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CAP NHJ Volume 2, Issue 3, JUL-SEP 2015.pdf

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…a journal of
CAP history,
feature articles,
scholarly works,
and stories of

CAP National Historical Journal
Volume II, Issue III: JUL-SEP 2015

The Civil Air Patrol National Historical Journal is published quarterly by professional volunteer staff. As academic historians by trade,
we recognize the demand for quality publications reflecting a variety of interests to Civil Air Patrol readers, and strive to present the
best in feature and thought provoking articles. We trust you will enjoy what the e-journal has to offer and will consider contributing
to the mission of our staff in providing a forum for the great traditions of our organization.

national staff. Not every communication, decision before

History in Gold: Designing the
Civil Air Patrol Congressional
Gold Medal

or during the design process is documented here. This
article is not intended as a complete history of every
aspect of the CAP CGM effort, nor a discussion of the

Col Frank Blazich, Jr., PhD, CAP, Chief Historian

U.S. Mint’s actions by its staff or artists, for whom I


neither interacted with nor were privileged to work with.

he presentation of the Congressional Gold Medal
(CGM) to the World War II members of the Civil

Air Patrol (CAP) represented a symbolic homage to the
organization’s unusual contributions in World War II. The
medal, bestowed by Congress, is the country’s highest
expression of national appreciation for distinguished
achievements and contributions. Furthermore, the
medal’s presentation proved a culmination of years of
hard work by members of the CAP, Congress, and
countless staff, civil servants, and Americans in state and
federal government. The gold medal itself, ultimately

Rather, the intention here is to provide a window into
how the CAP provided the U.S. Mint with input on the
medal’s design and help explain where certain design
elements on the medal originated. The source base
relies predominantly on my email correspondence
between concerned parties, my memory, and select
public records. Constructive criticism and feedback from
some of the individuals mentioned in this email clarified
several statements and details, but otherwise the
opinions and commentary are mine alone.

designed by the United States Mint and cast in 0.999
pure 24-karat gold, visually provides a story about the
men and women who volunteered and joined the CAP
between December 7, 1941 and September 2, 1945.

The process for the CAP CGM began in 2009 when John
Swain, CAP’s Director of Government Relations,
proposed the legislation to Senator Thomas R. Harkin of
Iowa and Mr. Don Rowland, CAP’s Chief Operating

This story is told from the perspective of myself, privy to
aspects of the design process as a member of the

Officer. On April 21, 2010 during the second session of
the 111th Congress, Senator Harkin, accompanied by

Senator Daniel K. Inouye of Hawaii and Senator Michael

and women dutifully patrolled our air space, searched

D. Crapo of Idaho, introduced in the Senate S.3237, a bill

for submarines off our coasts and provided our nation

“to award a Congressional Gold Medal to the World War

with whatever they were asked to give. They made the

II members of the Civil Air Patrol.” Months later on July

same sacrifices I and thousands of uniformed armed

26, Representative Robert Filner of California introduced

service members made during that historic conflict. They

an identical bill in the House, H.R. 5859. Both bills

deserve our praise and should be honored for their

authorized the awarding of a single gold medal “of


appropriate design,” struck by the Secretary of the






Swain drafted the legislation, and directed the effort

inscriptions to be determined by the Secretary,” and

with CAP National Headquarters and in the corridors of

that the Smithsonian Institution would receive the gold

Congress in Washington, DC to garner co-sponsorship

medal to be displayed as appropriate and made available

for both bills. As he explained in CAP’s news magazine

for research. Bronze duplicates would be also struck and

Volunteer to all readers, “Your help is essential if CAP is

be available for purchase.1 In a busy legislative session,

ever to receive a Congressional Gold Medal. Present-day

Senator Harkin’s bill received four cosponsors and

CAP members, in addition to World War II members,

Representative Filner two but the 111th Congress ended

their families and friends, all need to contact their

before either bill could receive a necessary two-thirds of

senators and representatives to request they co-sponsor

cosponsors in the House and Senate.2

legislation that would make this quest a reality.”5 In


order to obtain the necessary two-thirds of the House

lthough these first bills did not receive enough

and Senate membership to co-sponsor the bills, Swain

cosponsors in the 111th Congress, Senator Harkin

recommended that CAP members write, email, visit, or

and Representative Filner reintroduced the legislation in

call their congressional delegation requesting they co-

the 112th Congress. Representative Filner introduced

sponsor the bills. Of additional importance, Swain

H.R. 719 in the House on February 15, 2011 while Harkin

worked with National Headquarters to launch a digital

introduced his bill, renamed S.418, on February 28 with

database of living or deceased CAP members to help

the co-sponsorship of Senators Crapo, Inouye, Olympia J.

