And to reiterate his feelingabout rank, once he joined anew squadron as a 2dLt. Thesquadron commander refusedto recognize any rank that he,himself, did not promote. Bill
didn’t argue, he just took off hispips and got to work. “I couldcare less, the pay is the same”,
that is how he puts it.All four of his children joinedCAP as cadets, two continuedon as senior members, though
none are currently active. Bill’s
wife, Caroll, joined CAP earlyon in their marriage, so most of his favorite moments in CAPhave to do with being active asa family. When asked why hestays involved today, he says,
“Same reason I joined in the
first place. Search and rescue,
training, I’ve got the experience
that I can use to train the sen-
ior members and cadets with”.
“If I could just figure out how
to operate the blasted com-
puter…” That stands out inBill’s discussion of how CAP
has changed over the years.He talks about his perspectiveof how computers and theinternet seem to have added just another layer of bureauc-racy to mission operation andreporting. He had hoped itwould be more like Star
Trek…you would just feed
information in (plane type,
pilot’s experience, flight plan,
last known position, fuel onboard, etc.) and the computerwould tell you the most likelyareas to search. He says it
hasn’t worked out that way.
To get a full appreciation of
who he is, and what Bill’s char-
acter and experience have andcontinues to offer the Civil AirPatrol, you have to know abouthis flying hobby and his careerin the Army Special Forces.You already know Bill obtained
his pilot’s license as a teenager.
Last he checked (which wasyears ago) he had logged over1500 hours of flight time. Istopped listing the differentplanes he has flown at 20. Hehas personally owned fourairplanes (a Piper Cub, a Lus-comb 8A, a Citabria, and hecurrently owns a Slebcev
Storch). He isn’t able to do
this now, but his favorite typeof flying is aerial aerobatics.Not only flying, but jumping outof airplanes is another skill of his.In the Army Special Forces, hetaught high altitude low open-ing (HALO) techniques. TheHALO maneuver is a way tointroduce troops into criticalareas undetected by jumpingout of an airplane at very highaltitudes, gliding to a muchlower altitude, then openingthe parachute just in time toland safely and precisely whereneeded. Bill was assigned as aninstructor at the Special ForcesAdvanced Medical School andto the Defense Attaché Systemin Mexico, Venezuela, andYemen. He is fluent in theSpanish language and has ex-perienced, first hand, living inthe South and Central Ameri-can cultures. Whereas conven-tional soldiers go overseas to aU. S. Base, in effect a miniatureU.S. community complete withU.S. stores, theaters, bowlingalleys, craft shops, etc., SpecialForces go overseas and livewith the local populations intheir villages or military bases,eating the local food and speak-ing the local language. Evenwhen he and his family wereoverseas, with the Embassies,they lived in local housing(sometimes even slightly modi-fied with flush toilets andscreen windows!). Theybought their food from localmerchants, and the kids wentto the local/internationalschool.Our meal is complete and ourdiscussion has transitioned towhat is planned for our nextsquadron meeting. I assuredBill that there is no way I willbe able to do his story justice.Between our 2-hour long dis-cussion over dinner and theinformation he provided mebeforehand, I have too muchinformation to summarize.
And I know we’ve only
touched the surface of most of his experiences. My goal willbe to pique the interest of cadets, in particular, so theywill want to approach him. Hehas an amazing life story andwe can all learn a lot from whathe has experienced and accom-plished in his life thus far.
Dinner With Major Bill Knotts...
(Continued from page 1)
Page 2 Col. Travis Hoover Composite Squadron Newsletter
found something tolike about
everyplace I’vebeen...and it’s
- Major BillKnotts
Cadet Knotts BeingPresented His CAP Pi-
September Awards: C/Capt. Rouse, Major Knotts
This month, C/Captain CalebRouse was officially presentedhis Amelia Earhart award byState Representative CharlieDavis.We also celebrated the 50 yearmembership anniversary of Major Bill Knotts. CommanderWorkman had a plaque madefor the occasion ...along with acake.
Rep. Charlie Davis Presenting Plaque to Major Knotts