American and French WWII veterans honored in Montgomery, AL (01/29/16) [fr]
American WWII soldiers were honored and fallen French soldiers were remembered during a recent visit to Montgomery, Alabama.
French Consul General Denis Barbet presented the Legion of Honor to 9 American WWII veterans during a ceremony at Montgomery City Hall on January 29, 2016.
In the presence of friends, family, and representatives of the City of Montgomery and Alabama Veterans Affairs, the following veterans were recognized for their service, which contributed to the liberation of France during World War II.
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)
Vincent C. Rowell from Memphis, TN (Private First Class 311th Field Artillery Battalion, 79th Infantry Division)
David L. Smith from Madison, MS (Private First Class, 179 Infantry, 45th Division)
In addition, the son of J.T. Street, Jr. from Ripley, MS (Private First Class, 3820th Quartermaster Gas Supply Company, 3rd Armored Division) accepted the medal on behalf of his late father.
- Oakwood Cemetery
- Consul General Barbet with Montgomery VA Regional Office Director Cory Hawthorne and Public Affairs Officer Dawn Johnson at the French Pilot Cemetery at Oakwood Cemetery Montgomery.
Following the Legion of Honor ceremony, the Montgomery VA Regional Office Director, Cory A. Hawthorne and Public Affairs Officer Dawn Johnson took Mr. Barbet to visit the carefully maintained French Army Pilot Cemetery in Oakwood Cemetery Montgomery and pay respects to the twenty French soldiers who are buried there, along with Honorary French Consul, Bernard Albert Auzias de Turenne.
In 1943, French pilots were sent to the U.S. for training. More than 4,000 members of the French Air Force received training by the USAAF from June 1943 through November 1945. A bronze plaque at Oakwood Cemetery lists the100 French soldiers in the French Air Force and Navy who died in the U.S. during WWII.
Pictures from the Montgomery visit can be found on our Flickr page.