identify those eligible for recognition.6

Snowe of Maine, Ronald L. Wyden of Oregon, and Mark
P. Begich of Alaska.3 Both bills continued a campaign to
honor CAP’s World War II members in time for the
organization’s 70th anniversary in December 2011.


teadily throughout 2011 into the second session of
2012, the bills gained co-sponsors. Triumphantly,

S.418 reached 85 co-sponsors on May 8, 2012 and two

Senator Inouye, a disabled combat veteran of the famed

days later Senator Harkin requested that the Senate

442nd Regimental Combat Team and recipient of the

consider approval of the bill.7 In his remarks, the senator

Medal of Honor, commented on the CAP’s service,

spoke of CAP’s World War II record, of the sacrifices of

noting how “During World War II, these courageous men

its men and women and highlighted several of CAP’s

famous members. In closing Harkin succinctly stated the

Staff & Acknowledgements

purpose behind the bill declaring “This Congressional

National Commander
Maj Gen Joseph R. Vazquez

Gold Medal will ensure that this story is told over and
over again for future generations, and it recognizes CAP

Chief Historian
Col Frank A. Blazich Jr.

and its World War II members for their critically
important service to our nation.”

National Historical Editor
Lt Col Richard B. Mulanax

After his remarks, the bill passed with unanimous

National Historical Journal Editor
Capt Kurt Efinger


approval in the Senate. At this point, the House bill, H.R.
719, stood at 179 cosponsors, over halfway to achieving
the 290 cosponsors necessary to guarantee a vote and

These bills were once more drafted by Swain with minor

passage of the legislation in the House. By November,

edits by Congressional staff and by myself and the CAP

this number increased to 205 cosponsors but the 112th

National History Program staff. Also, Swain reinvigorated

Congress ended before further support could be


obtained for the House bill.9 Nonetheless, the effort

delegations and urge their senators and representatives



to cosponsor the CAP CGM legislation. Within weeks,

demonstrating both increased and continued support

CAP’s annual Legislative Day in Congress promoted both

for a CAP CGM, and validating CAP’s execution of its

bills, the results of which saw large increases in

CGM campaign.

cosponsors in the ensuing weeks. Momentum, building









off the previous two CAP CGM efforts, gave both bills a


ith the opening of the 113th Congress, the CAP

strong start in the first session of the 113th Congress.

CGM effort returned confident of passage. In

Weeks later on May 20, S.309 passed under unanimous

the first session on February 13, 2013, Senator Harkin

consent in a voice vote after swiftly receiving the co-

introduced the CAP Congressional Gold Medal bill, now

sponsorship of 83 senators.12

named S.309, in the Senate chamber.10 An identical bill
was introduced two days later in the House by
Representative Michael McCaul of Texas.11


y involvement with the CAP CGM effort at the
national level began in late April 2013 when I

became the interim CAP National Historian. On May 21,

Editor's Note: The Civil air Patrol National
Historical Journal continues to receive quality
submissions from across the CAP community,
and appreciates the continued support of its
members. Please adhere to the guidelines
specified in the journal with regard to format,
content, and review.

one day after S.309 passed in the Senate, Swain emailed
me asking for my help in assembling a package to
provide the Mint concerning the medal design. The
Mint’s artists would require photographs, art, and words
to work with for the obverse and reverse medal designs.


In regards to the design, Swain provided his initial

with the aircraft clearly carrying a bomb.” Another

thoughts. The obverse would feature two or three CAP

suggestion was to use the CAP World War II pilot wings

members – male and female –in appropriate flight gear.

and incorporate the CAP shoulder patch with “US”

The reverse would be “a depiction of our aircraft or

prominently featured on the reverse.

action reflective of what we did during the war.”


fter the initial emails of May 2013, work on the
medal design ceased for roughly a year. In the

meantime, work for myself revolved around vetting the
eligibility of current and former CAP members for the
CAP CGM database. Beginning on June 7 and continuing
into the late hours of December 9, 2014, I went
methodically through the database, verifying entrants,
Figure 1. Women Airforce Service Pilots Congressional Gold
Medal. Source: U.S. Mint.

Furthering his message, Swain enclosed images of the
Congressional gold medals designed for the Tuskegee

organizing records, and working to develop subdatabases for Swain and National Headquarters to use in
contacting World War II members for public affairs
purposes. Through this work on the database I became

Airmen, the Women Airforce
Service Pilots (WASP), and the





Astronaut John Glenn. Swain








volunteers flying combat and
humanitarian missions at a
time of great need.”

