[113th Congress Public Law 108]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]

[[Page 1163]]

                            CIVIL AIR PATROL 
                        CONGRESSIONAL GOLD MEDAL

[[Page 128 STAT. 1164]]

Public Law 113-108
113th Congress

                                 An Act

 To award a Congressional Gold Medal to the World War II members of the 
          Civil Air Patrol. <<NOTE: May 30, 2014 -  [S. 309]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: 31 USC 5111 

    Congress makes the following findings:
            (1) The unpaid volunteer members of the Civil Air Patrol 
        (hereafter in this Act referred to as the ``CAP'') during World 
        War II provided extraordinary humanitarian, combat, and national 
        services during a critical time of need for the Nation.
            (2) During the war, CAP members used their own aircraft to 
        perform a myriad of essential tasks for the military and the 
        Nation within the United States, including attacks on enemy 
        submarines off the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts of the 
        United States.
            (3) This extraordinary national service set the stage for 
        the post-war CAP to become a valuable nonprofit, public service 
        organization chartered by Congress and designated the Auxiliary 
        of the United States Air Force that provides essential 
        emergency, operational, and public services to communities, 
        States, the Federal Government, and the military.
            (4) The CAP was established on December 1, 1941, initially 
        as a part of the Office of Civil Defense, by air-minded citizens 
        one week before the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, out 
        of the desire of civil airmen of the country to be mobilized 
        with their equipment in the common defense of the Nation.
            (5) Within days of the start of the war, the German Navy 
        started a massive submarine offensive, known as Operation 
        Drumbeat, off the east coast of the United States against oil 
        tankers and other critical shipping that threatened the overall 
        war effort.
            (6) Neither the Navy nor the Army had enough aircraft, 
        ships, or other resources to adequately patrol and protect the 
        shipping along the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts of the 
        United States, and many ships were torpedoed and sunk, often 
        within sight of civilians on shore, including 52 tankers sunk 
        between January and March 1942.
            (7) At that time General George Marshall remarked that 
        ``[t]he losses by submarines off our Atlantic seaboard and in 
        the Caribbean now threaten our entire war effort''.
            (8) From the beginning CAP leaders urged the military to use 
        its services to patrol coastal waters but met with great

[[Page 128 STAT. 1165]]

        resistance because of the nonmilitary status of CAP civilian 
            (9) Finally, in response to the ever-increasing submarine 
        attacks, the Tanker Committee of the Petroleum Industry War 
        Council urged the Navy Department and the War Department to 
        consider the use of the CAP to help patrol the sea lanes off the 
        coasts of the United States.
            (10) While the Navy initially rejected this suggestion, the 
        Army decided it had merit, and the Civil Air Patrol Coastal 
        Patrol began in March 1942.
            (11) Oil companies and other organizations provided funds to 
        help pay for some CAP operations, including vitally needed shore 
        radios that were used to monitor patrol missions.
            (12) By late March 1942, the Navy also began to use the 
        services of the CAP.
            (13) Starting with 3 bases located in Delaware, Florida, and 
        New Jersey, CAP aircrews (ranging in age from 18 to over 80) 
        immediately started to spot enemy submarines as well as 
        lifeboats, bodies, and wreckage.
            (14) Within 15 minutes of starting his patrol on the first 
        Coastal Patrol flight, a pilot had sighted a torpedoed tanker 
        and was coordinating rescue operations.
            (15) Eventually 21 bases, ranging from Bar Harbor, Maine, to 
        Brownsville, Texas, were set up for the CAP to patrol the 
        Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts of the United States, with 
        40,000 volunteers eventually participating.
            (16) The CAP used a wide range of civilian-owned aircraft, 
        mainly light-weight, single-engine aircraft manufactured by 
        Cessna, Beech, Waco, Fairchild, Stinson, Piper, Taylorcraft, and 
        Sikorsky, among others, as well as some twin engine aircraft, 
        such as the Grumman Widgeon.
            (17) Most of these aircraft were painted in their civilian 
        prewar colors (red, yellow, or blue, for example) and carried 
        special markings (a blue circle with a white triangle) to 
        identify them as CAP aircraft.
            (18) Patrols were conducted up to 100 miles off shore, 
        generally with 2 aircraft flying together, in aircraft often 
        equipped with only a compass for navigation and a single radio 
        for communication.
            (19) Due to the critical nature of the situation, CAP 
        operations were conducted in bad weather as well as good, often 
        when the military was unable to fly, and in all seasons, 
        including the winter, when ditching an aircraft in cold water 
        would likely mean certain death to the aircrew.
            (20) Personal emergency equipment was often lacking, 
        particularly during early patrols where inner tubes and kapok 
        duck hunter vests were carried as flotation devices, since ocean 
        worthy wet suits, life vests, and life rafts were unavailable.
            (21) The initial purpose of the Coastal Patrol was to spot 
        submarines, report their position to the military, and force 
        them to dive below the surface, which limited their operating 
        speed and maneuverability and reduced their ability to detect 
        and attack shipping, because attacks against shipping were 
        conducted while the submarines were surfaced.
            (22) It immediately became apparent that there were 
        opportunities for CAP pilots to attack submarines, such as when 
        a Florida CAP aircrew came across a surfaced submarine

