Madison Heights veteran receives medal for WWII service with Civil Air Patrol
MADISON HEIGHTS, Va. - Madison Heights resident George “Rusty” Nichols, 90, received a long-overdue honor on Thursday – a replica of the the Congressional Gold Medal awarded to Civil Air Patrol (CAP) in December 2014 in recognition of the organization’s volunteer service during World War II.
The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest honor awarded to civilians in the United States.
Nichols received his replica medal from U.S. Rep. Ben Cline at Amelon United Methodist Church in Madison Heights. Family and friends of Nichols were also present, along with CAP members, including Col. Dean Gould, Virginia Wing commander
Nichols was a CAP cadet from 1944-1945 in a coastal squadron in his native state of Massachusetts. A desire to help was what prompted him to join CAP as a 14-year-old, he said..
“We felt like we were getting into the war effort,” Nichols said..
During World War II, CAP’scoastal patrols flew 24 million miles and sighted 173 enemy U-boats, dropping a total of 82 bombs and depth charges.
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2nd Lt. Heather Heppding, Lynchburg Composite Squadron