In my reply of May 21, 2013, I
suggested a Stinson Voyager
or Reliant aircraft on the
reverse, possibly “a pair of Figures 2 and 3. Two images from 1942 and 1943 provided




every single World War II CAP
member or their families and
the stories of their service in
CAP. While spreadsheets and
digital databases can provide
periods of tedium, the human



proved a joyous element of this
public history work.





themselves in 2014. On March
30, 2014, I emailed Swain about

for the concept art. The bottom image of the tanker was the medal design, asking if he
the primary model for the tanker depicted on the finished would like some concept art to
ship steaming beneath them, CAP CGM. Source: (top) Charles Small family, Richmond, VA
and CAP National History Program (bottom).
provide to the Mint. We both

aircraft on patrol with a Liberty


agreed that we needed a professional graphic artist to

enthusiastic approval, I formally emailed him on May 16,

translate our ideas into a viable concept design to

providing both artwork and Swain’s guidance from May

provide the Mint. Swain brought in John Salvador,

2013. In addition, Zubiate came over to my apartment

Senior Director, CAP National Headquarters, to listen in

one evening and I discussed ideas and shared books,

on the conversation, but Swain was not aware of

photographs, graphics, and artwork for the medal. We

anyone who could help with the concept design.

also discussed other literature about the CAP during


World War II to help further inspire his design work,
vents began to accelerate. By May 2014, both
pieces of legislation approached the critical

number of cosponsors to ensure passage into law. On
May 7, Swain emailed Salvador and me that Senator
Harkin’s office desired as much work on the CAP CGM as

which remained on hold until the legislation passed.


ortunately, we did not have long to wait. On May
17, Swain received word that House Majority

Leader John Boehner of Ohio had scheduled a vote on

possible “within the next three weeks” in order to

S.309, together with six other CGM bills (all House

“ensure that the U.S. Mint can quickly complete the

legislation) on May 19. Previously, the House leadership

design and strike the medal as soon as possible.” I

had informed CAP that they only approved two CGM

replied that the WASP CGM left the strong impression of

bills per year, which delayed the bill for a year since it

motion with basic elements of operation and offered

was ready for a vote in the period of May-June 2013.

that a two-ship formation, perhaps a Fairchild 24 and a

That Monday, the legislation passed in the House by

Stinson Voyager 10A or Reliant juxtaposed flying over

voice vote after 5:00 p.m., with the House deciding to

water, “or perhaps a skyline behind and the aircraft

vote on the Senate version of the bill. After the vote, the

above at an angle, or perhaps the aircraft flying over a

bill headed to the White House for President Barack

tanker or cargo ship might work best.”

Obama’s signature.13

Knowing a professional graphic artist with whom I had
previously worked, I offered to approach him to sketch
out the proposed design. For the purpose of this task, I
suggested Mr. Phil Zubiate of Oxnard, California, a
professionally-trained artist skilled in digital and colored
pencil work, to produce some concept art. Salvador and
Swain gave me the go-ahead to approach Zubiate if he
could perform the work for a nominal fee, produce the
designs quickly, and modify the designs as requested at
least once. Within days, I spoke to Zubiate at work and
pitched the ideas and requirements to him. With his

Letters to the Editor
The Editor at the CAP NHJ welcomes your
comments and feedback. Please submit letters for
review by emailing the editor at the address
All comments will be reviewed by the entire editorial
staff prior to publication. The CAP NHJ Editorial Staff
reserves the right to refuse publication to any
member based on the content of the letter.
CAP members are encouraged to maintain a
professional and collegial attitude when submitting

Figure 4. Signature page of S. 309 as signed by President Barack Obama, making the Civil Air Patrol Congressional Gold
Medal law. Source: author.


With the legislation all but law, I emailed
Zubiate that evening at 7:29 and asked him
to commence the rough concept art for the
Civil Air Patrol Gold Medal design. The
original concept art for the medal evolved in
both great leaps and subtle shifts. By May
23, Zubiate sent me his first attempt.
Admitting the design “may be a little to [sic]
much,” the initial edits sent back to him
consisted largely of simplification of the
design by removing small items and
changing out the graphics used. Following
corrections, Zubiate produced new reverse

Figure 6. Revised draft of concept obverse and three reverse variations.
Source: author.

and obverse designs on May 27.
five active duty insignia displayed; the three reverses
varied from each other through minor differences in the
location of the aircraft or removal of the tanker.


egarding the initial concept art, the overarching
theme was to simplify the design. Swain noted the

obverse was extremely busy with details and requested
reducing the size of the pilot wings and reducing the
Figure 5. First draft of CAP CGM as designed by Phil Zubiate.
Source: author.

