Ohio Wing Historian Requests Senator McCain’s Help

CAP Col Frank BlazichCAP Col Frank Blazich

By Skip Munger | News of the Force

News of the Force has exclusively obtained the following letter to U.S. Sen John McCain.

Although this letter was originated on 15 September 2011, sources say that what is said in the letter is still true today:

Dear Senator McCain,

I am a doctoral candidate in modern American history at The Ohio State University and a Raleigh, North Carolina native. For the past year I have been researching the early history of the North Carolina Wing of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) for an academic journal article (I myself am not a member of the CAP). This history covers the two coastal patrol bases established on the North Carolina coast during World War II, at Manteo and Beaufort. While researching for this article, it was brought to my attention by a member of CAP that the records of the Manteo base were in the possession of the national CAP organization. My repeated inquiries and requests to have access to these records have been rebuffed, and met with obstinate e-mails at almost all turns. Furthermore, after further personal inquiry it was revealed that the Manteo records, along with other CAP documents, are stored out of public or governmental archiving in a storage unit in Baltimore, Maryland.

As a Congressionally chartered organization, receiving taxpayer dollars to purchase and store these documents, I am deeply concerned about the long term preservation of these records and access to them by members of the general public. My concern is that these records representing federal records from World War II to the present, are not in the National Archives and Records Administration’s possession and are vulnerable to theft and deterioration. I would like not only access to the records of the Manteo base (which I believe should be in the possession of the North Carolina Archives, or at least a microfilm copy provided to this archive), but also an explanation as to why these state and federal records are not in the national archival system. Being that some of these records were purchased at auction with federal funds, I find it disturbing that the CAP history program refuses to cooperate with public research inquiries.

Attached to this letter is a copy of the article draft, currently under consideration by the North Carolina Historical Review. The history of the Civil Air Patrol is a fascinating story and they continue to provide a valuable service to the nation. Properly preserving the records of the organization is imperative if the American public is to know their contributions and continued value in this era of tightening budgets and increased risk of terrorist attacks.

I look forward to your replies and inquiries into this disturbing matter.

Sincerely,
Frank A. Blazich, Jr.
Doctoral Candidate in History
The Ohio State University

Attachment:
Copy of article about Manteo records from Civil Air Patrol Volunteer, November-December
2006.

cc:
Senator Richard Burr, North Carolina
Senator Kay Hagan, North Carolina
Senator Carl Levin, Senate Armed Services Committee
Senator John McCain, Senate Armed Service Committee
Senator Joe Lieberman, Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
Senator Susan Collins, Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs

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