Civil Air Patrol
The Civil Air Patrol is a congressionally chartered, federally supported non-profit corporation that serves as the official civilian auxiliary of the United States Air Force. CAP is a volunteer organization with an aviation-minded membership that includes people from all backgrounds and occupations, it performs three congressionally assigned key missions: emergency services, which includes search and rescue and disaster relief operations. In addition, CAP has been tasked with homeland security and courier service missions. CAP performs non-auxiliary missions for various governmental and private agencies, such as local law enforcement and the American Red Cross; the program is established as an organization by Title 10 of the United States Code and its purposes defined by Title 36. Membership in the organization consists of cadets ranging from 12 to just under 21 years of age, senior members 18 years of age and up; these two groups each have the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of pursuits.
All members wear uniforms while performing their duties. Nationwide, CAP is a major operator of single-engine general aviation aircraft, used in the execution of its various missions, including orientation flights for cadets and the provision of significant emergency services capabilities; because of these extensive flying opportunities, many CAP members become licensed pilots. The hierarchical and military auxiliary organization is headed by the National Headquarters followed by eight regional commands and 52 wings; each wing supervises the individual groups and squadrons that comprise the basic operational unit of the organization. The Civil Air Patrol was conceived in the late 1930s by aviation advocate Gill Robb Wilson, who foresaw general aviation's potential to supplement America's military operations. With the help of New York Mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia, in his capacity as then-Director of the Office of Civilian Defense, CAP was created with Administrative Order 9, signed by LaGuardia on 1 December 1941 and published 8 December 1941.
The Civil Air Patrol had 90 days to prove themselves to Congress. Major General John F. Curry was appointed as the first national commander. Texas oilman David Harold Byrd was a co-founder of CAP. During World War II, CAP was seen as a way to use America's civilian aviation resources to aid the war effort instead of grounding them; the organization assumed many missions including anti-submarine patrol and warfare, border patrols, courier services. During World War II, CAP's coastal patrol flew 24 million miles and sighted 173 enemy U-boats, dropping a total of 82 bombs and depth charges throughout the conflict. Two submarines were destroyed by CAP aircraft, but research found there was no basis for this claim. By the end of the war, 68 CAP members had lost their lives in the line of duty. After the end of World War II, CAP became the civilian auxiliary of the United States Air Force, its incorporating charter declared that it would never again be involved in direct combat activities, but would be of a benevolent nature.
The "supervisory" USAF organization overseeing CAP has changed several times. This has included the former Continental Air Command in 1959, the former Headquarters Command, USAF in 1968, to the Air University in 1976. Following Air University's reassignment as a subordinate command to the Air Education and Training Command in 1993, USAF oversight of CAP has flowed from AETC at the 4-star level, to AU at the 3-star level, to AU's Jeanne M. Holm Center for Officer Accessions and Citizen Development at the 1-star level, to a subordinate unit of 1st Air Force at the 3-star level with Civil Air Patrol-U. S. Air Force as a stand-alone unit lead at the Colonel level. Since its incorporation charter, CAP has maintained its relationship with the USAF, has continued its three congressionally mandated missions. On 14 June 2011, Civil Air Patrol was awarded the Roving Ambassador of Peace by the World Peace Prize Awarding Council for its positive impact in American communities, its lifesaving efforts, for "preserving liberty for all".
During the 113th United States Congress, both the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives voted to pass a bill that would award the Congressional Gold Medal to the World War II members of the Civil Air Patrol. The medal would be presented "in recognition of their military service and exemplary record during World War II." Civil Air Patrol has five congressionally mandated missions: To provide an organization to encourage and aid citizens of the United States in contributing their efforts and resources in developing aviation and in maintaining air supremacy. To provide aviation education and training to its senior and cadet members. To encourage and foster civil aviation in local communities. To provide an organization of private citizens with adequate facilities to assist in meeting local and national emergencies. To assist the Department of the Air Force in fulfilling its non-combat programs and missions; the organization condenses these mandates into three core missions, which Civil Air Patrol was chartered with by Congress in 1946: aerospace education, cadet programs and emergency services.
