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WWII News Dispatches, July 2009

By Justin Ewers 
Originally published by World War II magazine. Published Online: May 22, 2009 
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  • A bill was introduced in Congress this spring that would award the Congressional Gold Medal to 300 surviving members of the Women Airforce Service Pilots, or WASPs, as they were known during World War II. The legislation, which was cosponsored by all of the female senators, would recognize the "exceptional service" of the more than 1,100 women who served as military pilots during the war, ferrying aircraft and training other pilots.
  • A medal awarded to a dog named Rip for locating more than 100 air raid victims in the rubble of the London Blitz was auctioned off this April in London. Rip, along with 53 other animals including a cat and several dozen pigeons, received the Dickin Medal during World War II for serving with "conspicuous gallantry." The mixed-breed dog died in 1948; the exact sale price of the medal, which Rip wore on his collar until his death, is not known at press time, but the last Dickin Medal the auction house sold went for approximately $13,500.
  • Historians in Canada are fighting to preserve one of the only intact German prisoner-of-war camps from World War II. Located in Bowmanville, a small town outside Toronto, the collection of buildings known as Camp 30 was used to house high-ranking Nazi officers, including famed U-boat commander Otto Kretschmer. Nearly 900 German prisoners were kept at the facility, which developers have scheduled for demolition unless funding to preserve the site can be found.


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