9 WWII Veterans to receive French Legion of Honor [fr]
Consul General Barbet will honor 8 American WWII veterans from Alabama and Mississippi with the Legion of Honor on January 29, 2016 at City Hall in Montgomery, AL.
In order to express France’s eternal gratitude to those who liberated it from oppression from 1944-45, the Consul General of France in Atlanta, Denis Barbet, will bestow the Legion of Honor upon 9 American WWII veterans during in a ceremony to be held on January 29, 2016 at 1:30 p.m. at City Hall in Montgomery, AL.
Founded by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802, the National Order of the Legion of Honor is the highest honor in France. It recognizes eminent services to the French Republic. Foreign nationals who have served France or the ideals it upholds may receive a distinction from the Legion of Honor. American veterans who risked their lives during World War II and who fought on French territory qualify to be decorated as Knights of the Legion of Honor. Veterans must have fought in one of the four main campaigns of the Liberation of France: Normandy, Provence, Ardennes, or Northern France. Recipients of this honor are designated by the President of the Republic, François Hollande.
The following veterans, newly named to the National Order of the Legion of Honor, will be recognized in honor of their courage:
- Joseph Connaughton from Huntsville, AL (First Lieutenant, 319th Bomb Group, 438th Squadron)
- William E. Massey from Homewood, AL (First Lieutenant, 401st Bomb Group, 8th Air Force)
- Don Echols from Homewood, AL (Staff Sergeant, 458th Bomb Group, 8th Air Force)
- Ellington Franklin from Hoover, AL (Staff Sergeant, 81st troop Carrier Squadron, 436th Carrier Group, 9th Air Force)
- Joseph O. Ingram, Jr from Sheffield, AL (Technical Sergeant, 96th Bomb Group, 337th Squadron)
- Sherwin A. Callander from Madison, AL (Fireman First Class, USS Lyon)
- David L. Smith from Madison, MS (Private First Class, 179 Infantry, 45th Division)
- Vincent C. Rowell from Memphis, TN (Private First Class 311th Field Artillery Battalion, 79th Infantry Division)
In addition, the son of J.T. Street, Jr. from Ripley, MS (Private First Class, 3820th Quartermaster Gas Supply Company, 3rd Armored Division) will be present to accept the medal on behalf of his late father.
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