Civil Air P
United States National Guard
The United States National Guard commonly referred to as just the National Guard, is part of the reserve components of the United States Armed Forces. It is a reserve military force, composed of National Guard military members or units of each state and the territories of Guam, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, for a total of 54 separate organizations. All members of the National Guard of the United States are members of the militia of the United States as defined by 10 U. S. C. § 246. National Guard units are under the dual control of the federal government; the majority of National Guard soldiers and airmen hold a civilian job full-time while serving part-time as a National Guard member. These part-time guardsmen are augmented by a full-time cadre of Active Guard & Reserve personnel in both the Army National Guard and Air National Guard, plus Army Reserve Technicians in the Army National Guard and Air Reserve Technicians in the Air National Guard; the National Guard is a joint activity of the United States Department of Defense composed of reserve components of the United States Army and the United States Air Force: the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard respectively.
Local militias were formed from the earliest English colonization of the Americas in 1607. The first colony-wide militia was formed by Massachusetts in 1636 by merging small older local units, several National Guard units can be traced back to this militia; the various colonial militias became state militias. The title "National Guard" was used in 1824 by some New York State militia units, named after the French National Guard in honor of the Marquis de Lafayette. "National Guard" became a standard nationwide militia title in 1903, indicated reserve forces under mixed state and federal control since 1933. The first muster of militia forces in what is today the United States took place on September 16, 1565, in the newly established Spanish military town of St. Augustine; the militia men were assigned to guard the expedition's supplies while their leader, Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, took the regular troops north to attack the French settlement at Fort Caroline on the St. Johns River; this Spanish militia tradition and the English tradition that would be established to the north would provide the basic nucleus for Colonial defense in the New World.
The militia tradition continued with the first permanent English settlements in the New World. Jamestown Colony and Plymouth Colony both had militia forces, which consisted of every able bodied adult male. By the mid-1600s every town had at least one militia company and the militia companies of a county formed a regiment. From the nation's founding through the early 1900s, the United States maintained only a minimal army and relied on state militias, directly related to the earlier Colonial militias to supply the majority of its troops; as a result of the Spanish–American War, Congress was called upon to reform and regulate the training and qualification of state militias. The first national laws regulating the militia were the Militia acts of 1792. In 1903, with passage of the Dick Act, the predecessor to the modern-day National Guard was formed, it required the states to divide their militias into two sections. The law recommended the title "National Guard" for the first section, known as the organized militia, "Reserve Militia" for all others.
During World War I, Congress passed the National Defense Act of 1916, which required the use of the term "National Guard" for the state militias and further regulated them. Congress authorized the states to maintain Home Guards, which were reserve forces outside the National Guards being deployed by the Federal Government. In 1933, with passage of the National Guard Mobilization Act, Congress finalized the split between the National Guard and the traditional state militias by mandating that all federally funded soldiers take a dual enlistment/commission and thus enter both the state National Guard and the National Guard of the United States, a newly created federal reserve force; the National Defense Act of 1947 created the Air Force as a separate branch of the Armed Forces and concurrently created the Air National Guard of the United States as one of its reserve components, mirroring the Army's structure. The National Guard of the several states and the District of Columbia serves as part of the first-line of defense for the United States.
The state National Guard is organized into units stationed in each of the 50 states, three territories, the District of Columbia, operates under their respective state or territorial governor, except in the instance of Washington, D. C. where the National Guard operates under the President of his designee. The governors exercise control through the state adjutants general; the National Guard may be called up for active duty by the governors to help respond to domestic emergencies and disasters, such as hurricanes and earthquakes. The National Guard is administered by the National Guard Bureau, a joint activity of the Army and Air Force under the DoD; the National Guard Bureau provides a communication channel for state National Guards to the DoD. The National Guard Bureau provides policies and requirements for training and funds for state Army National Guard and state Air National Guard units, the allocation of federal funds to the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard, other administrative responsibilities prescribed under 10 U.
