Senate passes CAP Congressional Gold Medal bill

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. – A bill to honor Civil Air Patrol’s World War II veterans with a Congressional Gold Medal passed the U.S. Senate Monday night under unanimous consent after gaining the necessary co-sponsors needed for consideration.

The bill, S. 309, recognizes the contributions of CAP’s pilots and other members who served during the war. Predating the U.S. Air Force, CAP’s services included flying combat and humanitarian missions under hazardous conditions.

Maj. Gen. Chuck Carr, CAP’s national commander, credited members’ and other supporters’ hard work and expressed his thanks not only to leaders throughout the organization but also to the 82 senators — 15 more than the minimum needed — who have signed on as co-sponsors for S. 309.

“As the long-standing commander of CAP’s Congressional Squadron in Washington, D.C., I have long recognized the contributions of CAP to our nation, particularly in its time of greatest peril during World War II. That is why I sponsored the Congressional Gold Medal bill in the Senate,” said U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa. “I want to publicly thank my colleagues in the Senate who joined me as supporters of this legislation as co-sponsors of S. 309.”

An identical bill, H.R. 755, is under consideration in the U.S. House, where it now has 159 co-sponsors. The measure needs a total of 290 to be acted on in the House Financial Services Committee, where it has been assigned. CAP hopes to gain the additional co-sponsors over the next several months.

“I am pleased to see the progress in the Senate in support of the Congressional Gold Medal for CAP’s World War II members, and I look forward to completion of the process in the House with unanimous approval of H.R. 755,” said U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, chairman of the Homeland Security Committee. “With only a handful of those who served still alive, the time is now to honor these American war heroes, 64 of whom gave the ultimate sacrifice with their lives to help America prevail in the war effort.”

“The House bill needs additional co-sponsors. Veterans and others with an interest in H.R. 755 are encouraged to contact their House representatives to obtain support. You are encouraged to contact CAP to determine if your veteran family members qualify for this recognition.”


  1. Greg W says

    More recognition of the WW2 CAP is deserved. Flying coastal patrol in single engine light planes, protecting the shipping and the sailors of stricken vessels,all in civilian airplanes. German Admiral Doenitz was said to have admitted, “It was those damned little red and yellow airplanes!”for the reason that the U-boats backed off from the U.S. coast. We must remember these were men and women that were not eligible in many cases for active military duty and at risk of all they went forth, to aid the war effort over the Atlantic and the gulf of mexico. Many merchant sailors were kept safe through their efforts,many service men were armed and supplied because the CAP got the tankers and cargo through to the factories and ship yards of the “arsenal of democracy”. It is not that they did more than was needed, it is that they did far more than anyone expected, without compensation,insurance or military status. The CAP was formed to fill a gap because it was the right thing to do, to help protect the nation and the cost be damned. General Aviation at one of it’s most historic and dramatic moments.

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