WASHINGTON, D.C. (Office of Cuellar) – Congressman Henry Cuellar joined Senators Tom Harkin, Thad Cochran, and Congressman Michael McCaul to announce that the U.S. House of Representatives has overwhelmingly approved bipartisan legislation to award the Congressional Gold Medal to members of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) who provided extraordinary public and combat emergency services during World War II.
Harkin and Cochran are the lead Senate sponsors of the measure while McCaul and Cuellar have led the effort in the House.
The legislation passed the U.S. Senate in 2013 now goes to President Obama’s desk for signature.
“The Civil Air Patrol was comprised of volunteers who banded together on December 1, 1941 to create a volunteer air patrol to defend their country,” said Congressman Cuellar. “I am honored to recognize the Civil Air Patrol for their contributions and service to our country during World War II. This Congressional Gold Medal recognition is long overdue and well deserved.”
In March of 1942, members of the Civil Air Patrol started an anti-submarine coastal patrol off the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. CAP operations reported 173 submarines and found 325 survivors of attacks. There were more than 60,000 adult civilian members of the CAP in a wide range of positions, and CAP aircrews flew a total of approximately 750,000 hours during the war, most of which were in their personal aircraft and often at real risk to their lives.
CAP operations were characterized by an exceptional emphasis on safety, discipline and organization. However, by the end of the war, 64 members of the CAP had died in service.
You can view Cuellar's full statement on the bill by watching the video below.