By Kenya White
June 3, 2015
The American Fighter Aces were awarded a Congressional Gold Medal in a special ceremony at Emancipation Hall on May 20, 2015, in recognition of their heroic military service and defense of the country through aviation warfare.
Fighter Aces are strongly distinguished pilots who have served honorably in the U.S. military and have destroyed five or more confirmed enemy aircraft in air-to-air combat during war. They are among the most decorated military group in American history. Less than 1500 military fighter pilots became Fighter Aces, 75 of whom are still living.
“Their patriotism, valor, and bravery know no grounds,” Senator Joe Manchin, D-WVA, told the crowd on Wednesday. “We thank all of our Fighter Aces for their unparalleled service and sacrifice.”
The American Fighter Aces Congressional Gold Medal Act (P.L. 113-105) to honor the American Fighter Aces was introduced by co-sponsors Congressman Sam Johnson (R-TX) and Congressman Denny Heck (D-WA), along with Senators Joe Manchin and James M. Inhofe (R-OK) introducing the Senate bill. The legislation was signed into law May 23, 2014 by the President of the United States.
Speaker Boehner’s office posted a video of the entire ceremony.
Following the award ceremony, the gold medal will be displayed at the Smithsonian Institution.
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