[[Page 128 STAT. 1166]]

        that quickly stranded itself on a sand bar. However, the aircrew 
        could not get any assistance from armed military aircraft before 
        the submarine freed itself.
            (23) Finally, after several instances when the military 
        could not respond in a timely manner, a decision was made by the 
        military to arm CAP aircraft with 50- and 100-pound bombs, and 
        to arm some larger twin-engine aircraft with 325-pound depth 
            (24) The arming of CAP aircraft dramatically changed the 
        mission for these civilian aircrews and resulted in more than 57 
        attacks on enemy submarines.
            (25) While CAP volunteers received $8 a day flight 
        reimbursement for costs incurred, their patrols were 
        accomplished at a great economic cost to many CAP members who--
                    (A) used their own aircraft and other equipment in 
                defense of the Nation;
                    (B) paid for much of their own aircraft maintenance 
                and hangar use; and
                    (C) often lived in the beginning in primitive 
                conditions along the coast, including old barns and 
                chicken coops converted for sleeping.
            (26) More importantly, the CAP Coastal Patrol service came 
        at the high cost of 26 fatalities, 7 serious injuries, and 90 
        aircraft lost.
            (27) At the conclusion of the 18-month Coastal Patrol, the 
        heroic CAP aircrews would be credited with--
                    (A) 2 submarines possibly damaged or destroyed;
                    (B) 57 submarines attacked;
                    (C) 82 bombs dropped against submarines;
                    (D) 173 radio reports of submarine positions (with a 
                number of credited assists for kills made by military 
                    (E) 17 floating mines reported;
                    (F) 36 dead bodies reported;
                    (G) 91 vessels in distress reported;
                    (H) 363 survivors in distress reported;
                    (I) 836 irregularities noted;
                    (J) 1,036 special investigations at sea or along the 
                    (K) 5,684 convoy missions as aerial escorts for Navy 
                    (L) 86,685 total missions flown;
                    (M) 244,600 total flight hours logged; and
                    (N) more than 24,000,000 total miles flown.
            (28) It is believed that at least one high-level German Navy 
        Officer credited CAP as one reason that submarine attacks moved 
        away from the United States when he concluded that ``[i]t was 
        because of those damned little red and yellow planes!''.
            (29) The CAP was dismissed from coastal missions with little 
        thanks in August 1943 when the Navy took over the mission 
        completely and ordered CAP to stand down.
            (30) While the Coastal Patrol was ongoing, CAP was also 
        establishing itself as a vital wartime service to the military, 
        States, and communities nationwide by performing a wide range of 
        missions including, among others--
                    (A) border patrol;
                    (B) forest and fire patrols;

[[Page 128 STAT. 1167]]

                    (C) military courier flights for mail, repair and 
                replacement parts, and urgent military deliveries;
                    (D) emergency transportation of military personnel;
                    (E) target towing (with live ammunition being fired 
                at the targets and seven lives being lost) and 
                searchlight tracking training missions;
                    (F) missing aircraft and personnel searches;
                    (G) air and ground search and rescue for missing 
                aircraft and personnel;
                    (H) radar and aircraft warning system training 
                    (I) aerial inspections of camouflaged military and 
                civilian facilities;
                    (J) aerial inspections of city and town blackout 
                    (K) simulated bombing attacks on cities and 
                facilities to test air defenses and early warning;
                    (L) aerial searches for scrap metal materials;
                    (M) river and lake patrols, including aerial surveys 
                for ice in the Great Lakes;
                    (N) support of war bond drives;
                    (O) management and guard duties at hundreds of 
                    (P) support for State and local emergencies such as 
                natural and manmade disasters;
                    (Q) predator control;
                    (R) rescue of livestock during floods and blizzards;
                    (S) recruiting for the Army Air Force;
                    (T) initial flight screening and orientation flights 
                for potential military recruits;
                    (U) mercy missions, including the airlift of plasma 
                to central blood banks;
                    (V) nationwide emergency communications services; 
                    (W) a cadet youth program which provided aviation 
                and military training for tens of thousands.
            (31) The CAP flew more than 500,000 hours on these 
        additional missions, including--
                    (A) 20,500 missions involving target towing (with 
                live ammunition) and gun/searchlight tracking which 
                resulted in 7 deaths, 5 serious injuries, and the loss 
                of 25 aircraft;
                    (B) a courier service involving 3 major Air Force 
                Commands over a 2-year period carrying more than 
                3,500,000 pounds of vital cargo and 543 passengers;
                    (C) southern border patrol flying more than 30,000 
                hours and reporting 7,000 unusual sightings including a 
                vehicle (that was apprehended) with 2 enemy agents 
                attempting to enter the country;
                    (D) a week in February 1945 during which CAP units 
                rescued seven missing Army and Navy pilots; and
                    (E) a State in which the CAP flew 790 hours on 
                forest fire patrol missions and reported 576 fires to 
                authorities during a single year.
            (32) On April 29, 1943, the CAP was transferred to the Army 
        Air Forces, thus beginning its long association with the United 
        States Air Force.

