WASHINGTON, D.C. – Forty-six founding Civil Air Patrol members were present today to see the organization honored with the Congressional Gold Medal for the service they and more than 200,000 other CAP volunteers provided during World War II, when they helped proect U.S. shipping against German U-boat attacks and carried out other vital wartime domestic missions.
Speaker of the House John Boehner presented the medal to CAP National Commander Maj. Gen. Joe Vazquez and former U.S. Rep. Lester Wolff, who served in CAP’s New York Wing during the war, in a 40-minute ceremony that began at 3 p.m. Eastern time in Emancipation Hall at the Capitol.
Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas all spoke before the presentation, describing CAP members’ acts of selfless service in volunteering to help protect the homefront during the war.
The CAP members being honored “were just private citizens who wanted to lend a hand. They also lent their planes, their two-way radios and their replacement parts,” Boehner said.
“They weren’t pressed into serving – the government was pressed into letting them serve.”
“World War II could have turned out a lot differently if not for the men and women of the Civil Air Patrol,” McConnell told the gathering.
“Today’s gold medal may be overdue, but it’s well-deserved. It’s the highest civilian honor we can bestow, and we’re proud to bestow it.”
Reid acknowledged the service of the World War II members present while also praising those no longer alive to see their service recognized. “Their acts of heroism and bravery will never be forgotten,” he said.
Wolff described the full scope of CAP’s wartime service, telling his audience that the Coastal Patrol mission “began in the dark days following Pearl Harbor, when submarines were sinking oil tankers within sight of East Coast cities.”
“For 18 months we patrolled the Atlantic and Gulf coasts hunting submarines, escorting thousands of ships and searching for attack survivors,” he said.
Coastal Patrol pilots flew 24 million miles through August 1943 over the Atlantic and Gulf coasts in order to ward off German U-boat attacks against U.S. shipping – especially domestic oil tankers bound for Europe to help fuel the military machine. They did so at the request of the U.S. Petroleum Industry War Council, because the U.S. Navy lacked the resources to guard against the submarine attacks and provide escorts for commercial convoys.
Flying out of 21 bases located along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts from Maine to the southern tip of Texas, Coastal Patrol pilots spotted 173 U-boats and attacked 57. They also escorted more than 5,600 convoys and reported 17 floating mines, 36 bodies, 91 ships in distress and 363 survivors in the water.
Elsewhere, CAP members patrolled the country’s southern border by air, vigilant for potential saboteurs. Others towed targets for military trainees, watched for forest fires, conducted search and rescue missions, provided disaster relief and emergency transport of people and parts and conducted orientation flights for future pilots.
In all, 65 CAP members lost their lives in the line of duty by the end of the war, including 26 Coastal Patrol participants.
“Every one of those lives was given to defend this nation,” Wolff said. “We accept this award particularly for those who did not come home.”
In introducing Wolff, Vazquez referred to the World War II members as “brave and heroic citizen volunteers from America’s greatest generation. They served valiantly on the home front and along the coasts, helping to save lives and preserve our nation’s freedom.”
Along with the 46 members present, more than 50 other pioneering CAP members were represented by family members attending the ceremony.
The gold medal will be placed on permanent display in the Smithsonian Institution. Three-inch bronze replicas will be presented to the veterans and families tonight at a celebratory dinner sponsored by CITGO at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City Hotel in Arlington, Virginia, where bronze replica medals will be presented to the World War II-era CAP members courtesy of the oil giant. Sunoco and Sunoco Logistic are also major sponsors of the events.
In addition to the bronze replicas being distributed tonight, World War II members and families unable to attend today’s events will be presented with replicas of their own in local ceremonies later. Anyone wishing to buy a replica will be able to do so by ordering through the U.S. Mint starting Thursday.
The story of CAP’s World War II service and its members’ wartime experiences can be found on the organization’s Congressional Gold Medal website.
Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with 59,000 members nationwide, operating a fleet of 550 aircraft. CAP, in its Air Force auxiliary role, performs 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 70 lives annually. Its volunteer professionals also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. The members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to more than 24,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet programs. Visit www.gocivilairpatrol.com, www.capvolunteernow.com and www.capgoldmedal.com for more information.
Deputy Director, Public Affairs, CAP National Headquarters
W: 877-227-9142, ext. 250
A CAP holiday tradition, this year’s wreath-laying salute on tap for Dec. 13
MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. – Every December, in all 52 Civil Air Patrol wings and even abroad – from Hawaii’s Punchbowl to snow-covered sites in the upper Midwest to a Civil War battlefield in Georgia to the poppy fields of Normandy, France – thousands of CAP officers and cadets participate in Wreaths Across America observances to honor the nation’s fallen. They present the colors, deliver orations and place remembrance wreaths on veterans’ graves at national cemeteries and war memorials.
