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Lt Col Overcash Receives CAP Exceptional Service Award

posted Mar 17, 2014, 10:09 AM by Ray Schnell

March 14, 2014—Moore, SC— For ground support service in the Civil Air Patrol during WWII, CAP Coastal Patrol Veteran, Emery M. Overcash of Moore, SC, was recently recognized with a life membership in CAP, promoted to the grade of Lt Col and approved for the CAP Exceptional Service Award.  In a private ceremony at Lt Col Overcash’s home today he was presented with the CAP Exceptional Service Award and other CAP memorabilia by Maj Lee Safley, CAP, SC Wing Chief of Staff, on behalf of the SCWG and CAP National Headquarters. 


Lt Col Overcash was a student, at the time of his membership and service in CAP, during WWII. He was stationed at Coastal Patrol Base 21 in Beaufort, North Carolina (NC) where he served from 14 Oct 1942 to 31 Aug 1943. Following his time in the Civil Air Patrol, he enlisted and served in the US Army Air Corp until the end of the War.


Asked about his career, Lt Col Overcash recalled many of the events of his time on the Beaufort, NC base, which included an episode when a CAP air crew from the base located a German submarine one (1) mile off of the NC coast. The crew then notified US Marine Corp fighter planes, which then targeted and sank the enemy sub.  He also recalled loading 100lb bombs on CAP aircraft, the crash and loss of life of CAP air crew members on takeoff, and the emergency belly crash-landing of a fighter plane on the CAP base airfield.


During WWII, CAP flew 24 million over-water miles, from 21 bases located on the east and gulf coasts, spotted 173 subs, attacked 57, damaged 17 and sank one, (possibly two). CAP also located the survivors of 363 ships, which were lost to enemy action, reported 91 vessels in distress and found 17 floating mines.


Single engine planes were flown up to 50 miles off-shore. The multi-engine amphibians flew up to 200 miles at sea. Engine failures were common back then. Some 90 CAP aircraft were ditched. Among some 59 CAP pilots killed in WWII, 26 of them were lost at sea.