Undated (KELO AM ) - It's official! On Friday, 23 May, President Obama signed the bill to award the Congressional Gold Medal to members of the Civil Air Patrol, whose volunteer service helped protect the United States homeland during World War II.
“Veterans of the Civil Air Patrol from the Greatest Generation stepped up to serve our country under the most difficult circumstances,” Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss) said. “This award is a way to pay tribute to their brave service. Their legacy lives on for today’s CAP, whose diligent work keeps us safe every day.”
Volunteers along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts organized to form the Civil Air Patrol soon after the United States entered World War II. CAP organizations volunteered private aircraft and resources to support anti-submarine patrols. More than 60,000 members of the Civil Air Patrol logged an estimated 750,000 hours of flight time during the war, reported 173 submarines and located more than 300 survivors of attacks. Sixty-four members died in service during World War II.
Today, the modern Civil Air Patrol is the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force and a nonprofit organization. Its members perform 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center. Its volunteers also perform disaster relief and counter-drug missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies.
S.309 passed the Senate in May 2013 by unanimous consent, and enjoyed broad bipartisan support in the House of Representatives when it was passed earlier this month.^