This year, most of those observances will occur on Dec. 13 and coincide with a Wreaths Across America ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery in which organizers hope to cover approximately 227,000 grave sites in honor of the historic cemetery’s 150th anniversary.
“For the first time, Wreaths Across America is very close to its goal of honoring all at Arlington,” said Civil Air Patrol Col. Dan Leclair, former Maine Wing and current Northeast Region commander who is actively involved in Wreaths Across America.
Leclair and other CAP officers and cadets will join an estimated 20,000 volunteers at Arlington on Dec. 13 for National Wreaths Across America Day. At Arlington and at more than 1,000 U.S. cemeteries and memorial sites around the world, other volunteers – many of them CAP members – will also participate in the venture, placing more than 700,000 fresh balsam evergreens from Maine on the graves of military veterans as a tribute to their service and sacrifice.
Civil Air Patrol has been a proud partner in Wreaths Across America since the initiative was started by Morrill Worcester and Worcester Wreath Co. in 2006. Thousands of service-minded CAP members across America tap into the initiative each year — selling wreath sponsorships to the public, laying wreaths and conducting ceremonies to mark the day with pomp, circumstance and patriotism.
“Each and every wreath is a gift from an appreciative person or family who knows what it means to serve and sacrifice for the freedoms we all enjoy, fulfilling our mission to Remember, Honor and Teach,” said Karen Worcester, executive director of Wreaths Across America.
Besides CAP, numerous other civic and charitable organizations, as well as corporate donors, are also involved in the effort, which receives notable support from Gold Star Mothers in the U.S., the Silver Star Mothers in Canada and the Patriot Guard Riders motorcycle club.
The most visible Wreaths Across America event is a weeklong convoy that begins with a wreath exchange at the Canadian border with Maine and proceeds down the Northeast corridor, stopping for numerous ceremonies along the way. This year, over 65 trucks will be part of the convoy unloading their cargo of wreaths at Arlington, where the remainder of the day is devoted to special wreath placements at cemetery sites such as the Tomb of the Unknowns and the Women In Military Service For America Memorial. From there, ceremonies move to the National Mall’s various war memorials.
Meanwhile, other Wreaths Across America ceremonies are also conducted at national cemeteries and war memorials around the world. The initiative is a heartfelt way to remember, honor and teach — goals that mirror CAP’s devotion to the military.
“Like Wreaths Across America, we take pride in honoring those who have served our country,” said Lt. Col. J.D. Ellis, CAP’s 2014 national Wreaths Across America coordinator. “This is our way of expressing our appreciation and paying tribute for the sacrifices made for our country by our service men and women.”
For more information about Wreaths Across America and participating locations, visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org. Donations for Arlington wreaths are being accepted until Dec. 11 through Wreaths Across America’s website and through its Arlington Wreaths Facebook page – www.facebook.com/ArlingtonWreaths.
Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with 59,000 members nationwide, operating a fleet of 550 aircraft. CAP, in its Air Force auxiliary role, performs 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 70 lives annually. Its volunteer professionals also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. The members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to more than 24,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet programs. Performing missions for America for more than 70 years, CAP is receiving the Congressional Gold Medal on Dec. 10 in honor of the heroic efforts of its World War II veterans. Visit www.gocivilairpatrol.com, www.capvolunteernow.com and www.capgoldmedal.com for more information.
Deputy Director, Public Affairs, CAP National Headquarters
W: 877-227-9142, ext. 250
capvolunteernow.com gocivilairpatrol.com capmembers.com
October 21, 2014 CITGO, CAP partner to celebrate Congressional Gold Medal
MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. – CITGO Petroleum Corp. has partnered with Civil Air Patrol to honor CAP members for their service during World War II.
As a premier sponsor of CAP’s Congressional Gold Medal presentation, CITGO is sponsoring the purchase of replica Congressional Gold Medals to be awarded to CAP World War II veterans who will travel to Washington, D.C., for the medal presentation, as well as the celebratory reception/dinner. Those who are unable to travel to Washington will be presented a replica medal by CAP in their hometowns.
The CAP Congressional Gold Medal bill – Senate 309 – was signed into law on May 30 by President Barack Obama; the medal is expected to be presented to CAP sometime between December and April.
Congress awarded the Congressional Gold Medal to CAP in recognition of its founding members’ role in warding off deadly German U-boat attacks on vital merchant shipping off the East and Gulf coasts – especially oil tankers – during World War II. Prior to CAP’s coastal patrols, CITGO, then known as Cities Service Co., lost five tankers to enemy attack, with a cost of 73 lives and 260,003 barrels of various types of oil.
