The Racine Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol, which celebrated its 50th anniversary Feb. 1, is inviting anyone interested in the organization to attend its meeting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Racine Moose Lodge, 5530 Middle Road.

Started on Dec. 1, 1941, by act of Congress under the guidance of the Army Air Corps, the Civil Air Patrol has a triad mission of aerospace education, emergency services and cadet programs.

Although the Civil Air Patrol mainly develops cadets for the U.S. Air Force Academy and Air Force service, it also prepares cadets for commercial pilotry.

The 35 active members also participate in Taste of Racine, Harborfest, Lighthouse Run, March of Dimes Walk America and Adopt a Highway programs.

Racine Squadron and the Wisconsin Wing was established in 1942, with Seth Pollard as Wisconsin Wing commander and Carlyle Godske of Racine as training and operations officer.

Frank Lovell, a former managing editor of the Racine Journal Times, was the commander of Group Two, which included the Racine Squadron.

The group staff included John H. Batten, for whom Batten Field is named; Arthur Janes, president and general manager of Standard Foundry; Gilbert Jackson, agent for Modine Co.; Harry Lepoidevin, secretary treasurer and business manager of the Journal Times; and Gordon Guilbert, a vice president at Twin Disc, Inc.

Racine Squadron was commanded by Frank Rowan, a private pilot and plane owner. F.F. Sommers, president of the Chicago Rubber Clothing Co., was executive officer.

Meetings were at then-Horlick Airport, where other aviation enthusiasts who wanted to be part of the patriotic war effort joined, hoping to see service in coastal patrols and eventually in the Air Coprs.

Batten and John B. King, Wisconsin Wing executive officer, were part of the Civil Air Patrol's coastal patrols in the first few months of World War II.

The members now use coporate aircraft, as well as member aircraft, during their flights.

For more information, call Squadron Commander Doug King at 637-5555, or the public affairs officer, Second Lt. Joseph Houk at 886-4762.

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