NORTHEAST REGION - A PROUD HISTORY

 

Gill Robb Wilson

Gill Robb Wilson (1893 - 1966) flew as a fighter pilot in World War I for the French Air Service's Escadrille 66 and the US Army Air Service's 163rd Squadron. A Presbyterian minister in the 1920s, he later became one of our nation's foremost advocates of aviation. He co-founded the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, headed the New Jersey Aeronautics Commission and the National Aeronautic Association, and was editor and publisher of Flying magazine. As war drew near in 1941, it was he who conceived the idea of a Civil Air Patrol to augment America's air power on the home front. Gill Robb Wilson was also the first commander of the Civil Air Patrol's 1st and 2nd Regions (northeast US), and served in that capacity until April 1942. Updated 24 Sep 2011

Cord Meyer

A 1916 photo of Cord Meyer (left). Born to a prominent New York family in 1895, he first soloed in 1912. He later flew pursuit aircraft in the 103rd Squadron in France during World War I. Colonel Meyer commanded the Northeast Region 1952-1956.

Cord Meyer in 1962

Cord Meyer in 1962

Engaging the Enemy

Sleeve Emblem for Coastal Patrol

As the Civil Air Patrol was coming into existence in 1941, the consensus was that there should be an echelon between the 52 wings and National Headquarters. The founders of the CAP decided to mirror the nine existing Army Corps Areas. In each one, a Region Commander would coordinate wing activities. During this formative stage, this concept proved to be helpful in getting the new organization up and running.

CAP Pilot Wings
1942 - 1948

The six New England wings formed the 1st Region, with headquarters in Boston. The New York, New Jersey and Delaware Wings formed the 2nd Region with headquarters in New York. The 3rd Region area had the Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, National Capital, and Puerto Rico Wings, with headquarters in Baltimore.

Cockpit view of a Stinson 10A

Until April 1942, Gill Robb Wilson himself commanded both the 1st and 2nd Regions. Only five of the nine regional commands were ever actually filled, three by Army officers. The Army often found it necessary to send these officers on military missions outside their regions. These shortfalls at the regional level necessitated more and more direct contact between the wings and National Headquarters. The Office of Civilian Defense (then the parent body of the CAP) abolished the regional commands on August 14, 1942.

Fairchild 24

A CAP Fairchild 24. To avoid being confused with enemy aircraft, the CAP soon omitted the red three-bladed propeller from the roundel on Coastal Patrol aircraft.

In the postwar years, there were eight Areas of Responsibility (AORs). In the northeastern states, the AOR consisted of the six New England wings, and the New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and National Capital Wings.  On the National Executive Board, there were eight officers, each with responsibility for his AOR, with a ninth serving as chairman. In September 1951, Colonel James L. Biggs, the NEB member from the Northeast, was concurrently designated as Regional Director. Effective January 1, 1952, CAP formally reestablished the regional echelon, and reconstituted the old AORs into eight new regions. The new Northeast Region now consisted of the six New England wings, and the New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania Wings.  At that time, Colonel Cord Meyer became Regional Director. On May 27, 1955, Regional Directors became Region Commanders.

CAP Search & Rescue - 1950s style

Edwin Lyons (in cockpit) with his business partners circa 1953. A flight instructor, he co-founded Zahn's Airport in eastern Long Island in 1945, and also founded the resident Amityville Flying Service. By the 1950s, Zahn's was one of the busiest general aviation airports in the northeast, boasting over 200 resident aircraft, an ANG squadron, and a CAP squadron. Colonel Lyons commanded the Northeast Region 1961 - 1970.

The gray NER "flash," worn on the left shoulder, was approved by Region Commander Colonel Edwin Lyons in 1962. For decades, this was the only official regional patch in all of CAP. In the 1990s, the other regions followed suit with their own patches, based on the original Northeast Region design.

