to your community, whatever your vocation. We have created custom firefighter challenge coins, custom police challenge coins, custom intelligence service challenge coins… Unit Coins does a lot more than just custom military challenge coins!

Honoring the Civil Air Patrol

Many Americans have never even heard of the Civil Air Patrol, even though this fascinating group has been instrumental in civil relief efforts and other operations throughout the country for nearly 80 years. Officially charted by Administrative Order 9 in 1941 in response to World War II, The Civil Air Patrol had its origins in a more humble American impulse: by lending the wings of America’s civil aviators to the Allied cause, those hobbyists, eccentrics, and globetrotters who largely comprised the citizen air corps hoped to avoid the fate of their contemporaries in Europe, who were grounded due to fears of sabotage. What began as a passion project of the nascent American civil aviation culture ended up becoming an integral part of the country’s disaster-relief infrastructure.

Origins of the Civil Air Patrol

Unlike so many projects of the United States military, the Civil Air Patrol did not originate in a strategic meeting or on the floor of Congress. Rather, it begun as a murmur making its way across the civil aviation community prior to the United States’ entrance into World War II. In Europe, the civil air fleets of countries embroiled in the conflict were almost universally grounded. Civil aviation advocates could see the same happening in the United States if something wasn’t done about it.

Gill Robb Wilson, a newspaper editor with a passion for aviation, drafted the original idea for the Civil Air Patrol in 1938. It was to be a civilian fraternity, offering their time, skills, and airplanes to the war effort. It grew over the next three years along with the concerns of senior military commanders who understood the vulnerability America’s unpatrolled skies could pose. In a wonderful case of synergy, the interests of civilian aviators and the United States Army aligned in such a way that everyone got what they wanted. The Civil Air Patrol was signed into being through Administrative Order 9 in 1941, giving the people the freedom to continue plying the skies, and the military the assurance it needed that civil air space remained free from enemy influence.

The Civil Air Patrol in World War II

The Civil Air Patrol went from theory to reality at Pearly Harbor. Its constant coastal patrols proved invaluable for freeing up military resources to shore up the front overseas. They patrolled the coastlines and important ports, making sure that Axis U-boats weren’t lurking around. CAP operated in 13 states down the eastern seaboard and the Gulf of Mexico out of 21 bases. It was credited in more than one successful U-boat spotting, as well as saving hundreds of U-boat attack survivors. Additionally, CAP flew thousands of convoy missions for the Navy, becoming an integral part of the war effort’s logistical chain.

Additionally, CAP pilots helped the Navy with a number of important training missions. They helped civil aviators learn how to spot the sign of infiltration or sabotage, as well as flying important courier missions that assured the lines of communication were swift and open.

CAP pilots did many other things for the war effort: they assisted with search-and-rescue efforts. They transported cargo and messages for the military. They trained civilian pilots to fill their ranks and prepare to enter the then-new Air Force. Really, their charter allowed them amazing flexibility to fulfil any air-based needs that presented themselves over the course of the war effort at home.. Over and over again, they proved Gill Robb Wilson’s vision of a civilian air corps was more brilliant than even he could have imagined.

Civil Air Patrol Custom Challenge Coin

This month’s custom challenge coin celebrates the Civil Air Patrol. It is a faithful rendition of the organization’s corporate seal combined with a commander’s insignia, featuring on the obverse, a silver eagle perched with wings outstretched on  with a heraldic shield bearing a red three-bladed propeller inside a white triangle on a blue field and on the reverse the same eagle with the shield in the colors of the Texas flag. The obverse is encircled by the inscription “One Wing, One Team” while the reverse reads “Commander, Civil Air Patrol” along the edge. This coin features unique voids which lend it a special custom military coin feel.

Custom Military Challenge Coins to Your Specifications

We understand the importance of everyone who serves. American-designed and veteran-owned, Unit Coins is proud to produce our custom military coins and delighted to honor the men and women who receive them with beautiful designs and long-lasting materials. Whether you are military or civilian, custom challenge coins exist to give back to those who give so much. They also exist to tell a story, whether it be unsung or well-known. We love getting to know our customers and the units that their challenge coins are created to represent. That relationship is the reason we are able to create coins that will last the test of time. When you need to create your own custom military challenge coin, give the design experts at Unit Coins a call for a free design consultation. Bring your own design or let our coin artists draft one to your specifications. Check out our coin gallery for other examples of our custom challenge coins!