CAP escorted thousands of convoys and ships as well as tankers belonging to companies that ultimately became part of seven present-day oil companies – CITGO, BP, Chevron, Exxon, Sinclair, Sunoco, and Tesoro. CAP’s efforts helped push the submarine threat well away from coastal shipping lanes at a critical time for the nation when the military did not have enough resources.
Col. Frank Blazich, CAP’s chief historian, notes that one of the members of the Petroleum Industry War Council – the body that advocated and supported using CAP for coastal patrol service – was W. Alton Jones, president of Cities Service Co. during the war. “On March 4, 1942, the committee approved forming the Temporary Committee on the Protection of Tankers which in turn that same day recommended using CAP aircraft for patrol duty off the East Coast. Thus, the experiment for coastal patrol bases and flights was born,” said Blazich.
“CITGO has a unique connection to CAP’s history,” said Rafael Gómez, vice president of government and public affairs with CITGO. “CAP’s World War II members performed missions that were not only vital to the war effort but also vital to CITGO, which was Cities Service at that time.”
“Our connection to CAP goes beyond the foundation laid during World War II,” he added. “Civil Air Patrol’s Louisiana Wing and the local Lake Charles Composite Squadron have served CITGO and the petrochemical industry as a longstanding air support provider. Since both organizations emphasize community service, I am certain our relationship will continue as we work together for the good of the community.”
On Oct. 16, CAP participated in CITGO’s 70th anniversary celebration at the company’s Lake Charles Manufacturing Complex in Sulphur, Louisiana. In addition to celebrating the accomplishments of its operations, the event honored CITGO retirees who served during World War II. Vintage CAP memorabilia was on display, including items associated with Coastal Patrol Base 9 at Grand Isle, Louisiana. capvolunteernow.com gocivilairpatrol.com capmembers.com
“CAP aircraft are a part of CITGO’s emergency action plan that enables CITGO emergency managers to view aerial imagery from Civil Air Patrol aircraft,” said CAP National Commander Maj. Gen. Joe Vazquez. “Following Hurricane Rita, CAP aircraft few numerous disaster assessment sorties over the CITGO refinery, which were provided to the Air Force and state and local emergency officials. CITGO also did its part in providing assets to fuel Southwest Louisiana’s recovery following Hurricane Rita.”
CAP’s highest-profile activity during World War II was its coastal patrols. Eventually, CAP established 21 coastal patrol bases that extended from Maine to the Texas-Mexico border. Coastal Patrol Base 9 at Grand Isle was activated on June 25, 1942.
All told, the coastal patrols flew 24 million miles to safeguard oil tankers and other merchant traffic from German U-boat attacks. For 18 months, from March 1942 to August 1943, CAP members flew over the waters of the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico for that purpose, reporting 173 sightings of suspected submarines and occasionally attacking suspected submarines with small demolition bombs.
CAP’s more than 200,000 founding members were volunteers, a legacy of service that continues to this day. CAP’s World War II members flew their own airplanes at their own expense and at great peril, with little or no safety measures to fall back on. A total of 65 CAP members died in service to the nation, and though this rich history of service is well-documented, those who stepped up to protect the home front were never recognized … until now. Fewer than 120 of these men and women are still alive.
From Louisiana, the families of the late Trent Lane of Baker and the late Emma Moss of New Orleans will receive a replica Congressional Gold Medal in honor of their loved ones’ CAP World War II service.
Visit http://www.capgoldmedal.com for more information about CAP’s Congressional Gold Medal or to register a CAP World War II veteran for the award.
Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with 60,000 members nationwide, operating a fleet of 550 aircraft. CAP, in its Air Force auxiliary role, performs about 85 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 70 lives annually. Its unpaid professionals also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. The members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to more than 25,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet programs. Performing missions for America for over 70 years, CAP will soon receive the Congressional Gold Medal in honor of the heroic efforts of its World War II veterans. CAP also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans. Visit http://www.gocivilairpatrol.com and http://www.capvolunteernow.com for more information.
Contact info: Julie DeBardelaben – email@example.com – 334-953-7748, ext. 250; 334-549-2224 (mobile) Steve Cox – firstname.lastname@example.org – 334-953-7748, ext. 251; 334-296-5881 (mobile)
Gov. Terry E. Branstad orders flags at half-staff on Monday to honor World War II Airman returning home after nearly 70 years
Gov. Terry E. Branstad orders flags at half-staff on Monday to honor World War II Airman returning home after nearly 70 years
Staff Sgt. Maurice L. Fevold to be laid to rest Monday at Blossom Hill Cemetery in Badger, Iowa
(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry Branstad has ordered flags to be flown at half-staff in Iowa from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, October 20, 2014, in honor of Staff Sgt. Maurice L. Fevold, formerly of Badger/Eagle Grove, Iowa.