S. C. § 10503. The National Guard Bureau is
George H. W. Bush
George Herbert Walker Bush was an American politician who served as the 41st president of the United States from 1989 to 1993 and the 43rd vice president of the United States from 1981 to 1989. A member of the Republican Party, he held posts that included those of congressman, CIA director; until his son George W. Bush became the 43rd president in 2001, he was known as George Bush. Bush postponed his university studies after the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, enlisted in the Navy on his 18th birthday, became one of its youngest aviators, he served until September 1945, attended Yale University, graduating in 1948. He moved his family to West Texas where he entered the oil business and became a millionaire by the age of 40 in 1964. After founding his own oil company, Bush was defeated in his first run for the United States Senate in 1964, but won election to the House of Representatives from Texas's 7th congressional district in 1966, he was reelected in 1968 but was defeated for election to the Senate in 1970.
In 1971, President Richard Nixon appointed Bush as Ambassador to the United Nations, he became Chairman of the Republican National Committee in 1973. The following year, President Gerald Ford appointed him Chief of the Liaison Office in China and made him the director of Central Intelligence. Bush ran for president in 1980, was defeated in the Republican primary by Ronald Reagan, as Reagan's running mate Bush became vice-president after the ticket's election. During his eight-year tenure as vice president, Bush headed task forces on deregulation and the war on drugs. Bush in 1988 defeated Democratic opponent Michael Dukakis, becoming the first incumbent vice president to be elected president in 152 years. Foreign policy drove the Bush presidency. Bush signed the North American Free Trade Agreement, which created a trade bloc consisting of the United States and Mexico. Domestically, Bush signed a bill to increase taxes, he lost the 1992 presidential election to Democrat Bill Clinton following an economic recession and the decreased importance of foreign policy in a post–Cold War political climate.
After leaving office in 1993, Bush was active in humanitarian activities alongside Clinton, his former opponent. With George W. Bush's victory in the 2000 presidential election and his son became the second father–son pair to serve as President, following John Adams and John Quincy Adams. At the time of his death, he was the longest-lived president in U. S. history, a record surpassed by Jimmy Carter on March 22, 2019. George Herbert Walker Bush was born at 173 Adams Street in Milton, Massachusetts on June 12, 1924 to Prescott Sheldon Bush and Dorothy Bush; the Bush family moved from Milton to Connecticut shortly after his birth. Bush was named after his maternal grandfather George Herbert Walker, known as "Pop", young Bush was called "Poppy" as a tribute to his namesake. Bush began his formal education at the Greenwich Country Day School attended Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts beginning in 1938, where he held a number of leadership positions which included president of the senior class, secretary of the student council, president of the community fund-raising group, a member of the editorial board of the school newspaper, captain of the varsity baseball and soccer teams.
Six months after the United States entered World War II following Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, Bush enlisted in the U. S. Navy after he graduated from Phillips Academy on his 18th birthday, he became a naval aviator. After completing the 10-month course, he was commissioned as an ensign in the Naval Reserve at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi on June 9, 1943, just three days before his 19th birthday, which made him one of the youngest aviators in the Navy. In September 1943, he was assigned to Torpedo Squadron 51 as the photographic officer; the following year, his squadron was based in USS San Jacinto as a member of Air Group 51, where his lanky physique earned him the nickname "Skin". During this time, the task force was victorious at the Battle of the Philippine Sea, one of the largest air battles of World War II. Bush was promoted to lieutenant on August 1, 1944, San Jacinto commenced operations against the Japanese in the Bonin Islands, he piloted one of the four Grumman TBM Avengers of VT-51 that attacked the Japanese installations on Chichijima on September 2, 1944.