profiles to one male and female pilot, with the male in
“visible flight gear.” Of the three reverse images,

Using my limited skills with Adobe Photoshop, I modified

Salvador and Swain both opted for the second version,

these designs slightly by reordering some of the design

particularly by dropping the parade formation to allow

elements and sent it back to Zubiate requesting a few

an increase in the size of the aircraft (with coastal patrol

small changes. The result was one solid obverse and

roundel instead of inland roundel), tanker, and active

three slightly different reverse designs which were

duty insignia. Agreeing with all edits, I forwarded these

forwarded on to Salvador and Swain. The obverse

on to Zubiate for his next edition. Upon receiving

featured three profiles of a sergeant, pilot officer, and

updates on May 31, the day after President Obama

female pilot with a pair of pilot wings. All three reverses

signed the CAP CGM legislation into law, it became clear

included a squadron in parade formation with a pair of

that Zubiate was not as wedded to the issue of

Stinson Voyager 10A aircraft escorting a tanker and the

simplification as desired by Swain, Salvador, and

The following day, I summarized where the three of us

“1941 – 1945” in accordance with other CGMs. The

currently stood on the design, mainly two profiles on the

reverse would feature a script with “ACT OF CONGRESS

obverse, one male in flying gear and one female, and on


the reverse to remove the parade formation, enlarge the


active duty patches and depict coastal patrol aircraft

MISSIONS.” The primary scene on the reverse would

over a tanker.

involve a pair of aircraft, either Fairchild 24s or Stinson






Voyager 10As, escorting an oil tanker. After roughly 30
Unfortunately, at this

minutes, with the three of us in agreement on the core

point the concept

design, the call concluded.



began to suffer from

Over the following



days, Swain and I

digital development.

exchanged a series


of image files with




instantaneous ability


to exchange views











work best for the

Figures 7-10. Imagery for revised and I could not share
concept. Source (7): National Archives. our thoughts and

concept design in

opinions of the design quickly enough. By the evening of

the conference call.

June 1,

the three CAP members found ourselves at an

impasse. We all concluded a teleconference would be
best course of action.


Figure 8. Source: CAP National
History Program.


fter the collaborative dust settled, the concept art
came together at last. While in an airport traveling

back to California, I used my limited digital image editing
The conference call commenced at June 2, 2014 around

skills to put together a reserve image incorporating all

12:30 p.m. The three of us agreed that the front of the

the agreed upon design elements. One item I added was

medal would depict a male coastal patrol pilot in flight

to change the ship number painted on the Stinson

gear (particularly with a B-3 or B-4 “Mae West” life vest)

Voyager’s empennage to “65” in commemoration of the

together with a female CAP member, in this case using a

65 members of CAP lost during the war. The idea came

profile of Willa Brown. Salvador requested the profile of

from the Tuskegee Airmen’s medal, which used

an aircraft on the obverse. All parties agreed to use the

squadron numbers on the profiles of aircraft flown

profile of a Fairchild 24 or a Stinson Voyager. The

during the war. I then emailed Zubiate the rough reverse

obverse would feature the script “CIVIL AIR PATROL” and

concept image detailing all the requested changes.

Figure 9. Source: Palm Beach County, (Florida)
Historical Society.


Figure 11. Author’s rough airport sketch of the
reverse incorporating the elements agreed upon
in the conference call. Source: author.


arrived on June
12 with two
variants on the


with an aircraft
profile at the
Figure 10. Source: author.



with the CAP
roundel) and the polished reverse I had cobbled
together at the airport. One sticking point involved
removing a pair of glasses from the image of the male
pilot used for the obverse, but Salvador and I concluded
the Mint would understand CAP’s wishes and the
request to remove the glasses. Glasses aside, Salvador,
Rowland, and Swain approved the concept design and
from here CAP at least had a foundation for working
with the U.S. Mint towards the final artwork.

Figure 12. Finalized CAP CGM concept art
provided to U.S. Mint. Source: author.



few days later, the development process with the

2. The actual design process would begin at or

Mint commenced. On June 18, Swain contacted

around July 8 with a meeting or teleconference

Rowland, Salvador, and I, noting he had spoken with the

between the CAP CGM team, medal designers

Director of Design Management for the U.S. Mint to set

and the Citizen’s Coinage Advisory Committee

up an initial design meeting with CAP. This initial

(CCAC). In addition to the imagery requested by

meeting was accelerated thanks to the efforts of Senator

Swain on June 25, he provided the Mint with

Harkin’s office to move the presentation date as forward

additional World War II CAP photographs and

as possible in regards to the age of CAP’s surviving World

the CAP concept art to be used by the medal

War II members.

designers. Notably, the Mint’s designers, as
Swain was told during the meeting, “do not see

A week later on Thursday, June 26, Swain had his initial

the actual concept graphic but [will] have a

meeting with the Mint’s project manager. A day prior, he

written description of it” and “have a great deal

had contacted me and requested digital imagery of

of freedom to improve or change the concept.”

various World War II CAP symbols, notably the standard
and coastal patrol roundels, 1942-1944 shoulder patch,

3. In addition to the CCAC, the U.S. Commission

and five active duty patches, which I readily provided

of Fine Arts would also have a say in the designs


forwarded to the Secretary of the Treasury for
final approval.