[[Page 128 STAT. 1168]]

            (33) Hundreds of CAP-trained women pilots joined military 
        women's units including the Women's Air Force Service Pilots 
        (WASP) program.
            (34) Many members of the WASP program joined or rejoined the 
        CAP during the post-war period because it provided women 
        opportunities to fly and continue to serve the Nation that were 
        severely lacking elsewhere.
            (35) Due to the exceptional emphasis on safety, unit and 
        pilot training and discipline, and the organization of the CAP, 
        by the end of the war a total of only 64 CAP members had died in 
        service and only 150 aircraft had been lost (including its 
        Coastal Patrol losses from early in the war).
            (36) It is estimated that up to 100,000 civilians (including 
        youth in its cadet program) participated in the CAP in a wide 
        range of staff and operational positions, and that CAP aircrews 
        flew a total of approximately 750,000 hours during the war, most 
        of which were in their personal aircraft and often at risk to 
        their lives.
            (37) After the war, at a CAP dinner for Congress, a quorum 
        of both Houses attended with the Speaker of the House of 
        Representatives and the President thanking CAP for its service.
            (38) While air medals were issued for some of those 
        participating in the Coastal Patrol, little other recognition 
        was forthcoming for the myriad of services CAP volunteers 
        provided during the war.
            (39) Despite some misguided efforts to end the CAP at the 
        end of the war, the organization had proved its capabilities to 
        the Nation and strengthened its ties with the Air Force and 
            (40) In 1946, Congress chartered the CAP as a nonprofit, 
        public service organization and in 1948 made the CAP an 
        Auxiliary of the United States Air Force.
            (41) Today, the CAP conducts many of the same missions it 
        performed during World War II, including a vital role in 
        homeland security.
            (42) The CAP's wartime service was highly unusual and 
        extraordinary, due to the unpaid civilian status of its members, 
        the use of privately owned aircraft and personal funds by many 
        of its members, the myriad of humanitarian and national missions 
        flown for the Nation, and the fact that for 18 months, during a 
        time of great need for the United States, the CAP flew combat-
        related missions in support of military operations off the 
        Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts.

    (a) Award.--
            (1) Authorized.--The President pro tempore of the Senate and 
        the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall make 
        appropriate arrangements for the award, on behalf of Congress, 
        of a single gold medal of appropriate design in honor of the 
        World War II members of the Civil Air Patrol collectively, in 
        recognition of the military service and exemplary record of the 
        Civil Air Patrol during World War II.
            (2) Design and striking.--For the purposes of the award 
        referred to in paragraph (1), the Secretary of the Treasury 
        shall strike the gold medal with suitable emblems, devices, and 
        inscriptions, to be determined by the Secretary.

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            (3) Smithsonian institution.--
                    (A) In general.--Following the award of the gold 
                medal referred to in paragraph (1) in honor of all of 
                its World War II members of the Civil Air Patrol, the 
                gold medal shall be given to the Smithsonian 
                Institution, where it shall be displayed as appropriate 
                and made available for research.
                    (B) Sense of congress.--It is the sense of Congress 
                that the Smithsonian Institution should make the gold 
                medal received under this paragraph available for 
                display elsewhere, particularly at other locations 
                associated with the Civil Air Patrol.

    (b) Duplicate Medals.--Under such regulations as the Secretary may 
prescribe, the Secretary may strike and sell duplicates in bronze of the 
gold medal struck under this Act, at a price sufficient to cover the 
costs of the medals, including labor, materials, dies, use of machinery, 
and overhead expenses, and amounts received from the sale of such 
duplicates shall be deposited in the United States Mint Public 
Enterprise Fund.
    (c) National Medals.--Medals struck pursuant to this Act are 
national medals for purposes of chapter 51 of title 31, United States 

    Approved May 30, 2014.


                                                        Vol. 159 (2013):
                                    May 20, considered and passed 
                                                        Vol. 160 (2014):
                                    May 19, considered and passed House.