His crew included Lt. William White, his aircraft was hit by flak during the attack, but Bush released bombs and scored several hits. With his engine ablaze, he flew several miles from the island, where he and one other crew member bailed out. Bush spent four hours in his inflated liferaft, protected by fighter aircraft circling above, until the submarine USS Finback came to his rescue, he participated in the rescue of other aviators. Several of those shot down during the attack were executed, their livers were eaten by their captors; this experience shaped Bush profoundly, leading him to ask, "Why had I been spared and what did God have for me?"In November 1944, Bush returned to San Jacinto and participated in operations in the Philippines until his squadron was replaced and sent home to the United States. By 1944 he had flown 58 combat missions for which he received the Distinguished Flying Cross, three Air Medals, the Presiden
The Purple Heart is a United States military decoration awarded in the name of the president to those wounded or killed while serving, on or after April 5, 1917, with the U. S. military. With its forerunner, the Badge of Military Merit, which took the form of a heart made of purple cloth, the Purple Heart is the oldest military award still given to U. S. military members – the only earlier award being the obsolete Fidelity Medallion. The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor is located in New York; the original Purple Heart, designated as the Badge of Military Merit, was established by George Washington – the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army – by order from his Newburgh, New York headquarters on August 7, 1782. The Badge of Military Merit was only awarded to three Revolutionary War soldiers by Gen. George Washington himself. General Washington authorized his subordinate officers to issue Badges of Merit as appropriate. From on, as its legend grew, so did its appearance. Although never abolished, the award of the badge was not proposed again until after World War I.
On October 10, 1927, Army Chief of Staff General Charles Pelot Summerall directed that a draft bill be sent to Congress "to revive the Badge of Military Merit". The bill was withdrawn and action on the case ceased January 3, 1928, but the office of the Adjutant General was instructed to file all materials collected for possible future use. A number of private interests sought to have the medal re-instituted in the Army. On January 7, 1931, Summerall's successor, General Douglas MacArthur, confidentially reopened work on a new design, involving the Washington Commission of Fine Arts. Elizabeth Will, an Army heraldic specialist in the Office of the Quartermaster General, was named to redesign the newly revived medal, which became known as the Purple Heart. Using general specifications provided to her, Will created the design sketch for the present medal of the Purple Heart; the new design, which exhibits a bust and profile of George Washington, was issued on the bicentennial of Washington's birth.
Will's obituary, in the edition of February 8, 1975 of The Washington Post newspaper, reflects her many contributions to military heraldry. The Commission of Fine Arts solicited plaster models from three leading sculptors for the medal, selecting that of John R. Sinnock of the Philadelphia Mint in May 1931. By Executive Order of the President of the United States, the Purple Heart was revived on the 200th Anniversary of George Washington's birth, out of respect to his memory and military achievements, by War Department General Order No. 3, dated February 22, 1932. The criteria were announced in a War Department circular dated February 22, 1932, authorized award to soldiers, upon their request, awarded the Meritorious Service Citation Certificate, Army Wound Ribbon, or were authorized to wear Wound Chevrons subsequent to April 5, 1917, the day before the United States entered World War I; the first Purple Heart was awarded to MacArthur. During the early period of American involvement in World War II, the Purple Heart was awarded both for wounds received in action against the enemy and for meritorious performance of duty.
With the establishment of the Legion of Merit, by an Act of Congress, the practice of awarding the Purple Heart for meritorious service was discontinued. By Executive Order 9277, dated December 3, 1942, the decoration was applied to all services; this executive order authorized the award only for wounds received. For both military and civilian personnel during the World War II era, to meet eligibility for the Purple Heart, AR 600-45, dated September 22, 1943, May 3, 1944, required identification of circumstances. After the award was re-authorized in 1932 some U. S. Army wounded from conflicts prior to the first World War applied for, were awarded, the Purple Heart: "...veterans of the Civil War and Indian Wars, as well as the Spanish–American War, China Relief Expedition, Philippine Insurrection were awarded the Purple Heart. This is because the original regulations governing the award of the Purple Heart, published by the Army in 1932, provided that any soldier, wounded in any conflict involving U.