CAP’s initial meeting with the Mint provided the
framework for the road ahead. In just under two hours,

4. The design process was roughly estimated at

Swain met with the Mint’s design division director, the

six months, but the Mint would speed up the

CAP CGM project manager, and the Mint’s legislative

process as much as possible and believed a

liaison and legal counsel. In a lengthy and thorough

design would be minted by early 2015.

summation of the meeting, Swain highlighted several
things the Mint staff told CAP:

5. Following the initial design work, CAP would
receive a portfolio of multiple obverse and

1. The Mint was currently working on three CGM

reverse designs of the proposed medal, and


have an opportunity for suggestions and




American Fighter Aces, and CAP), with three


more designs on the immediate horizon.
6. The Mint said for a CGM honoring a group of
individuals, no one specific person could be
depicted, so any artwork would have to
represent generic or nonspecific individuals.

The Mint needed clarification on a few issues. The Mint

The design process by the Mint commenced on July 8.

legal counsel inquired about the official status of CAP’s

That same day, the CCAC met to review and discuss the

World War II aircraft, including asking whether during

design concept for the CAP CGM with members of the

the war they were owned by civilians, the government,

U.S. Mint and Swain. Swain's presentation, not a

and/or how the government had control over them and

generalized meeting discussion, emphasized several key

their usage. The fact that CAP was able to resolve this

points including CAP's value to the nation’s war effort

issue had a major impact on the design of the CGM.

and defense.

Legal counsel also required written permission from CAP
to use any of the corporation’s World War II symbols.
Swain requested copies of artwork depicting CAP aircraft
during World War II, and articles regarding CAP’s World


he presentation was designed and executed to get
across key points and values CAP wanted

represented in the CGM design. The CAP roundel was

War II history to provide the designers, all of which were

seen as of “particular interest for inclusion as either a

provided in the coming days.15

primary device or as a privy mark.” Furthermore, the

Call for Submissions

members present stated “that simplicity would need to

The Civil Air Patrol National Historical Journal (NHJ)
welcomes articles, essays, and commentaries not
exceeding 2,000 words on any topic relating to the history
of the Civil Air Patrol, or military/civilian aviation history.
CAP’s history extends to the present day, and the NHJ
seeks accounts of on-going activities and missions, as well
as those of earlier years.

be a key aspect of what they foresaw as quality designs,

All historiographical works and essays must be submitted
in Chicago Manual of Style (CMS), or they will be rejected
unless otherwise permitted. We encourage authors to
submit digital photographs (minimal resolution of 300 dots
per inch) and illustrations for publication. All content should
be the work of the author or open source. Adjustments to
pixel saturation, color and size will be made according to
the editorials staff’s recommendations. Please note that
when submitted to the editor at the Civil Air Patrol National
Historical Journal, all works and related media are
released from copyright infringements if published.
Editorial changes are at the sole discretion of the editorial
staff, but will be discussed with the author prior to
publication, and require a signed release from the author.
The CAP NHJ editorial staff reserves the right to
refuse any work submitted. All submissions must be
sent as MS Word attachments and mailed to the
editor at

as the CAP’s mission had too many different aspects to
be literally incorporated into the medal.”16

Days later, CAP received word from the Mint that
Speaker of the House John Boehner’s office had notified
them that the CAP CGM presentation was tentatively
scheduled at the Capitol for December 10, 2014. With
this date set, the design process would have to be
accelerated. For the next few weeks, the Mint’s
designers continued their work.

