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West Virginia Wing presents Congressional Gold Medal replicas to WWII recipients

Charleston, W.Va. – Congressional Gold Medal replicas were presented to West Virginia recipients (four living and two deceased) for their service to our nation in the Civil Air Patrol during World War II at a ceremony May 30, 2015.

The ceremony took place inside the West Virginia Culture Center in Charleston, W.Va. Congressman Evan Jenkins (R-WV 3rd District) presented the medals to the recipients.

Civil Air Patrol was presented on Dec. 10, 2014 the Congressional Gold Medal on Capitol Hill in honor of its founding members’ role in protecting the homeland against deadly German U-boat attacks during World War II, and carrying out other vital wartime domestic missions.

About 40 living World War II members and their relatives as well as the families of deceased members were in attendance. Some 200,000 men, women and teenagers from all walks of life – including stars of the silver screen and successful businessmen, future Tuskegee Airmen and aspiring pilots – participated in CAP during the war years, largely without recognition or reward. The organization was founded Dec. 1, 1941, six days before Pearl Harbor.

The medals were given to Bobby R. Anderson, Hurricane, WV; Omar Crim Charleston, WV; Charles A. Hanshew Martinsburg, WV; Donald E. Harding Franklin, WV; A. Nelson Paden Huntington, WV and Charles Swaim Falling Waters, WV  Lt Col Omar Crim's medal was presented posthumously as he passed in 1987. It will be on dislpay at the State Musuem.

The West Virginia Wing of Civil Air Patrol has 13 units in the state. It is commanded by Col Paul G. McCroskey, II.

Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with 61,000 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 80 lives annually. Its volunteers 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 26,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet programs. CAP received the World Peace Prize in 2011 and has been performing missions for America for 71 years. CAP also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans. Visit www.gocivilairpatrol.com or www.capvolunteernow.com for more information.

Congressional Gold Medal Recipients

From left to right Charles Swaim, Charles Hanshew, Donald Harding, Mrs. Alfred Paden receiving for Alfred Paden, Bobby Anderson.