S. Army personnel might apply for the new medal. There were but two requirements: the applicant had to be alive at the time of application and he had to prove that he had received a wound that necessitated treatment by a medical officer."Subject to approval of the Secretary of Defense, Executive Order 10409, dated February 12, 1952, revised authorizations to include the Service Secretaries. Dated April 25, 1962, Executive Order 11016, included provisions for posthumous award of the Purple Heart. Dated February 23, 1984, Executive Order 12464, authorized award of the Purple Heart as a result of terrorist attacks, or while serving as part of a peacekeeping force, subsequent to March 28, 1973. On June 13, 1985, the Senate approved an amendment to the 1985 Defense Authorization Bill, which changed the precedence of the Purple Heart award, from above the Good Conduct Medal to above the Meritorious Service Medals. Public Law 99-145 authorized the award for wounds received as a result of friendly fire.
Public Law 104-106 expanded the eligibility date, authorizing award of the Purple Heart to a former prisoner of war, wounded after April 25, 1962. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1998 changed the criteria to delete authorization for award of the Purple Heart to any non-military U. S. national s
Humanitarian Service Medal
The Humanitarian Service Medal is a military service medal of the United States Armed Forces, created on January 19, 1977 by President Gerald Ford under Executive Order 11965. The medal may be awarded to any member of the United States military who distinguishes himself or herself by meritorious participation in specified military acts or operations of a humanitarian nature. Julia V. Taft, the director of the Interagency Task Force for Indochinese resettlement proposed the establishment of a Humanitarian Service Medal for U. S. military personnel and submitted the request to President Gerald R. Ford on November 10, 1975; the medal was to be awarded to those personnel that participated in the evacuation of Vietnamese and Cambodian refugees after the Vietnam War. The proposal was met with dissent by Army Lieutenant General Harold G. Moore, concerned that the military was over-decorating its personnel with awards of participation rather than those of extraordinary achievement, he proposed a certificate of achievement as a more appropriate recognition.
Army Lieutenant General John W. Vessey supported the creation of the medal as a precedent to recognize military participation in major humanitarian actions. Vessey's view prevailed and President Ford established the medal in 1977 as one of the last acts of his presidency; this medal is presented as an individual service medal. The activities in which the Humanitarian Service Medal may be authorized are designated by the United States Department of Defense; such activities include natural disaster relief, evacuation of non-combatants from a hostile area, or humanitarian support to refugees. This medal may not be awarded for services rendered in domestic disturbances involving law enforcement, riots, or protection of property; this medal may not be presented if either the Armed Forces Service Medal or Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal was presented for the same period of service. The Humanitarian Service Medal is retroactive to April 2, 1975; the Department of the Army awards the Civilian Award for Humanitarian Service for similar service by Army civilian employees, as well as private U.
S. and foreign citizens. Centered on the obverse of the medal within a circle, is a right hand pointing diagonally upward with open palm. At the top of the reverse of the medal is the inscription, For Humanitarian Service in three lines. Below this is an oak branch, with three leaves and three acorns, below this, around the outside edge of the medal, is the inscription, United States Armed Forces. Additional awards and devicesSubsequent awards of the Humanitarian Service Medal are denoted by wearing a bronze service star on the HSM suspension and service ribbon. A silver service star is worn in lieu of five bronze service stars
The Air Medal is a military decoration of the United States Armed Forces. It was created in 1942 and is awarded for single acts of heroism or meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight; the Air Medal was established by Executive Order 9158, signed by Franklin D. Roosevelt on May 11, 1942, it was awarded retroactive to September 8, 1939 to anyone who distinguishes himself by meritorious achievement while serving with the Armed Forces in aerial flight. The original award criteria set by an Army Policy Letter dated September 25, 1942 was for one award of the Air Medal: per each naval vessel or three enemy aircraft in flight confirmed destroyed. An entire aircrew would be credited for the destruction of a ship, but only the pilot or gunner responsible would be credited for destroying an enemy aircraft. Per 25 operational flights during which exposure to enemy fire is expected. Per 100 operational flights during which exposure to enemy fire is not expected; these criteria were altered by the commanding generals of each numbered Air Force to fit the conditions of their theater of operations and to maintain morale.
