Staff Sections

Main Content

NC Wing Conducts Awards and Promotions Ceremony for WWII Members

Col. Fields
1 of 4
Col. Charles W. Fields receives award from Col. David E. Crawford (click image to view full size)
Story Tools

Three North Carolina Members Honored

11/11/2012–– Barely one week before the beginning of  World War II, a large group of aviation enthusiasts offered their services to the U.S. Government as a means of countering the rising threat posed by Nazi “U-Boats” along the Atlantic Seaboard. Historians tell us that well over 2000 ships carrying vital supplies to the European Theater of War were sent to bottom of the “Graveyard of the Atlantic” by enemy torpedoes and brazen surface attacks.

According to, “During the war the U-boats sank about 2,779 ships for a total of 14.1 million tons. This figure is roughly 70% of all allied shipping losses in all theaters of the war and to all hostile action. The most successful year for the German war machine was 1942 when over 6 million tons of shipping were sunk in the Atlantic.”

The U.S. was ill-equipped to counter this menace, with the bulk of our armed forces and materiel being directed overseas. And thus, the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) was created by Congressional Charter. This volunteer force, using their own airplanes, was credited with actually driving the submarine menace from our shores. CAP pilots flew more than one-half million hours, were credited with sinking two enemy submarines and rescued hundreds of crash survivors during World War II. Following the war the Admiral commanding German submarine operations was asked why he abruptly moved his U-Boats away from the Atlantic coastline. He replied, “It was those damn orange and yellow planes.”

Lt. Col. Philip Saleet, historian for the NC Wing, CAP, took a long, determined look at the activities originating from the two coastal patrol bases that supported the war effort in North Carolina. His research located three living CAP members that are currently North Carolina residents.

On November 10, 2012, the NC Wing conducted a special ceremony for these war heroes at its headquarters in Burlington,

NC. NC Wing Commander, Col. David Crawford said, “During the time CAP bases were active, the wartime effort, which included border patrol operations, search and rescue, disaster relief, forest fire patrol, emergency transportation of personnel and critical cargo and towing practice targets for the U.S. military, resulted in 64 member deaths and 150 lost aircraft by war’s end. It is our privilege to honor these survivors for their determined, dedicated service to our nation.”

Based on the research of Lt. Col. Saleet, the following honors and promotions took place:

Charles Weldon Fields: Assigned as communications officer at Coastal Patrol Base 16, Manteo, 1st Lt. Fields flew as an Observer on anti-submarine missions, accumulating over 150 hours of patrol duty. He then transferred to Monogram Field, Driver, VA and served as communications officer for Tow Target Unit 21’s new base of operations. He was promoted to the rank of Colonel and was presented with the Distinguished Service Award.

Clive Goodwin Jr.: He joined a CAP squadron in Cortland, NY, and flew out of the Cortland Municipal Airport.  The squadron’s assignment was to fly Missing Aircraft and Search Missions for the Army Air Forces.  While serving with this squadron 2nd Lt Goodwin flew missions as a pilot during his active duty with CAP. The ceremony included his being promoted to Lt. Colonel and he received the Exceptional Service Award. It was also noted that Goodwin is currently active with the Franklin Co. Composite Squadron, CAP and is still an active pilot.

Paul Sigmon: Corporal Sigmon assisted in building Coastal Patrol Base 21 in Beaufort where he found an overgrown grass field, surrounded by marsh and the home of thousands of mosquitoes.  Mr. Sigmon was one of the base members assigned to build a new runway.  Once the base was up and running, he served until the day it closed. He too was promoted to Lt. Colonel and received the Exceptional Service Award.

All three officers were granted life-time CAP memberships.

 At the conclusion of the ceremony the names of those North Carolina Wing members who made the supreme sacrifice were read to the audience. As each name was read, Mrs. Pat Saleet, wife of Lt. Col. Philip sounded a bell:

Coastal Patrol Base 16: 1st Lt. Frank Cook, 1st Lt. Julian Cooper

Coastal Patrol Base 21: 1st Lt. Guy Cherry, Capt. H. Leonard Lundquist, Sgt. David Williams

Tow Target Unit 21: 1st Lt. Norman Buckley, 1st Lt. Alfred Kendrick

 “Today, Civil Air Patrol continues to serve our Nation,” Crawford said.  “At this very moment CAP aircrews from across the country are flying aerial photography missions, recording the destructive force of Hurricane Sandy in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Two of our wing’s aircraft have been supporting this mission while many other members are assisting in ground support activities.”


Additional photos are found at: