Wisconsin: Senator Herb Kohl promised today to cosponsor the bill that would award the Congressional Gold Medal to Civil Air Patrol’s WWII volunteers.
Wisconsin Wing’s vice-commander, Major Rose Hunt, received word today from Nick Barbash, legislative aide to Senator Kohl, regarding Kohl’s intentions of cosponsoring S. 418. Kohl joins Senator Ron Johnson, who cosponsored the bill in March.
The Senate bill has enough cosponsors to bring the bill to the floor for a vote making CAP confident of its passage in the next few weeks.
The House version of the bill, H.R. 719 has six of Wisconsin’s eight congressmen cosponsoring the bill. Congressmen Sean Duffy, Ron Kind, Tom Petri, Reid Ribble and Congresswomen Tammy Baldwin and Gwen Moore have cosponsored it leaving Congressmen Paul Ryan and Jim Sensenbrenner in need of doing so. At last count, 116 cosponsors are still needed for H.R. 719 to go to the floor for a vote.
According to CAP records, during the war CAP members, as volunteer civilians, flew combat and humanitarian missions in support of the U.S. military using their own aircraft.
During 18 months of combat operations between March 1942 and August 1943 CAP sank two enemy submarines and attacked 57 with small light aircraft armed with 50 and 100 pound bombs and 325 pound depth charges. Other missions included target towing (where CAP aircraft were shot at by ground gunners and interceptor aircraft), search and rescue, border patrol, disaster relief and emergency transportation of people and cargo.
During the war, 60,000 adult CAP members participated in the program. CAP adult members, like WASP volunteers, had been promised veteran’s benefits which never materialized.
Visit the Congressional Gold Medal page for updated information.