The Governor’s directive applies to all U.S. and state flags under the control of the state. H.R. 692, signed in 2007, requires federal government agencies in the state to comply with the Governor’s Executive Order that the U.S. flag be flown at half-staff in the event of the death of a member of the Armed Forces.
Flags will be at half-staff on the State Capitol Building and on flag displays in the Capitol Complex, and upon all public buildings, grounds, and facilities throughout the state. Individuals, businesses, schools, municipalities, counties and other government subdivisions are encouraged to fly the flag at half-staff for the same length of time as a sign of respect.
Fevold, a 21-year old Badger/Eagle Grove, Iowa native was assigned to the 599th Bomber Squadron, 397th Bomber Group (Medium), U.S. Army Air Corps. On Dec. 23, 1944, the first day of aviation operations for the Battle of the Bulge, Fevold, along with five other crew members, took off from Saint Quentin, France onboard a B-26G Marauder bomber aircraft to attack an enemy-held railroad bridge in Eller, Germany. Their aircraft was shot down by enemy anti-aircraft fire near Seffern, Germany, which borders Belgium. A total of 10 U.S. aircraft were recorded as lost in the vicinity of Seffern during this specific mission.
Fevold, the aircraft’s armorer-gunner, and the entire crew were officially declared deceased on Dec. 23, 1944, but their remains were never recovered. In November 2006, the Joint Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Accounting Command – Central Identification Laboratory (JPAC) received information of a possible aircraft crash site near Allmuthen, Belgium. In March 2007, a JPAC Investigation Team surveyed the purported crash site, where human remains and physical evidence were recovered in 2012 by JPAC personnel.
In 2014, JPAC’s Research and Analysis Group concluded a historical association existed between the artifacts and human remains recovered at the Belgium excavation site and Missing Air Crew Report #11985 from World War II. Mitochondrial DNA testing positively identified the remains as belonging to Fevold and other crew members from the missing aircraft.
Maurice Fevold was born Feb. 21, 1923 near Badger, Iowa to John and Carrie (Thorson) Fevold. He grew up in the Badger/Eagle Grove, Iowa area and was a 1941 graduate of Eagle Grove High School.
Fevold enlisted in the U.S. Army on April 12, 1943, and transferred into the U.S. Army Air Corps in June 1943. Fevold attended armament training at Lowry Field, Colo., aerial training at Ft. Myers, Fla., and then B-26 flight training at Barksdale Field, La. He left the U.S. for duty in the European theater in April 1944 and was assigned to the 599th Bomber Squadron, 397th Bomber Group, Medium, U.S. Army Air Corps.
His military awards and honors include the Purple Heart (posthumous), Air Medal (11 awards), Army Good Conduct Medal (posthumous), European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal (with one silver service star), World War II Victory Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, and Enlisted Aircrew Member Wings.
He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Jeanette Prime. He is survived by great nephews and great nieces: William Bushman of Missouri; Robert Sweeney of Hawaii; Michael Sweeney of Washington; Vicki Riley of Iowa; and Shelly Everheart.
Visitation will be held on Sunday, Oct. 19 from 5-7 p.m. at Bruce Funeral Home, 923 1st Ave. South, Fort Dodge, Iowa. A memorial service will be held on Monday, Oct. 20 at 2 p.m. at Bruce Funeral Home, followed by interment at the Blossom Hill Cemetery, Badger, Iowa (located northeast of Badger on 110th St. and Racine Ave.), with full military honors provided by the Iowa National Guard. The public is welcome to attend the visitation, funeral, and graveside service.
Memorial contributions may be directed to the family in care of Bruce Funeral Home, 923 1st Ave. South, Fort Dodge, Iowa 50501. Contact the funeral home with any questions at 515-576-5117.
- Media Information for Memorial Service –
The family of Staff Sgt. Maurice Fevold asks that the dignity of his memorial and graveside service be respected. Media may shoot photos and video and record audio at the memorial and graveside services. Media point of contact at the funeral is Col. Greg Hapgood cell 515-971-6385.
For questions concerning this release as well as additional information about the operations, training, and activities of the Iowa Army and Air National Guard, please contact Col. Greg Hapgood, Iowa National Guard Public Affairs Officer by email at email@example.com or (515) 252-4582 (office) or (515) 971-6385 (cell), or contact Master Sgt. Duff E. McFadden at firstname.lastname@example.org or (515) 252-4666 (office), or (515) 480-7647 (cell).