Official Emblem of Headquarters, Northeast Region, Civil Air Patrol

On a shield of Air Corps Azure Blue, all within a silver border is centered a White circle, in its center is Red cartographic emblem of a compass rose, with all of the 32 compass points clearly defined, the center of which is a Silver propeller and white triangle, the emblem of the Civil Air Patrol, emanating from the center of this compass rose into the Northeast quadrant of the shield, are nine sun yellow rays which represent the Nine Wings of the Northeast Region, superimposed on a gold background which represents enlightenment, above and to the left is a White star charged with a Red disk, the traditional emblem of the Army Air Corps/USAF which represents the U. S. Air Force as a guiding star and overseer. The bottom of the Shield has a White scroll and Black letters NORTHEAST REGION that signifies a command organization.

The design was developed in early 1970 and was the product of Colonel John J. "Jack" Herbert, USAF and Commander of the Northeast Liaison Region, along with then Major Leonard A. Blascovich, CAP, Director of Cadets for the Northeast Region. Col Fred Bamberger, USAFR, Northeast Region Reserve Assistance Coordinator, had a professional drawing made for use as a master in the manufacture of the emblem as a patch. The drawing and the patch was approved in September 1970 by Col Edwin M. Lyons, CAP commander Northeast Region, thus making this the "Official Emblem of Headquarters, Northeast Region, Civil Air Patrol". The original drawing for the patch has has been preserved.

Starting in 1978, the patch was worn by the NER drill team on the "Shade 107" Olive Green (OG) fatigues for the National Cadet Competition. The Shade 107 fatigue uniforms were phased out as a CAP uniform in 1996. Updated 28 May 2012

 

Goldman

Julius "Julie" Goldman (1913 - 2000) was a noted pilot, flight instructor, and aviation entrepreneur. Over his long lifetime, he logged over 23,000 hours in 124 models of land and sea aircraft, and was an FAA Examiner for 37 years. He managed a succession of thriving aviation businesses in northeastern Massachusetts from the 1930s until the 1980s. During World War II, he served in the Army Air Force. Colonel Goldman was Massachusetts Wing Commander (1966 - 1970) and Northeast Region Commander (1970 - 1977). He went on to serve as National Operations Officer and National Safety Officer.

 

Ed Bailey

Edgar Bailey (1922 - 1989) was a sergeant in the Marine Corps during World War II. Joining the CAP in 1948, he commanded the Rhode Island Wing (1966 - 1979) and the Northeast Region (1979 -1986). He went on to become National Chief of Staff, and was subsequently elected as National Vice Commander. He was the first holder of this office to be accorded the rank of Brigadier General.

 

David Braun

David Braun became a CAP cadet in 1954, and enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1956. He reentered CAP as an officer in 1980. Colonel Braun commanded the Maine Wing (1982-1990) and the Northeast Region twice (1990-1992, and 1993-1995). He went on to senior assignments at the National level including the chairmanship of the National Commander's Counterdrug Committee. Colonel Braun is a qualified incident commander with expertise in large scale disaster relief.

 

Joseph Guimond

Colonel Joseph "Skip" Guimond served as an infantry officer during the Vietnam War, and received the Bronze Star and numerous other decorations. He joined CAP in 1980 and served as a check pilot, squadron and group safety officer, group commander, wing vice commander, Pennsylvania Wing Commander (1994-1995), and Northeast Region Commander (1995-1999). He is a command pilot with over 3,000 flight hours, a certified flight instructor (both airplane and glider), and an FAA Aviation Safety Counselor.

 

Donald Prouty

Donald Prouty enlisted in the Air Force in 1957, and served as an Air Traffic Controller. As an officer, he was a navigator aboard transport aircraft. He went on to fly for Eastern Airlines, and continued to serve his country in the USAF Reserve and the New Hampshire Air Guard. He has logged over 13,000 hours in a wide variety of military and civil aircraft. Colonel Prouty served as Massachusetts Wing Commander (1986-90), Region Vice Commander (most of the 1990s) and Region Commander (1999-2001). In 2001, he was named as CAP's FEMA Coordinator.

