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Higgins, Civil Air Patrol Present Congressional Gold Medal to Frank Supkowski for Service During WWII

Jan 27, 2016
Press Release
Niagara Falls Resident Served in Civil Air Patrol, Defending the U.S. 73 Years Ago

Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) joined members of the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary, Civil Air Patrol for a special presentation of a Congressional Gold Medal to Niagara Falls resident Frank A. Supkowski. 

“On behalf of a grateful nation, we are honored to recognize the service of Frank Supkowski, who eagerly sought to support the work of U.S. troops and defend this country as a member of the Civil Air Patrol and later a member of the United States Army,” said Congressman Higgins. 

Col. Steven J. Perta, CAP Commander for the New York Wing said, "We are honored to recognize one of the early pioneers of the Civil Air Patrol, Mr. Frank Supkowski with the Congressional Gold Medal for his service during World War II. In 2016 the Civil Air Patrol will celebrate 75 years of service to America building upon the missions of Homeland Security, Aerospace Education, Emergency Services and the Cadet program that were started in 1941."

Mr. Supkowski, a Pennsylvania native, became a Civil Air Patrol Cadet in 1943 during WWII, while still attending high school.  He was eager to help with the War effort but was too young to enlist in the Army.  As a member of the Civil Air Patrol, Supkowski’s many duties included attending National Guard meetings, serving as a lookout trained to identify enemy aircraft, and driving transport vehicles.  Following his graduation from High School he enlisted in the U.S. Army and was stationed in China.  He later settled in Niagara Falls and built a long career with the DuPont Company. 

Colonel Steven Perta, Commander of the New York Wing for the Civil Air Patrol, Colonel Gary Fleming, Commander of the Civil Air Patrol’s Pennsylvania Wing and Lt. Col. John Risio, Western New York Group Commander for the Civil Air Patrol were among other Civil Air Patrol members and supporters at the presentation which took place at the Civil Air Patrol Western New York Group Military Ball on Saturday, January 23. 

During the Second World War over 100,000 men and women served in the Civil Air Patrol. The CAP flew about 750,000 hours during World War II, on coastal patrols looking for submarines, towing targets for military training, conducting search and rescue, and protecting our borders. The CAP’s motto is Semper Vigilans, meaning “Always Vigilant.”