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News Release
Congressional Gold Medal to be awarded to WWII-era Oregon Wing Civil Air Patrol member at August 9 event - 08/04/22

Family members of the late Lieutenant Colonel Ethyle E. O’Neal, CAP, will receive the medal from Civil Air Patrol National Commander Maj Gen Edward Phelka 

What: Ethyle E. (Kremers) O’Neal, a 14-year-old Portland native, joined the newly formed Civil Air Patrol in 1942 to help defend our unprepared nation at our entrance into World War II.   

She served until 1949, when she joined the US Air Force.   

During her early CAP service, she saved the life of a 15-month-old infant in the historic Vanport Flood of 1947. 

Upon retirement from the Air Force in 1976, O’Neal rejoined Civil Air Patrol in Oregon.  She commanded two Portland metropolitan area squadrons. 

She also served as the Oregon Wing Director of Cadet Programs until her passing in 2007. 

Who’s Attending: O’Neal family members and friends, invited Federal and State legislators, National, Pacific Region, and Oregon Wing CAP officials, and partner agency members,      

When: Tuesday, August 9, 2022, | 6:00 PM 

Where: Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum – 500 NE Captain Michael King Smith Way, McMinnville, OR 97128 



113th Congress Public Law 113-108   

(1) The unpaid volunteer members of the Civil Air Patrol (hereafter in this Act referred to as the ‘‘CAP’’) during World War II provided extraordinary humanitarian, combat, and  

national services during a critical time of need for the Nation.  

(2) During the war, CAP members used their own aircraft to perform a myriad of essential tasks for the military and the nation within the United States, including attacks on enemy submarines off the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts of the United States.  

(3) This extraordinary national service set the stage for the post-war CAP to become a valuable nonprofit, public service organization chartered by Congress and designated the Auxiliary of the United States Air Force that provides essential emergency, operational, and public services to communities, States, the Federal Government, and the military. ((3 of 42 Sections)) 


Since Civil Air Patrol’s formation during the earliest days of World War II, this vigilant organization of citizen Airmen has been committed to service to America. Founded on Dec. 1, 1941, to mobilize the nation's civilian aviation resources for national defense service, CAP has evolved into a premier public service organization that still carries out emergency service missions when needed — in the air and on the ground. 

Today as a Total Force partner and auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, Civil Air Patrol is there to search for and find the lost, provide comfort in times of disaster and work to keep the homeland safe. Its 56,000 members selflessly devote their time, energy, and expertise toward the well-being of their communities, while also promoting aviation and related fields through aerospace/STEM education and helping shape future leaders through CAP’s cadet program. 

Civil Air Patrol’s missions for America are many, and today’s adults and cadets perform their duties with the same vigilance as its founding members — preserving CAP’s 80-year legacy of service while maintaining its commitment to nearly 1,500 communities nationwide. 

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