On July 15, CAP provided legal permission to use
assorted CAP World War II symbols and insignia for the
medal design. The Mint also requested higher-resolution
copies of assorted CAP images found online by the
designers, notably of aircraft engines and CAP


found myself pondering during this process was the
slogan “civilian volunteers who flew combat and
humanitarian missions.” I suggested changing “combat”
to “armed” to clarify the depicting of coastal patrol
aircraft, but also out of recognition of the coastal patrol
focus on deterring attacks and protecting merchant

In regards to the aircraft attitudes and details, Swain
requested I bring Lt Col Sean Neal, the CAP National
History Program’s Director of Outreach, into the
Figure 13. Some of the CAP World War II insignia provided to
the U.S. Mint. The active duty patches, clockwise from the top
left, are coastal patrol, southern liaison patrol, forest patrol,
missing aircraft search, and courier. The roundels on the left,
top to bottom, are the standard CAP roundel / shoulder patch,
the 1942-1944 shoulder patch, and the coastal patrol roundel.
Source: author, with active duty patches recreated by CAP
Captain Erik Koglin, Tennessee Wing.


discussion. Swain and I agreed that we needed to
provide the Mint’s designers with line drawings of
aircraft and bombs to fine tune the artwork, and Neal
helped locate such drawings of a Fairchild 24 for use.
Neal’s comments proved extremely valuable to Swain
and me notably in having another set of eyes to catch

n August 5, the Mint provided the first concept

details and omissions that we may have had missed.

art for the CAP CGM obverse and reverse,

totaling sixteen different obverse and thirteen reverse

By August 11, with input provided by Salvador, Rowland,

designs for review and commentary on. An initial issue

and Neal, Swain submitted to the Mint CAP’s comments

noted in these designs was the incorporation of

on the initial round of designs. CAP preferred the

anachronistic or contemporary symbolism or aircraft in

second, third, fifth, seventh, ninth, and fifteenth obverse

the artwork. Swain requested that Rowland and Salvador

and first, fourth, and fifth reverse designs, albeit with

provide their ranking of preference for the designs,

requested modifications (see endnote to observe all the

while he and I collaborated on documenting detailed

designs).17 On August 21, the Mint provided CAP with a

comments for every design. On the night of August 6,

revised portfolio of designs. This incorporated the

Swain and I went over the points of each and every

revisions submitted by Swain on August 11, removed

design for over three hours, providing the Mint with

two of the previous designs, and included a few new

numerous corrections and comments on uniform

options. On September 12, Swain requested that

accuracy, aircraft layout, insignia, and even the proper

Salvador and I provide him with our top three choices for

rendering of salutes! Swain and I concluded that we

the obverse and reverse designs in preparation for the

preferred the fifth, seventh, and ninth obverse designs,

Commission of Fine Arts and CCAC meetings scheduled

and the first and fifth reverse designs. One item that I

for the following week.

Figure 14. U.S. Mint CAP CGM Obverse
Design 7, August 2014. Source: U.S. Mint.

Figure 15. U.S. Mint CAP CGM Obverse Design 5, August
2014. Source: U.S. Mint.

Figure 16. U.S. Mint CAP CGM Obverse
Design 9, August 2014. Source: U.S. Mint.


Figure 17. U.S. Mint CAP CGM Reverse Design 1,
August 2014. Source: U.S. Mint.

Figure 18. U.S. Mint CAP CGM
Reverse Design 5, August 2014. Source: U.S. Mint.



either meeting produced an agreement in

second, and fifteenth obverses and third and ninth

accordance with the original desires of CAP

reverses.19 Despite the materials gathered by CAP for

regarding the design. The Commission met on

the Mint and detailed history briefings by Swain on the

September 18. Swain attended and advised the

problems with particular details and designs, the CCAC

commissioners on CAP’s World War II history, notably

opted to pursue the discussion without consulting this

the inclusion of African Americans and the training of

information. In the wake of the two meetings, Swain

women in aspects of aviation. The commissioners

ardently and meticulously worked with the Mint to

focused in on the issues of gender and race and opted

ensure that the second obverse and fourth reverse

for the fifteenth obverse design and the fourth reverse

designs were known to be the preferred designs by the

design.18 On the afternoon of September 23, the CCAC

CAP and its membership. This work ensured that the

meeting proved to be even more frustrating regarding

CCAC did not bypass the desires of the CAP by

the designs. After receiving an overview presentation of

circumventing the corporation in its deliberations with

the design details of the obverse and reverse designs,

the Mint or the Secretary of the Treasury without

the committee members culled the designs to debate

causing problems or other issues. Swain recommended

their merits.

to the Mint that the second obverse and fourth reverse
designs be used, albeit with minor changes; these two

The discussion by the members revealed a dearth of

designs also received the approval of CAP’s new national


commander, Major General Joseph R. Vazquez.






advocating for ethnic diversity claimed Bessie Coleman
served in the CAP (she died in 1926). Another claimed to

With the designs selected by the Secretary of the

be “disturbed” because the design featured “such young

Treasury on 24 September, the final opportunity for

people” and they desired “older people that I believe

revisions took place. Of particular importance was

would have been more in keeping with the folks that

ensuring the accuracy of the Stinson Voyager 10A on the

would have been owning these airplanes and flying

obverse and Neal made a critical observation of the

them.” Continuing the devolution, a simplistic design

image by noting the absence of a tail wheel, remarking

devoid of CAP heraldry featuring a pair of wings

how this absence would “be an expensive aircraft to

emanating from telescope was spoken of favorably for


its clarity: “It’s so clear. The wings, they are up in the air.
The telescope there. That’s their job, to look. It’s just a

An array of images of period and contemporary Voyager

clean, clear, concise direct design.”

