Saddleback Composite Squadron 68
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About Squadron 68

Saddleback Composite Squadron 68

We are a highly active squadron and have been awarded "Squadron Of The Year" in Group 7 for seven consecutive years by CAP National Headquarters. Civil Air Patrol as an organization is chartered by congress and federally supported, serving as the official Civilian Auxiliary of The United States Air Force. With training opportunities and practical use of your talents, our members will assist you in developing and expanding your capabilities in air missions, ground support teams, radio communications, cyberspace, safety, command, and more.

As a Composite Squadron, we have programs for Cadets that range between ages 12-21 and Senior Members that are members 18 and older. We have a number of pilots; however, you don't need to be one to join, and there are many types of exciting positions to pursue in the United States Air Force Auxiliary Civil Air Patrol.

We highly encourage you to explore the possibilities. Meetings are held every Thursday evening and begin at 7:00 pm until approximately 9:30 pm. You are welcome to visit anytime. You can also e-mail or call before arriving for us to help answer any questions you may have.

Squadron Commander

1st Lt. Sandy Wu, CAP

Weekly Meeting Info

Where: We are in the process of moving! Please contact Lt. Wu for details on where to meet us!

When: Weekly - Thursday at 7:00 pm

New Emblem

Research and Design done by: TFO John Nickless – Sq. 68

These are the three elements that have been incorporated to display who we are –

  1. Saddleback Mountain – a predominant background to the vicinity where our squadron is based.
  2. The Deltas and contrails from the patch worn by the 56th Training Squadron who were in training at the Santa Ana Army Airbase (1942 to 1946), the last part of the base is where Sq 68 meets.  A third delta was included to represent the 3 missions of CAP.
  3. A constellation of stars from the 148th Space Operations Squadron (now part of the USAF) that started as the 148th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron (est 1950) in Costa Mesa as part of the Air National Guard.
Saddleback Mountain

now-Capped Saddleback Mountains: Patch Photo Of The Week | Rancho Santa  Margarita, CA PatchThe highest point in Orange County is Santiago Peak. It’s also the highest point in the Santa Ana mountains at 5,689 feet. Saddleback Mountain can be seen from most of Orange County and dominates the skyline. It’s called Saddleback Mountain because the two peaks resemble a saddle from most of Orange County. The peak represented is the one that is most visibly dominant from the Orange County area in which Squadron 68 is located.

The Santa Ana Army Air Base

SAAAB was under the jurisdiction of the West Coast Army Air Corps Training Command Center, located on West 8th St in Santa Ana, California. The other two centers were the Southeast Army Air Corps Training Center at Maxwell Field, Montgomery, Alabama and the Gulf Coast Army Air Corps Center at Randolph Field, San Antonio, Texas. The latter two centers were activated on July 8, 1940, while SAAAB was activated on February 15, 1942. On June 20, 1941, the Army Air Corps became the Army Air Forces. All three bases were classification centers, where aspiring cadets were tested for aptitudes and classified as pilots, navigators or bombardiers – however, the SAAAB, as the largest of the three bases, was the only base to provide pre-flight training for all three classifications. Combat personnel who trained at the three bases contributed greatly to the battles of World War II. This base was the leading cadet training base on the West Coast. It also housed a number of different units over this time period, including the 56th Fighter Squadron which used the facility for training purposes.

Army Air Forces Training Command (AAFTC) (1943–1946) was a command of the United States Army Air Forces. Air Training Command was redesignated on 1 July 1946 as part of the reorganization of the Army Air Forces after World War II. 

Lineage. Constituted 56th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor) on 20 Nov 1940. Activated on 15 Jan 1941. Redesignated 56th Fighter Squadron on 15 May 1942. Disbanded on 1 May 1944.

Stations. Hamilton Field, CA, 15 Jan 1941; Snohomish County Aprt (later, Paine Field, 22 Jun 1941; Harding Field, LA, 31 Jan 1942 (detachment operated from Santa Ana, CA, 28 May-12 Jun 1942; Nome, AK, 20 Jun-20 Oct 1942; Anchorage, AK, 23 Oct-21 Dec 1942);

Operations. Served as part of the air defense force for the West Coast, May-Jun 1942; patrols from Nome and Anchorage, Alaska, 20 Jun-21 Dec 1942. Replacement training for P-51 pilots, Apr 1943-Apr 1944.

This was their identifying patch…

In accordance with Chapter 3 of AFI 84-105, commercial reproduction of this emblem is NOT permitted without the permission of the proponent organizational/unit commander.

Numerous SAAAB cadets returned to the Costa Mesa area after the war and became a major factor in the growth of Orange County. Today, the SAAAB land has been re-directed to other uses such as Orange Coast College, Vanguard University, Costa Mesa High School, Davis Elementary School, City of Costa Mesa Civic Center, Air National Guard 222nd Combat Communications Squadron (also home to Civil Air Patrol Composite Squadron 68), Orange County/State Fairgrounds, Tewinkle Park, and several commercial and residential areas.

148th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron

The 148 SOPS was originally established as the 148th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron, as part of the Air National Guard in Orange County, California and was eventually based in Compton, but appears to have been originally associated with Air National Guard 222nd Combat Communications Squadron based in Squadron 68’s current location. The unit was redesignated the 148th Space Operations Squadron and relocated to Vandenberg AFB, California, on 31 October 2000

  • 148th Space Operations Squadron (2000–present)
  • 148th Combat Communications Squadron (1976–2000)
  • 148th Mobil Communications Squadron (1960–1976)
  • 148th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron (1948–1960)

148th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron group photo, California Air  National Guard, Costa Mesa, May 21, 1950 — Calisphere          148th Space Operations Squadron - Wikipedia

Along with the elements representing the historical past of our individual squadron, the mountain represents Emergency Services, the torch Cadet Programs, and the stars Aerospace Education which combined also represent the 3 programs of CAP.

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