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posted Aug 20, 2011, 12:40 PM by Brent Messer   [ updated Aug 20, 2011, 12:47 PM ]
On 2 April 2011, as part of its monthly fly-in breakfast/brunch at Keystone Heights Airport, Wings of Dreams Aviation Museum presented “Civil Air Patrol Coastal Patrol: Searching for German U-Boats, 1942 – 1943”, hosted by Henry Weisenberger, one of the last two surviving members of the Lantana CAP Coastal Patrol Squadron, and Tony Marconi, curator of education at the Historical Society of Palm Beach County.

Sporting a Florida Gators polo shirt, Weisenberger talked about how he got into aviation and some of his experiences in the CAP Coastal Patrol. Weisenberger was an airplane mechanic and security technician and was the designer of bomb racks that were mounted under Stinsons and other aircraft used for U-boat patrol. He joined the Lantana squadron in high school and later went on to become an aerospace engineer and taught at the University of Florida.

The CAP Coastal Patrol originally performed reconnaissance missions for the Army Air Forces and Navy to locate German U-boats during World War II. Although initially unarmed, CAP Coastal Patrol aircraft were permitted to carry bombs and depth charges after an incident in which CAP Coastal Patrol aircraft located, but could not attack a U-boat that had become lodged on a sandbar near Cape Canaveral. The U-boat escaped before Army Air Force bombers could be brought in to attack, and Coastal Patrol aircraft were unable to attack it. During the 18 months in which the Coastal Patrol operated, it had reported 172 U-boats, attacked 57, and destroyed two.
A collection of Smilin' Jack art and posters was put on display by Jill Mosley, daughter of Smilin' Jack creator and Lantana Squadron commander Zack Moseley. Smilin' Jack was an aviation themed comic strip that ran in more than 300 newspapers from 1933 to 1973. Original drawings, compilations, and reprints were available for purchase.

Other items on display included a vintage World War II era CAP uniform, as well as historic aircraft, vehicles, and memorabilia from the Wings of Dreams collection.
Proceeds from the event went to the Wings of Dreams Aviation Museum to fund construction of a warbird restoration facility and aviation museum at the Keystone Heights Airport.

Pictured: Henry Weisenberger displays a copy of Brave Coward Zack, an autobiography of Smilin' Jack creator and squadron commander Zack Moseley.