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Murkowski: Three Alaska Female Aviators Recognized for their World War II Service

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, announced that three women from Alaska who flew planes during World War II have been honored with the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honor bestowed by the United States Congress.

About 200 Women Airforce Service Pilots, or WASPs, including Ellen Campbell of Juneau, were at the United States Capitol on Wednesday for the medal presentation ceremony. The other two Alaskan WASPs, Virginia Wood and Nancy Baker, both of Fairbanks, were unable to attend the event.

"More than 60 years ago, these pioneering women flew fighter, bomber, transport and training aircraft in defense of America's freedom and led the way in the integration of female pilots into the military," said Murkowski, who attended the Gold Medal ceremony and later taped an upcoming edition of the senator's half-hour public affairs TV program, The Alaska Report, with Ellen Campbell as her guest. The WASP Alaska Report is scheduled to air in May on select Alaska TV stations. The program will also be available on Murkowski's Web site www.murkowski.senate.gov.

WASP survivors and families of deceased WASPs receive a bronze replica of the Gold Medal, which will go on display at one of the Smithsonian museums in Washington. Murkowski plans to present bronze medal replicas to both Virginia Wood and Nancy Baker when she is in Fairbanks in early April.

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