We enjoy a proud legacy of selfless sacrifice and service to country and community that spans decades. In the late 1930s, more than 150,000 volunteers with a love for aviation argued for an organization to put their planes and flying skills to use in defense of their country. As a result, the Civil Air Patrol was born one week prior to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
Thousands of volunteer members answered America's call to national service and sacrifice by accepting and performing critical wartime missions. Assigned to the War Department under the jurisdiction of the Army Air Corps, the contributions of Civil Air Patrol, including logging more than 500,000 flying hours, sinking two enemy submarines, and saving hundreds of crash victims during World War II, are well documented.

After the war, a thankful nation understood that Civil Air Patrol could continue providing valuable services to both local and national agencies. On July 1, 1946, President Harry Truman signed Public Law 476 incorporating Civil Air Patrol as a benevolent, nonprofit organization. On May 26, 1948, Congress passed Public Law 557 permanently establishing Civil Air Patrol as the auxiliary of the new U.S. Air Force. Three primary mission areas were set forth at that time: aerospace education, cadet programs, and emergency services. (Source: Civil Air Patrol)

11 December 2014

Civil Air Patrol receives the Congressional Gold Medal

On Wednesday, December 10, 2014, leaders of the U.S. House and Senate presented a Congressional Gold Medal in honor of members of the Civil Air Patrol whose valor and dedication saved countless lives during World War II.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) took part in the bipartisan, bicameral ceremony. 

A tradition dating back to the American Revolution, the Gold Medal is the highest civilian honor the United States Congress can bestow.   Pursuant to S. 309, enacted on May 30, 2014, a single medal has been struck to honor collectively the World War II members of the Civil Air Patrol in recognition of their military service and exemplary record.  Founded just six days before the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Civil Air Patrol – which was comprised of civilian volunteer pilot and aviators – logged 500,000 flying hours during World War II, performing such duties as sinking U-Boats and saving crash victims.  On May 26, 1948, the Civil Air Patrol officially became an auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force.
The ceremony took place on Wednesday, December 10, 2014 at 3:00 pm ET in National Statuary Hall of the United States Capitol, Washington, DC.


(Source: capgoldmedal.com)

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