The Distinguished Flying Cross would be awarded for twice to five times the requirements of the Air Medal. This led to automatic "score card" awards of the Air Medal and Distinguished Flying Cross for completing a set number of operational missions rather than distinguished service, meritorious action, or bravery, as had been intended. On August 5, 1943, such score card awards were abolished by a Headquarters Army Air Forces Awards Board memorandum due to the embarrassment when airmen received the Air Medal for "score carding" five missions or more but were removed from flying duties for "lack of moral fibre". Commanders could still issue the awards on those grounds, but the recipient must perform exceptional or meritorious service as well. During World War II, the medal's award criteria varied depending on the theater of operations, the aircraft flown, the missions accomplished. In Europe, the airspace was considered controlled by the enemy and heavy air defenses were encountered, so the criteria were altered from those of the original medal.
Bomber, photographic reconnaissance, or observation crewmembers and air transport pilots received it for five sorties, fighter pilots received it for ten sorties, individual pilots or air crewmen received one award per enemy aircraft shot down. Elsewhere in the Pacific and the China Burma India Theater, the pilots and crews flew over uncontrolled or contested airspace for long hours and lighter air defenses were encountered, so much higher criteria were used. Anti-submarine patrols from the United States could qualify for the medal if an airman logged 200 hours of flight time; the Air Medal may be awarded to recognize either single acts of merit or gallantry in combat or for meritorious service in a combat zone. Award of the Air Medal is intended to recognize those personnel who are on current crew member or non-crew member flying status which requires them to participate in aerial flight on a regular and frequent basis in the performance of their primary duties. However, it may be awarded to certain other individuals whose combat duties require regular and frequent flying in other than a passenger status, or individuals who perform a noteworthy act while performing the function of a crew member but who are not on flying status.
These individuals must make a discernible contribution to the operational land combat mission or to the mission of the aircraft in flight. Examples of personnel whose combat duties require them to fly include those in the attack elements of units involved in air-land assaults against an armed enemy and those directly involved in airborne command and control of combat operations. Examples would be transport performing supporting "Dustoff" Medevac or resupply operations, or aircraft involved in reconnaissance over hostile airspace. Awards will not be made to individuals who use air transportation for the purpose of moving from point to point in a combat zone; the Army may award the Air Medal for peacetime service, but approval authority is by general-grade officers at the group or brigade level or higher. The Air Force does not award the Air Medal for peacetime sustained operational activities and flights. Non-combat meritorious service is instead awarded the Aerial Achievement Medal, instituted in 1988.
The Air Force uses the aircraft sortie designation as a tool, but uses Oak Leaf Clusters rather than Strike / Flight Numerals to indicate additional awards. A member's individual flight management records will list the sorties that are eligible for the award; these sorties are designated Combat Support, or Operational. Only the first sortie of the day counts. Armed aircraft crews require ten sorties for each award; the United States Secretary of the Air Force approved the "V" Device for Air Medals awarded for heroism in combat effective October 21, 2004. This applies to all Air Force members and veterans; the "V" device is not authorized for wear on the medal for an earlier date. The United States Air Force does not utilize numeral devices on the Air Medal. Subsequent awards are annotated with the traditional oak leaf clusters. Enlisted members are awarded three points toward promotion per award; each ribbon carries a maximum of 4 OLCs. If there were more than four OLC devices awarded, extra Air Medal ribbons were issued to wear the extra OLCs (although
Bronze is an alloy consisting of copper with about 12–12.5% tin and with the addition of other metals and sometimes non-metals or metalloids such as arsenic, phosphorus or silicon. These additions produce a range of alloys that may be harder than copper alone, or have other useful properties, such as stiffness, ductility, or machinability; the archeological period in which bronze was the hardest metal in widespread use is known as the Bronze Age. The beginning of the Bronze Age in India and western Eurasia is conventionally dated to the mid-4th millennium BC, to the early 2nd millennium BC in China; the Bronze Age was followed by the Iron Age starting from about 1300 BC and reaching most of Eurasia by about 500 BC, although bronze continued to be much more used than it is in modern times. Because historical pieces were made of brasses and bronzes with different compositions, modern museum and scholarly descriptions of older objects use the more inclusive term "copper alloy" instead. There are two basic theories as to the origin of the word.