10A aircraft was provided to the Mint’s artists with
imagery for the Stinson’s profile and lines. With these

After the discussion the committee members voted to

details provided at the end of September, my design

score the designs from 0 to 3 points, with the committee

input ceased and as before I continued vetting

choosing, in order of preference, the fourteenth,

individuals submitted to the CAP CGM database.

On November 14, Swain sent me the revised artwork
from the Mint which incorporated some but not all of
the suggestions made over the many months. When
Speaker of the House John Boehner presented the
actual CAP CGM to former Representative of New York
Lester L. Wolff – a member of the New York Wing in
World War II and cofounder of the Congressional
Squadron – and Major General Vazquez in the Capitol in
an elaborate presentation ceremony on December 10,
the black and white drawings of the designs could be
seen radiating in pure gold.

Figures 19 and 20. Former Congressman Lester Wolff (top)

Figures 21 and 22. Images of the bronze replica
of the finished CAP CGM, December 2014. The
obverse is the second design favored by the
CCAC. Source: U.S. Mint.

delivering remarks accepting the CAP CGM. Below, (L to R),
Major General Vazquez, former Representative Wolff, Speaker
of the House John R. Boehner of Ohio, Senate Majority leader
Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Representative McCaul, House
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, and Senate
Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada at the actual
presentation of the medal, December 10, 2014. Source: CAP
National Headquarters.


Figure 23. U.S. Mint CAP CGM Obverse Design
15, September 2014. Source: U.S. Mint.

Figure 24. U.S. Mint CAP CGM Reverse Design
15, September 2014. Source: U.S. Mint.

Figure 25. U.S. Mint CAP CGM Reverse Design
14, September 2014. Source: U.S. Mint.

Figure 26. U.S. Mint CAP CGM Reverse Design 3,
September 2014. Source: U.S. Mint.



eflecting on the entire CGM effort from the
personal perspective of National Historian, the

Summary of Medal Design Elements

entire effort – legislative, member database, medal

- Male coastal patrol aircrew member wearing a B-3 life vest

design – came together to achieve a tremendous

and holding binoculars, poised to closely observe an object in

success. With its origins in December 1941, and

the distance

legislative effort begun in 2010, the awarding of the

- Female aircrew member wearing a fleece-lined jacket and

medal in December 2014 completed a 73-year journey.
This effort involved numerous individuals, but the spirit
of the effort rested in Senator Harkin, John Swain, the
national staff, and in the countless members of CAP and

flying helmet, typical of the assorted civilian flying
paraphernalia worn by CAP volunteers during the war
- A pair of Stinson Voyager 10A aircraft flying in a typical
dawn/dusk coastal patrol mission escorting an oil tanker
The aircraft are armed with AN-M30 100-pound general

the general public who asked their senators and

purpose demolition bombs

congressmen to cosponsor the legislation.

The coastal patrol roundel (CAP insignia minus the red
propeller) is present on both aircraft

In terms of the actual medal, from CAP’s conceptual

The ship number “65” symbolically represents the 65 CAP

designs and the final minted medal, the U.S. Mint’s

members who died in CAP service during World War II

artists, managers, and staff produced a medal which the

The initials “DW” and “DE” are for designers Donna

corporation can display and admire with pride. Not
counting the script on the obverse or reverse, the medal
features male and female aviator with the male in flight
gear, along with an armed coastal patrol formation

Weaver and Don Everhart
- The 1942 – 1944 CAP shoulder patch worn on the upper left
shoulder sleeve is displayed at the top; the “US” element was
added in July 1942 specifically so coastal patrol personnel

escorting an oil tanker. The medal also depicts both the

would, in the event of capture, be identified as operating

CAP active duty emblems and the ubiquitous World War

under federal jurisdiction and treated as prisoners of war

II era CAP shoulder patch/roundel.

rather than as guerrillas

While not every small detail could be addressed due to

- The Mint artists added the word “HONOR” but otherwise the

the compressed design period in which the Mint had to

description of the medal drafted by Swain with the Blazich edit

create this medal, the end result produced a design

of “combat” to “armed” was used in its entirety

worthy both of the men and women who earned it and
of the nation bestowing it.

