A proclamation was read at Tuscaloosa city council meeting honoring CAP Congressional Gold Medal recipient, LtCol. Bob Haver (center). In attendance were (from left) Maj. Ray Harkey; Maj. Mike Carr; Tuscaloosa Mayor, Walt Maddox; LtCol. Bob Haver; Maj. Ed Barnes; Capt. Rod Stevens; LtCol. Jerry Lusk; and Lt. Marion Harkey. (Civil Air Patrol photo)
By Maj. Mike Carr
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Civil Air Patrol member LtCol. Bob Haver, of the Tuscaloosa Composite Squadron, was honored Tuesday evening for his CAP service during World War II with a proclamation in his honor from Tuscaloosa mayor Walter Maddox and the city council.
Haver, who is a command pilot and holds a master rating in emergency services, is one of the CAP members recognized for his wartime service though the Congressional Gold Medal awarded to the Civil Air Patrol on Dec. 10, 2014. The gold medal is one of the two highest awards the government can bestow on civilians.
During the war, CAP's Coastal Patrol pilots flew 24 million miles through August 1943 over the Atlantic and Gulf coasts in order to ward off German U-boat attacks against U.S. shipping – especially domestic oil tankers bound for Europe to help fuel the military machine. Flying out of 21 bases located along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts from Maine to the southern tip of Texas, Coastal Patrol pilots spotted 173 U-boats and attacked 57. They also escorted more than 5,600 convoys and reported 17 floating mines, 36 bodies, 91 ships in distress and 363 survivors in the water.
Elsewhere, CAP members patrolled the country’s southern border by air, vigilant for potential saboteurs. Others towed targets for military trainees, watched for forest fires, conducted search and rescue missions, provided disaster relief and emergency transport of people and parts and conducted orientation flights for future pilots.