Romance theoryThe Romance theory holds that the word bronze was borrowed from French bronze, itself borrowed from Italian bronzo "bell metal, brass" from either, bróntion, back-formation from Byzantine Greek brontēsíon from Brentḗsion ‘Brindisi’, reputed for its bronze. Proto-Slavic theoryThe Proto-Slavic theory reflects the philological issue that in the most of Slavonic languages word "bronza" corresponds to "war metal" while at the early stages of the Bronze working it was used exclusively for military purposes; the discovery of bronze enabled people to create metal objects which were harder and more durable than possible. Bronze tools, weapons and building materials such as decorative tiles were harder and more durable than their stone and copper predecessors. Bronze was made out of copper and arsenic, forming arsenic bronze, or from or artificially mixed ores of copper and arsenic, with the earliest artifacts so far known coming from the Iranian plateau in the 5th millennium BC, it was only that tin was used, becoming the major non-copper ingredient of bronze in the late 3rd millennium BC.
Tin bronze was superior to arsenic bronze in that the alloying process could be more controlled, the resulting alloy was stronger and easier to cast. Unlike arsenic, metallic tin and fumes from tin refining are not toxic; the earliest tin-alloy bronze dates to 4500 BC in a Vinča culture site in Pločnik. Other early examples date to the late 4th millennium BC in Egypt and some ancient sites in China and Mesopotamia. Ores of copper and the far rarer tin are not found together, so serious bronze work has always involved trade. Tin sources and trade in ancient times had a major influence on the development of cultures. In Europe, a major source of tin was the British deposits of ore in Cornwall, which were traded as far as Phoenicia in the eastern Mediterranean. In many parts of the world, large hoards of bronze artifacts are found, suggesting that bronze represented a store of value and an indicator of social status. In Europe, large hoards of bronze tools socketed axes, are found, which show no signs of wear.
With Chinese ritual bronzes, which are documented in the inscriptions they carry and from other sources, the case is clear. These were made in enormous quantities for elite burials, used by the living for ritual offerings. Though bronze is harder than wrought iron, with Vickers hardness of 60–258 vs. 30–80, the Bronze Age gave way to the Iron Age after a serious disruption of the tin trade: the population migrations of around 1200–1100 BC reduced the shipping of tin around the Mediterranean and from Britain, limiting supplies and raising prices. As the art of working in iron improved, iron improved in quality; as cultures advanced from hand-wrought iron to machine-forged iron, blacksmiths learned how to make steel. Steel holds a sharper edge longer. Bronze was still used during the Iron Age, has continued in use for many purposes to the modern day. There are many different bronze alloys, but modern bronze is 88% copper and 12% tin. Alpha bronze consists of the alpha solid solution of tin in copper.
Alpha bronze alloys of 4–5% tin are used to make coins, springs and blades. Historical "bronzes" are variable in composition, as most metalworkers used whatever scrap was on hand; the proportions of this mixture suggests. The Benin Bronzes are in fact brass, the Romanesque Baptismal font at St Bartholomew's Church, Liège is described as both bronze and brass. In the Bronze Age, two forms of bronze were used: "classic bronze", about 10% tin, was used in