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Welcome to the South Carolina Wing of the Civil Air Patrol, the United States Air Force Auxiliary. Since 1941 the South Carolina Wing serves our Nation, State and local communities through our outstanding execution of Civil Air Patrol’s three missions: Emergency Services, Cadet Programs and Aerospace Education.


The South Carolina Wing was established and placed under the Command of Lt Col Dexter C. Martin 01 December 1941.

During WWII, coastal patrols were established along the eastern seaboard for the purpose of identifying any German U-boats that were preying on the shipping lands of the United States. On 23 May 1942, under the leadership of Lt. Col. Dexter C. Martin (SC Wing First Wing Commander), the Civil Air Patrol activated Coastal Patrol No. 8 on James Island near Charleston, South Carolina.


On December 1, 1941, Civil Air Patrol was established under the federal Office of Civil Defense per Presidential Administration Order 9. Looking back, it is humbling to know that the first CAP coastal patrol flight took off from Base No. 2 at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware on March 5, 1942. By the end of September 1942, 21 CAP coastal patrol bases extended across 13 states from Maine to the Texas-Mexico border. These included Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North and South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.


According to Robert E. Neprud, in his book "Flying Minute Men" (1948), Neprud illustrates Coastal Patrol No. 8. "Set down amid the stubble of an old cotton field on James Island, near Charleston, Coastal Patrol No. 8 received substantial assistance from the South Carolina Aviation Commission. The base blossomed into one of the South's best when a batch of former CCC buildings was dismantled, moved in by truck over narrow dirt roads, and erected. Under the leadership of Major Jack R. Moore, of Portland, Oregon, the men at James Island later constructed and furnished an excellent recreation and classroom building" (Page 37).





3901 CAP Wing Drive, West Columbia, SC 29170


The current building that headquarters the South Carolina Civil Air Patrol is a far cry from the CCC building of the 1940s. Dedicated in 1981*, the operations building is located near the Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE) and continues to serve the people of South Carolina proudly.


*Officials at the time of dedication:

George O. Compton - Commander

William E. Hobson - Deputy Commander

Richard W. Riley - SC State Governor


South Carolina Aeronautics Commission

Joseph Wilder - Chairman

John W. Hamilton - Director

Design Collaborative Inc. - Architects/Columbia, South Carolina

M.B. Kahn - General Contractors/Columbia, South Carolina


With more than 500 members, the South Carolina Wing performs search and rescue, disaster relief, emergency service, counterdrug and homeland security missions throughout the State of South Carolina . The Civil Air Patrol is responsible for 90% of inland search and rescue missions in the United States as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center. South Carolina Wing’s flight crews, ground teams, communication teams and incident command center members conduct numerous Air Force assigned search and rescue missions each year.


Our cadet program focuses on leadership skills, aerospace education, character development and physical fitness. South Carolina cadets are encouraged to participate in a number of activities, both within the state and across the nation including the Middle East Region Powered Flight Solo School, the Aerospace Academy, the Civic Leadership Academy, the Tri-Wing Encampment, the National Honor Guard Academy, the National Flight Academy, Cadet Officer School, International Air Cadet Exchange, and thirty other national cadet special activities.  For 78 years, the cadet program and South Carolina Wing has exemplified some of the finest youth leaders in South Carolina . Today’s cadets; tomorrow’s leaders!


Aerospace Education is an integral part of the Civil Air Patrol for both cadets and adult members. Members learn about the history of flight and discuss the future of air and space exploration. Cadets experience the thrill of flight through both powered and glider orientation rides where their “book” knowledge of aerodynamics is demonstrated in the air.

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