I write today to invite you to become a co-sponsor of a legislative initiative which will recognise the legacies of the estimated 12,000 Americans who joined the fight for democracy in WWII prior to the United States' declared entry into the conflict. Prior to the attack on Pearl Harbour courageous citizens from across the country saw the dangers represented by Nazi and Fascist aggression and voluntarily fought to prevent the associated detrimental impacts on the American way of life. Cosponsor today the “American Patriots of WWII through Service with the Canadian and British Armed Forces Gold Medal Act of 2017” and honour these heroes.
Right: Congressman Ted Ryan.
Wartime media accounts detail the intrepid volunteers, and organisations within several states have recognised them with memorials and websites. Yet the foresight, courage and sacrifices of these patriots have remained for the most part an untold story which has not received formal, collective recognition. Their positive contributions were legion and the knowledge and experience they obtained under Canadian and British tutelage provided invaluable leadership later when many transferred into branches of the U.S. Military.
These patriots who served in the Canadian and British armed forces before transferring to lead the United States in the wartime effort include William R. Dunn, Dominic Salvatore Gentile, and John Gillespie Magee, Jr.
Left: Lieutenant Commander Valerie Broznak.
Lieutenant Commander Valerie Broznak is Congressman Ryan's current Defence Legislative Fellow. She is coordinating support for the legislation and annotating the names of endorsing organisations onto this 'Dear Colleague' letter.
Many individuals who were unable to enlist due to exclusions relating to gender, age, race, health, formal education, or other reasons supported this effort by joining the new ancillaries and support agencies. This heroism generated progressive cultural change. For example, the successes of Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) female ferry aircrews paved the way for the formation in the U.S. of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) and led to greater incorporation and utilisation of women in the U.S. Armed Forces. Jacqueline Cochran, was an ATA recruiter and a pioneer of the WASPs.
The Americans who served in Canadian and British military and paramilitary units represent a largely overlooked group and their legacy of service is one of valour. These men and women played essential roles in securing victory and are worthy of official commendation. Please join in the effort to formally recognise these valiant warriors. To do so, please email Valerie Broznak (202) 225-5261.
Congressional Gold Medal Bill
Support Bill HR1553
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