Spanberger, Kelly Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Award Congressional Gold Medal to Americans Who Served & Fought Bravely in WWII Prior to America’s Entry

Congresswoman: “They Ran to the Sound of the Guns”

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representatives Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07) and Trent Kelly (R-MS-01) today introduced bipartisan legislation to award the Congressional Gold Medal to Americans who served in World War II with the Canadian and British militaries prior to America’s declaration of war.

Even before the attack on Pearl Harbor, an estimated 12,000 Americans — including Americans from every state in the union — joined the Canadian Armed Forces and British Armed Forces in the fight for freedom. Once the United States declared war, a substantial portion of these Americans joined the U.S. Armed Forces and continued to fight against the Axis powers. The early combat experience these Veterans gained provided often-inexperienced American forces with an immediate degree of understanding. But these patriots suffered tremendous casualties, meaning many of these courageous Americans lost their lives or were wounded while serving in the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and Royal Air Force (RAF).

Alfred Parkyn, relative of retired U.S. Marine Corps pilot and Stafford County resident Michael Parkyn, was one such servicemember who flew in the RAF before America’s entry into WWII. After training in Canada, Parkyn was sent to the RAF to fly four-engined Avro Lancaster bombers and was hand-picked to fly several dangerous missions. Later, on November 25, 1942, his crew was ordered to fly a lone mission into Germany. Intercepted, they led a German ace in a Focke-Wulf 190 fighter on a chase to the north, while nearby crews flew away from the threat. His bomber was shot down over the North Sea. Parkyn remains missing in action.

“For over 80 years, my family has mourned the loss of Alfred Parkyn, who volunteered to fly and fight Hitler before America was ready. He, his crew, and thousands of others like them risked their citizenship for the chance to defend America with their lives,” said Michael Parkyn, Retired U.S. Marine Corps Pilot and Relative of American RCAF Pilot, Stafford County. “Tragically, Alfred never returned to his widowed mother or his sisters. He remains missing, with no known grave. These men were the First of the Greatest Generation but they are virtually unrecognized in America today. The passage of this bill will correct the record. It will tell not only their families but the entire world that America honors their heroism and sacrifice.”

“When Great Britain and Canada took up arms against Nazi terror and fascist aggression, thousands of brave Americans volunteered to fight in the Second World War — long before Pearl Harbor. Motivated by their love of democracy and their belief in protecting our allies across the Atlantic, they ran to the sound of the guns,” said Spanberger. “But for far too long, their stories of valor have remained — in large part — untold and unrecognized. By awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to these selfless Americans, we can ensure that generations of future Americans will be inspired by their heroism, their commitment to our values, and their sacrifice.”

“This legislation recognizes the thousands of American patriots who fought with courage and bravery in the name of Freedom,” said Kelly. “Their service and sacrifice will /always be remembered.”

Click here to read the full bill text.


Recent Posts

Feb 22, 2024

Spanberger Urges Health Insurers to Fully Cover Birth Control, As Required by the Affordable Care Act

This Effort Comes After Years of Systemic Noncompliance by Insurance Plans & Women Paying Out of Pocket or Facing Administrative Red Tape to Access Birth Control WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today joined more than 150 U.S. House and U.S. Senate colleagues in urging health insurers to improve access to birth control by […]

Feb 21, 2024

Spanberger Announces Sixth Annual Congressional Art Competition, Invites Virginia High School Students to Submit Artwork

The Winner’s Artwork Will Be Displayed in the U.S. Capitol Building for One Year Alongside Winners from All 50 States WOODBRIDGE, Va. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today invited high school students from Virginia’s Seventh District to submit original artwork for the annual Congressional Art Competition. Every year, Members of the U.S. House of Representatives […]

Feb 16, 2024

ICYMI: Spanberger Hosts Virtual Telephone Town Hall Focused on Issues Facing Virginia Veterans & Military Families

During Thursday’s Interactive Event, the Congresswoman & Representatives from the Virginia Department of Veterans Services Were Joined by More Than 4,100 Virginians WOODBRIDGE, Va. — On Thursday, U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger hosted an open, public telephone town hall focused on issues facing Virginia’s Veterans, military families, and caregivers. During the event, Spanberger was joined by representatives […]