Congressional Gold Medal Honors Civil Air Patrol’s World War II Service

2014 Civil Air Patrol Bronze Medal Replica

Background

The Civil Air Patrol (CAP) began operations under the Office of Civilian Defense Dec. 1, 1941, one week before the United States entered World War II. Within a few months, the unpaid volunteers became involved in military operations by assisting the U.S. Army and the U.S. Navy. Using privately owned aircraft and personal funding, the CAP members performed numerous essential tasks in support of the military and the nation, including armed convoy and antisubmarine patrols off the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.

The CAP was an early advocate of increased female participation in civil aviation. More than half of the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots, as well as many of the members of the Women’s Army Corps, served in the organization during some part of the war.

The CAP’s antisubmarine patrol served the nation from March 1942 to August 1943. During this time the civilian aircrews were credited with:

  • flying 86,685 total missions
  • logging 244,600 total flight hours
  • flying more than 24 million total miles
  • escorting more than 5,600 convoys
  • reporting 173 suspected U-boats and attacking 57

In addition, CAP units conducted search and rescue, disaster relief, target towing, border patrol and other critical missions until September 1945. Postwar, the CAP became a valuable nonprofit, public service organization chartered by the United States Congress. Today it is an auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, charged with providing emergency, operational and public services to communities, states, the federal government and the military.

The Medal

The obverse (heads side) was designed by United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) Master Designer Donna Weaver and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Don Everhart. It features two Civil Air Patrol (CAP) volunteers—one male and one female—watching the skies. In the background, a tanker is escorted by CAP planes overhead. Inscriptions are “CIVIL AIR PATROL” and “1941-1945.”

The reverse (tails side) was designed by United States Mint AIP Master Designer Donna Weaver and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Michael Gaudioso. It features a partial laurel wreath, representing honor and service, surrounding Civil Air Patrol insignias. Inscriptions are “HONOR,” “CIVILIAN VOLUNTEERS WHO FLEW ARMED & HUMANITARIAN MISSIONS,” and “ACT OF CONGRESS 2014.”

Obverse of the Civil Air Patrol Bronze Medal
Obverse of the Civil Air Patrol Bronze Medal
Reverse of the Civil Air Patrol Bronze Medal
Reverse of the Civil Air Patrol Bronze Medal

http://www.usmint.gov/mint_programs/medals/

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: