14:20 PM

Wolff Turns 102; Former U.S. Rep. Flew CAP WWII Coastal Patrol Missions

Civil Air Patrol Col. and former U.S. Rep. Lester Wolff celebrated his 102nd birthday Jan. 4 on Long Island, New York.

Wolff, one of CAP's founding members, began his volunteer service early in World War II in the New York Wing, serving for the duration of the war. During that time, he became a squadron commander and flew coastal patrol missions searching for German submarines in the Atlantic Ocean. 

After a long career in the press and public affairs he was elected to Congress in 1964. He and Rep. Jerry Pettis established the Congressional Squadron in 1968 so members of Congress and staff could participate in CAP programs. 

"During his eight terms in Congress, Rep. Wolff was the leading voice for CAP on Capitol Hill," said John Swain, CAP's government relations director. "His legislative efforts led to CAP’s first Supply Bill and interest in counterdrug support to the government, as well as established the foundation for CAP’s federal funding and our government relations program."

In December 2014, Wolff accepted the Congressional Gold Medal, recognizing CAP’s volunteer wartime service, on the organization’s behalf in a special ceremony with the leadership of the House and Senate at the U.S. Capitol.

 "With his extensive World War II and congressional service, he was the perfect person for that honor," Swain said.

Wolff is the oldest living former member of the House of Representatives.