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Niagara Falls man awarded Congressional Gold Medal

NIAGARA FALLS – Niagara Falls resident Frank A. Supkowski, 88, was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal Saturday by Rep. Brian Higgins for serving in the Civil Air Patrol during World War II.

The Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian award given by Congress, is awarded to those who have performed an achievement that has impacted American history and culture. That includes all members of the Civil Air Patrol, which flew about 750,000 hours during World War II on coastal patrols.

Supkowski joined the CAP as a cadet in 1943 and became the cadet drill sergeant. He was trained in enemy and allied aircraft identification, Morse code and other military aviation related subjects, and served as a military aircraft lookout. He remained a member of CAP after graduating from high school, then joined the Army in 1945. He was part of the occupation force in China and later with the Army’s Criminal Investigative Division.