2019 C.A.P. Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony
MAY 11, 2019
Civil Air Patrol Honors Brothers with Congressional Gold Medal
By Major Peter Milano
CARMEL, New York – Representatives from the state of New York joined Civil Air Patrol’s Putnam County Composite Squadron on May 11 at the Putnam County Emergency Services Training & Operations Center to honor two New York veterans for volunteer Civil Air Patrol service during World War II.
U.S. Rep. Sean Maloney (18th Congressional District, New York) awarded brothers Raymond D’Alessandro and Herbert D’Alessandro replicas of the CAP Congressional Gold Medal. Herbert D’Alessandro’s widow, Joan, accepted the medal on his behalf.
“This is the highest civilian honor our country bestows for extraordinary sacrifices and contributions,” Maloney said. Civil Air Patrol was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 2014 in recognition of its wartime role in protecting the homeland and carrying out other vital domestic missions. “This is part of an effort to recognize fully the members of this generation who made such incredible contributions,” he said.
State Assemblyman Kevin Byrne (94th District) issued a New York State Assembly Citation thanking the D’Alessandro’s for outstanding service to the community and presented a challenge coin to commemorate the event. Byrne said CAP does “so many great things for our state right now.” “I know this means a lot to the people of Putnam County and obviously to our honorees,” he said.
State Sen. Sue Serino (41st District) issued State Senate Proclamations honoring the brothers for their Civil Air Patrol service and for exhibiting patriotism at home and abroad. Serino’s district office coordinator, Jackie Annabi, made the presentations on the senator’s behalf.
The D’Alessandro’s, originally from the Bronx, joined Civil Air Patrol in 1944, becoming cadet members of the Bronx Squadron, Greater New York Cadet Training Group. Herbert enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1946, serving as an engineer. Raymond enlisted in 1948 and saw combat in Korea in 1951.
During World War II over 200,000 men, women and teenagers participated in Civil Air Patrol, providing such services as coastal patrol operations off the Atlantic and Gulf coasts to guard against German U-boats, airborne border patrols, disaster relief, emergency transport, search and rescue missions and orientation flights for future pilots. Sixty-five volunteers lost their lives on active CAP service during the war, with 150 aircraft lost.Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force. In this role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 aircraft, performs about 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. CAP’s 60,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. In addition, CAP plays a leading role in aerospace/STEM education, and its members serve as mentors to over 25,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs. Visit www.GoCivilAirPatrol.com or www.CAP.news for more information.