U.S. Rep. Richard Hanna, R-N.Y., along with Reps. Charlie Dent, R-Pa., Steve Israel, D-N.Y., and Ron Kind, D-Wis., has introduced a resolution recognizing the strategic role Civil Air Patrol plays in supporting critical defense and homeland security missions and honoring the organization for 75 years of continuous service in times of both peace and war. Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine,and Barbara A. Mikulski, D-Md., have introduced a companion resolution in the Senate.
The House and Senate resolutions recognize CAP members who served prominently during World War II, engaging in coastal patrols for enemy vessels, search and rescue missions, courier and cargo services and air defense and pilot training operations. It’s estimated that CAP pilots flew 24 million miles over 18 months and reported more than 170 possible submarines sightings.
CAP’s World War II legacy -- recognized Dec. 10, 2014, with the Congressional Gold Medal -- also includes the integration of its squadrons, which were the first to allow both women and African-Americans to fly in service to their country. H.R. 925 has nearly 60 cosponsors in the House of Representatives.
“I am pleased to recognize the Civil Air Patrol for 75 years of exemplary service to our nation,” said Hanna, a pilot and an honorary member of CAP’s Legislative Squadron. “The men and women who lend their skills to CAP fulfill several critical missions that protect and defend the United States of America. On behalf of a grateful nation, congratulations on your anniversary and thank you for your service.
“Since its founding 75 years ago, the Civil Air Patrol has been integral to America’s national security,” Collins said. “Two coastal patrol bases located in Maine contributed to our nation’s defense during World War II, and today, hundreds of Civil Air Patrol members in Maine serve in a variety of roles, from search and rescue to disaster relief.
“Over the past 75 years, thousands of patriotic volunteers have helped keep our country safe. Our resolution honors the 75th anniversary of the Civil Air Patrol and commends these individuals for their dedication to our nation.”
Barbara O’Malley, an aide of Mikulski’s for 29 years, served in CAP’s Ohio Wing from 1943-1945, rising to the rank of lieutenant. She and another World War II CAP member, retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Julius Becton Jr., are scheduled to honored Dec. 1 during CAP’s 75th Anniversary Gala at the Smithsonian’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. Each will be presented with a replica of CAP's Congressional Gold Medal .
“The Civil Air Patrol and its cadets have a distinguished history of answering the call to public service to provide key support missions, and I am thankful for their unwavering service to our nation,” Dent said. “In addition to selflessly serving as an auxiliary to the United States Air Force, the valiant men and women who volunteer for CAP also provide valuable aerospace educational resources for fellow volunteers and the general public and are an asset for our first responders and military alike.”
“For 75 years, the men and women of the Civil Air Patrol have bravely volunteered their time and talent to protect our homeland,” Israel said. “I am proud to join my colleagues in honoring this distinguished organization and their mission to protect and educate young leaders about the importance of national service.”
“I am proud to support and honor the Civil Air Patrol for 75 years of brave service,” Kind said. “I had the honor of visiting the La Crosse Composite Squadron in 2012, where I was able to speak with cadets and tour their facilities. The work of the Civil Air Patrol is invaluable for our national defense and homeland security, as well as the education and inspiration for hundreds of young students.”
“On Dec. 1 Civil Air Patrol celebrates 75 years of volunteer service to America,” said CAP’s national commander, Maj. Gen. Joe Vazquez. “From hunting submarines during World War II to conducting emergency services, youth programs and STEM education today, CAP members reflect the best this nation has to offer. CAP thanks Rep. Hanna, Sen. Collins and all House and Senate resolution co-sponsors for their support.”