DEFENSE SUPPLY CENTER COLUMBUS, OHIO – United States Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), a native of Cincinnati and current senator for Ohio, will be supporting Senate Bill 418 which would authorize Congress to mint a Congressional Gold Medal to honor the Civil Air Patrol members who are still alive who served during World War II.
During World War II, over 60,000 Americans - civilians who remained on American soil during the war - served in the Civil Air Patrol. One of the primary duties was Coastal Patrol, the defending the American East Coast and Gulf Coast from German submarines who sought to disrupt shipping. Of the 59 CAP pilots killed during World War II, 26 were lost while on Coastal Patrol duty, and seven others were seriously injured while carrying out the missions. It is estimated that there are only a few hundred still alive from that time period and the Congressional Gold Medal - the highest civilian medal awarded by Congress - seeks to recognize the sacrifice that the hometown heroes made when the country needed them the most.
"The Civil Air Patrol voluntarily carried out critical missions during World War II that saved lives and protected our homeland," said Portman. "The courage and selflessness of these brave pilots during a pivotal time for our country should be recognized with a Congressional Gold Medal. I am honored to co-sponsor the CAP Congressional Gold Medal bill to recognize these civilian heroes."
Colonel Greg Mathews, Ohio Wing commander for the Civil Air Patrol, recently visited with Senator Portman's office during National Legislative Day.