First it was the Tuskegee Airmen who, after waiting 51 years after World War II, got their just recognition with a Congressional Gold Medal. Then it was the Women Airforce Service Pilots who got the medal four years later. Now, there is an effort to honor the founders of the Civil Air Patrol with the medal, and thus all who flew with the CAP during the war. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, has launched a bill to honor 60,000 civilians–men and women 18-81 years old–who were CAP members. “Our founding members helped save lives and preserve our nation’s freedom,” said Maj. Gen. Chuck Carr, CAP’s national commander. The CAP conducted anti-submarine coastal patrols up to 100 miles offshore in March 1942 after 52 oil tankers had been sunk. They carried 50-, 100- and 325-pound bombs or depth charges, attacking 57 enemy submarines and reporting 173 to the military.
Tags: CAP, Civil Air Patrol, Congressional Gold Medal, submarines, World War II