A Congressional Gold Medal was awarded collectively today to the World War II members of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) during a ceremony in Emancipation Hall in the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center.
The medal, designed and struck by the United States Mint, recognizes the organization for their humanitarian, combat, and national services during a critical time for our nation.
The CAP began operations under the Office of Civilian Defense on 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 served the nation from March 1942 to August 1943. The heroic aircrew is credited with escorting more than 5,600 convoys, reporting 173 U-boats and attacking 57, flying 86,685 total missions, logging 244,600 total flight hours, and flying more than 24 million total miles.
The medal’s obverse was designed by United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program designer Donna Weaver and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Don Everhart. The design features two 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 medal’s reverse, designed by Weaver and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Michael Gaudioso, features a partial laurel wreath representing honor and service, surrounding CAP insignias. Inscriptions are “HONOR,” “CIVILIAN VOLUNTEERS WHO FLEW ARMED & HUMANITARIAN MISSIONS,” and “ACT OF CONGRESS 2014.”
Public Law 113-108, which requires the United States Mint to strike the Congressional Gold Medal for the World War II members of the CAP, also authorizes the bureau to strike and sell bronze reproductions of the medal. The three-inch medal (product code CR4) will be priced at $39.95 and the 1.5-inch medal (product code CR5) will be priced at $6.95.
Orders will be accepted starting noon Eastern Standard Time on Dec. 11, 2014, via the bureau’s online catalog at http://catalog.usmint.gov/ and at 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468).
Hearing- and speech-impaired customers with TTY equipment may call 1-888-321-MINT (6468).