 

Col Richard Greenhut

Richard Greenhut was already a veteran pilot and FAA Safety Counselor when he joined CAP's New York City Group in 1990. After serving as New York Wing commander, Colonel Greenhut took over the Northeast Region shortly before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Colonel Greenhut had a leading role in the CAP's relief effort, and also flew many sorties himself.
 
 
Col Robert Diduch
Robert Diduch brought his experience as a successful entrepreneur to CAP, as well as his qualifications as a flight instructor and airline transport pilot. After serving in a wide variety of operational positions at the squadron and wing levels, Colonel Diduch commanded the New Jersey Wing (2004-2005). His term as Region Commander (2005-2009) saw the adoption of glass cockpit technology, hyperspectral imaging, and narrowband communications.
 
The Northeast Region is unique. We boast nine wings, including two of the nation's largest (New York and Pennsylvania), and two of the smallest (Vermont and Rhode Island).  The Northeast Region includes the Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh metropolitan areas, yet it is also the most forested of all the regions.

When terrorists attacked New York on September 11, 2001, the Northeast Region led the rest of CAP in providing much-needed disaster relief. Like our forebears who guarded America against enemy submarines and saboteurs, we remain Semper Vigilans. 

NORTHEAST REGION COMMANDERS

Col Cord Meyer

01 Jan 1952 - 27 May 1955

Regional Director

Col Cord Meyer

27 May 1955 - 21 May 1956

Region Commander

Col Elbert C. Isom

21 May 1956 - 21 Aug 1956

Region Commander

Col James L. Biggs

21 Aug 1956 - 14 Nov 1957

Region Commander

Col Seymour J. Simon

14 Nov 1957 - 26 Aug 1961

Region Commander

Col Edwin W. Lyons

26 Aug 1961 - 30 Mar 1962

Acting Region Commander

Col Edwin W. Lyons

30 Mar 1962 - 22 Nov 1970

Region Commander

Col Julius Goldman

22 Nov 1970 - 05 Nov 1977

Region Commander

Col Angelo Milano

05 Nov 1977 - 01 Jan 1979

Region Commander

Col Edgar M. Bailey

01 Jan 1979 - 22 Aug 1986

Region Commander

Col John N. Bertoli

22 Aug 1986 - 03 Oct 1988

Region Commander

Col Roy I. Arroll

03 Oct 1988 - 01 Oct 1990

Region Commander

Col David J. Braun

01 Oct 1990 - 09 Oct 1992

Region Commander

Col Gary A. Skogebo

09 Oct 1992 - 08 May 1993

Interim Region Commander

Col Andrew E. Skiba

08 May 1993 - 02 Nov 1993

Region Commander

Col David J. Braun

02 Nov 1993 - 21 Jul 1995

Region Commander

Col Donald N. Prouty

21 Jul 1995 - 17 Aug 1995

Acting Region Commander

Col Joseph A. Guimond, Jr.

17 Aug 1995 - 15 Aug 1999

Region Commander

Col Donald N. Prouty

15 Aug 1999 - 18 Aug 2001

Region Commander

Col Richard A. Greenhut

18 Aug 2001 - 20 Aug 2005

Region Commander

Col Robert Diduch

20 Aug 2005 - 09 Aug 2009

Region Commander

Col Christopher Hayden

09 Aug 2009 - 11 Aug 2013

Region Commander

Col Daniel Leclair

11 Aug 2013 -

Region Commander

 

Unit Citations to Northeast Region Headquarters

Date Awarded

Inclusive Dates

03 Mar 1970

01 Jan 1969 - 31 Dec 1969

22 Mar 1971

01 Jan 1970 - 01 Dec 1970

01 Oct 2001

11 Sep 2001 - 30 Sep 2001

 

Unit Citations to the Northeast Region Wings

Date Awarded

Inclusive Dates

20 Mar 1968

01 Jan 1967 - 31 Dec 1967

07 Aug 2002

11 Sep 2001 - 31 Dec 2001

Historian Staff

Ostling
Historian

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