Congressional Gold Medal presented to 2 local World War II Civil Air Patrol members

By Keith Garvin - Anchor/Reporter

HOUSTON - Wednesday was a very special day for two local veterans as they were presented with the Congressional Gold Medal in Washington, D.C.

Sugar Land's Larry Fletcher, 93, and Houston's Jayne Pace, 92, were part of the Civil Air Patrol back in World War II.

On Wednesday members of Congress from both sides of the aisle gathered to honor the contributions made by that group and to present members with the Congressional Gold Medal.

Congratulations to Larry, Jayne, and the other 38 surviving members of the Civil Air Patrol.

Read more about Fletcher below below.

Local World War II veteran to receive Congressional Gold Medal

A local man who served during World War II as a civilian will receive one of the nation's highest civilian awards.

"I was flying a military plane in the morning, and in the afternoon I'd go out and fly the civilian airplanes," said 93-year-old Larry Fletcher.

Fletcher, of Sugar Land, remembers the time like it was yesterday. He was a 21-year-old junior aviator in 1942 flying with the Civil Air Patrol, a group of civilian pilots formed to protect the US coastline against German U-boat attacks during the second World War.

Fletcher will be one of 40 surviving members to receive the Congressional Gold Medal on Capitol Hill Wednesday. He's being cited for saving a fellow aviator's life when their plane landed in the Atlantic Ocean after a fuel problem.

"I wanted him to have a life jacket. I didn't want him fighting for mine. So I just went back onto the wing and onto the flap and the window was down on the door and I reached into the sear where the life jacket was," Fletcher said.

It's an honor more than 70 years in the making, but well worth the wait.

"It's nice to be appreciated after all that," said Fletcher.

Sixty-five members of the Civil Air Patrol lost their lives in the line of duty during World War II.

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