- The five CAP active duty patches worn on the left uniform
sleeve cuff are arranged, in order from left to right: coastal
patrol, courier service, forest patrol, missing aircraft search,
and southern liaison patrol

Col Frank A. Blazich, Jr., PhD is the Chief Historian at NHQ,
CAP. Prior to coming to Naval History and Heritage
Command’s Histories Branch, History and Archives Division, he
served as the historian at the U.S. Navy Seabee Museum in
Port Hueneme, CA.

- The officer’s cap device introduced in December 1942 is
positioned at the bottom, from where laurel branches
- The initials “DW” and “MG” are for designers Donna Weaver
and Michael Gaudioso


Figure 27. The finished .999 karat gold Civil Air Patrol Congressional Gold Medal, struck at the Philadelphia
Mint. Source: National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.



To Award a Congressional Gold Medal to the World War II Members of the Civil Air Patrol, S3237, 111th Cong., 2d sess., Congressional Record
156, no. 57, daily ed. (April 21, 2010): S2518; To Award a Congressional Gold Medal to the World War II Members of the Civil Air Patrol, HR 5859,
111th Cong., 2d sess., Congressional Record 156 no. 110, daily ed. (July 26, 2010): H6042.

All Bill Information (Except Text) for S.3237, “Cosponsors,”, (accessed September 26, 2015); All Bill Information (Except Text) for H.R. 5859, “Cosponsors,”, (accessed September 26, 2015).

To Award a Congressional Gold Medal to the World War II Members of the Civil Air Patrol, S418, 112th Cong., 1st sess., Congressional Record
157, no. 29, daily ed. (February 28, 2011): S976; To Award a Congressional Gold Medal to the World War II Members of the Civil Air Patrol, HR
719, 112th Cong., 1st sess., Congressional Record 157 no. 24, daily ed. (February 15, 2011): H922.

CAP press release, “Legislation Introduced to Honor CAP WWII Veterans,” March 1, 2011, (accessed September 26, 2015).

John Swain, “Battle for the Congressional Gold Medal,” Volunteer, January-March 2011, 3.


Ibid., 4.


All Bill Information (Except Text) for S.418, “Cosponsors,”, (accessed September 26, 2015).

Cong. Rec., 112th Cong., 2d sess., 2012, 158, no. 66: S3071-73.


All Bill Information (Except Text) for H.R. 719, “Cosponsors,”, (accessed September 26, 2015).

To Award a Congressional Gold Medal to the World War II Members of the Civil Air Patrol, S309, 113th Cong., 1st sess., Congressional Record
159, no. 23, daily ed. (February 13, 2013): S707.

To Award a Congressional Gold Medal to the World War II Members of the Civil Air Patrol, HR755, 113th Cong., 1st sess., Congressional Record
159, no. 25, daily ed. (February 15, 2013): H594.

Press release from CAP National Headquarters, “CAP Congressional Gold Medal Bill Passes Senate,” May 22, 2013,
(accessed October 3, 2015); All Bill Information (Except Text) for S. 309, “Cosponsors,”, (accessed October 3, 2015).

Press release from CAP National Headquarters, “In Historic Vote, House Approves Congressional Gold Medal for Civil Air Patrol,” May 19, 2014, (accessed June 21, 2015).

CAP press release, “President Signs CAP Congressional Gold Medal bill: Founding members honored for World War II service,” May 30, 2014,

In response to the latter issues, I provided what I had on hand. This included a December 28, 1943 report on the CAP written by National
Headquarters, a 1944 USAAF Inspector General report on the CAP which gave insight into the personnel and actions of the organizations from an
objective standpoint, a monograph by the National Historian Emeritus Colonel Len Blascovich discussing all the CAP artwork displayed at National
Headquarters, and insight into the issue of aircraft ownership. Aside from 288 liaison aircraft transferred from the USAAF to CAP during the latter
half of the war, all CAP aircraft remained privately owned.

Les Peters, “WWII Civil Air Patrol Congressional Gold Medal Design Concepts Discussed,” Coin Update: Daily Coin Collecting News, July 10, 2014,

To view all the artwork by the U.S. Mint, see Mike Unser, “CAP Congressional Gold Medal Design Candidates,”, September 26,
18 Minutes for the Commission of Fine Arts meeting, September 18, 2014,; Thomas E. Luebke to Richard A. Peterson, September 26, 2014,

Transcript for the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee, September 23, 2014,;
minutes for the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee, September 23, 2014,