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American Soldiers in Eagle Squadron (l to r) Andrew Mamedoff, Vernon Keough and Eugene Tobin – the first three members of the Eagle Squadron - at Church Fenton, Yorkshire, October 1940. © IWM (CH1442)

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Congressional Bill recognizes Americans serving in UK and Canadian armies during WWII
The Bill proposes Congressional Gold Medals be awarded to American Patriots serving the UK and Canada during the Second World War

Published on February 26, 2019

A Bill has been put forward in the US House of Representatives which seeks to award Congressional Gold Medals to US Citizens who served with Canadian and British forces during the Second World War.

The Bill, which was put forward by Congressman Tim Ryan [Democrat OH-13], proposes awarding medals to "all United States nationals who voluntarily joined the Canadian and British armed forces and their supporting entities during World War II, in recognition of their dedicated service."

One of the many examples cited by the Bill is the work of the Eagle Squadrons which served as part of the Royal Air Force (RAF) in the early years of the War. Prior to the United States' entry into the conflict, a number of Americans with flying experience chose to join the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) or the RAF. At the time, American law ruled that US Citizens serving under a foreign nation would forfeit their citizenship, but a blanket pardon in 1944 meant that many retained their American citizenship, and later became part of US Forces. The Eagle Squadrons, which consisted mainly of American pilots, were later transferred to the US Eighth Air Force.

As well as the RAF and RCAF, the Bill notes that US Citizens served in a number of capacities in Canada and the UK. Americans served as members of the Canadian Aviation Bureau, the Home Guard, the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA), the Royal Air Force Ferry Command/Transport Command in Britain, and in many other organizations key to the war effort.

Full details of the Bill, and updates on its progress, can be found via https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/980/text


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