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North Carolina Wing Presents Congressional Gold Medals

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The Congressional Gold Medals awaiting presentation. Photo credit: 1st Lt Liz Dunster, CAP (click image to view full size)
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Two members of the Greatest Generation were honored at Wing Headquarters on Veterans Day weekend

11/14/2018––North Carolina Wing Headquarters in Burlington was the location for the Congressional Gold Medal ceremony on 10 November 2018 of two founding members of Civil Air Patrol (CAP) who served during World War II. The ceremony was organized by Lt Col Phil Saleet, Assistant Historian NC-001. Commanders representing most of the squadrons in North Carolina were present, as well as interested members.

Warrant Officer Robert Boone, CAP from Coastal Patrol Base 21, Beaufort NC, 1942-1943 and former Cadet Daniel Vaughan from the Rocky Mount Squadron, Rocky Mount, NC, 1942, were honored at the ceremony. Daniel Vaughan was present, along with his family members, and the family of Robert Boone was also present.

The ceremony began at 1000 hours with the entrance of former Cadet Vaughan and family, and family members representing Warrant Officer Boone, with Lt Col Saleet. Color Guard team members from around the NC Wing presented the Colors.

Lt Col Saleet provided the welcoming remarks and read the names of the Coastal Patrol Base 21 members still on Eternal Patrol. The bell ringer was Patricia Saleet, wife of Lt Col Phil Saleet, and C/2d Lt Andrew Blankinship of the Asheville Composite Squadron called out the words "On Patrol" after each name signifying that each lost member is on "Eternal Patrol".

The North Carolina Wing Commander, Col R. Jason Bailey then delivered remarks. During World War II, Nazi submarines were attacking shipping off the North American coasts, and CAP volunteers manned coastal bases along the eastern seaboard and the Gulf of Mexico, flying coastal patrols to protect shipping and the coastline. The Congressional Gold Medal is awarded to all CAP World War II veterans in honor of their service. Warrant Officer Boone served at Coastal Base 21 in Beaufort, NC from September 8, 1942- August 31, 1943 where he worked as a Communications Repairman. He was from Wallace, NC. Former Cadet Vaughan served in the Rocky Mount Squadron in 1942 and was one of the Founding Members of the CAP Cadet Program. He was one of the CAP cadets who guarded a Japanese submarine in Rocky Mount that was on a War Bonds tour of our nation.

Col Bailey presented the Congressional Gold Medal to Cadet Vaughan, and asked the nine members present (including six cadets) from the Tar River Composite Squadron to come forward and join Mr. Vaughan in front of the audience. He asked Maj David Hopewell of Tar River to share how Mr Vaughan had come to be located. Maj Hopewell relayed that Tar River’s Lt Col Hess had been giving a talk about CAP to Maj Hopewell’s church in Rocky Mount, and at the end of the talk, Mr. Vaughan, a fellow congregant, told them he had been a CAP cadet during World War II. Mr Vaughan was invited to visit the squadron and meet the members, especially the cadets – all of which led to this presentation. Tar River had prepared a certificate to commemorate Mr. Vaughan’s service, which Col Bailey asked a Tar River cadet to present to Mr. Vaughan. C/SSgt Emily Worth presented the framed certificate to Mr. Vaughan on behalf of the squadron. 

Norwood D. Boone, Jr, the son of Warrant Officer Boone's brother, accepted the Congressional Gold Medal on behalf of the family of Warrant Officer Boone, who is deceased. Warrant Officer Boone's family was located by Lt Col Ray Kleber, CAP, of the Goldsboro Composite Squadron.

After the medals were presented, the honored guests and Lt Col Saleet retired to the HQ foyer for photographs.

The Color Guard for the ceremony was provided by C/2d Lt John Paul Fryrear, Fayetteville Composite Squadron, C/Capt Maggie Thibodeaux, Cunningham Field Composite Squadron, C/CMSgt Larrabee Hoelscher, 111th Search and Rescue Composite Squadron, and C/2d Lt Isabella Ross, Composite Squadron of the Waxhaws.

Special thanks to Civil Air Patrol’s Greatest Generation. It was a special and fitting honor to commemorate two of our finest on the 2018 Veterans Day weekend.