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Kansas Wing Awards Congressional Gold Medal

March 30, 2022

Kansas Wing Awards Congressional Gold Medal

By 1st Lt Ken Bates
Commander, Topeka Eagle Composite Squadron
Kansas Wing

The Congressional Gold Medal is one of the highest civilian awards in the United States. It is an award bestowed by the United States Congress to persons "who have performed an achievement that has an impact on American history and culture that is likely to be recognized as a major achievement in the recipient's field long after the achievement." The first Congressional Gold Medal was awarded in 1776 to General George Washington. In 1979, Congress broadened the scope of the medal to include organizations. In 2014, the Civil Air Patrol was awarded a Congressional Gold Medal for its service during World War II. Members who served in Civil Air Patrol during World War II are eligible for this very prestigious award.

The Congressional Gold Medal was presented by Brig Gen Regena Aye, Vice Commander of the Civil Air Patrol, during a ceremony held at the Kansas National Guard Museum in Topeka, Kansas. Three members of the Mosier family who served with distinction during World War II—Major (Dr.) Harry Mosier, Captain Josephine Mosier, and Cadet Master Sergeant Richard Mosier of Herington, Kansas, were awarded the medal posthumously.

Major Harry Mosier founded the Herington Civil Air Patrol in October 1943, and also commanded the unit. Lt Mosier at that time, embodied the core values of excellence and volunteer service. He rallied fellow citizens to support the war effort through service in the Civil Air Patrol. He became a Group Commander in 1944 overseeing Herington, Manhattan and Emporia Squadrons, and flights in Ramona, Marion, and El Dorado, plus ten other counties. He also helped to establish the Herington City Airport and supported the Herington U.S. Army Base, which hosted the B-29 Super-fortresses for training and staging. Missions, under Major Mosier’s leadership included mercy flights, searches for lost aircraft, flood relief, and searches for escaped German prisoners of war. After receiving his pilot’s license, Major Mosier flew a 1940s Taylorcraft L2-M, a 1944 Stinson, and a 1946 Globe Swift.

Major Mosier was joined in Civil Air Patrol service by his wife and lifelong companion, Captain Josephine Mosier. Armed with a degree in journalism from Washburn College, Captain Mosier was a strong leader who trained counted countless cadets from ages 12 to 18 and helped prepare them for entry into the Army Air Force. Captain Josephine Mosier served as the Adjutant and Intelligence Officer for the Herington Civil Air Patrol. Her diverse skills helped her teach cadets subjects such as aerial photography, map reading, aircraft identification, meteorology, and code techniques. Captain Mosier became a student pilot in February 1944 and flew the Civil Air Patrol’s Taylorcraft L-2M on many missions. Due to the sensitive nature of her position in intelligence, she never discussed any of the details of her missions or her work. Her intelligence work was only recently revealed through discovered military documents now at the National Archives, and was previously unknown by family members.

The final member of the Mosier family that was honored was Cadet Master Sergeant Richard Mosier. Richard took the oath to join the Civil Air Patrol in January 1944. He earned his pilot’s license at age 16. He flew the CAP Taylorcraft L-2M on many mercy flights and other missions, as well as training programs. Richard and his father were selected for intense training at Strothers Army Air Field with 200 other cadets and officers in August 1944, where they learned about marches, snipers, gas attacks, and P-47 aircraft strafing. Richard began his studies at Notre Dame in July 1945. When he turned 18, Richard enlisted in the U.S. Army and was sent to Tokyo, Japan as part of the Allied Occupation Forces under General MacArthur. Richard began his career as a page for the International Military Tribunal for the Far East. He later served as a personal aide to the 11 war judges in Tokyo. He earned several decorations, including a World War II Victory Medal, an Army of Occupation Medal-Japan, and a Presidential Unit Citation.

“I would describe the Mosier family as great American heroes, and I'm deeply honored to present them with the Congressional Gold Medal today,” Brig Gen Regena Aye said.

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