WWII Veterans Receive Decorations from France

Posted on June 16th, 2016 by:

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WWII Veterans receive decorations from France

France honored American WWII Veterans with awards in a ceremony on Wednesday at the Levine Museum of the New South in North Carolina.

WWII veteran John “Worth” Newman remembered being a 19 year old waist gunner on a B-17 Flying Fortress near the end of World War Two. On a mission over France to drop supplies to French troops, Newman’s plane was attacked by a German fighter that came out of the sun and shot a hole in one of the B17’s four engines. Flying in four engine bombers over Europe was one of the most dangerous places to be in the war, but for Newman, it was his job.


“You just did it,” he said when asked about his wartime experiences. Now 92, and the last surviving member of his ten man crew, Newman and nine other veterans from North Carolina were honored for their service. The men received France’s highest recognition, the National Order of the Legion of Honor.

Denis Barbet, the Consul General of France in Atlanta, who presented the awards said “It is thanks to them, who fought against tyranny and for a free world, that we were able to celebrate the peace restored to a democratic Europe. Dear veterans, you are our heroes. By fulfilling your duty to your country, you helped ensure liberty and democracy for the French people, and we will never forget that.”

The National Order of the Legion of Honor was established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802 to recognize outstanding service to the French republic. More than 70 veterans from North Carolina have received the award over the past decade.

The French Consul General went on to say “Each time, I can assure you that I was and I am deeply humbled and moved by the opportunity to meet those veterans and express to them officially the eternal gratitude of the French for their brave service more than 70 years ago,”

The ten Legion of Honor recipients at the ceremony are:

Richard P. Woodson, Raleigh (Major, United States Air Force, 96th Bomb Group, 8th Air Force)

Lewis E. Herron, Asheville (Staff Sergeant, 8th Air Force, 100th Bomb Group)

John “Worth” Newman, Mooresville (Staff Sergeant, 410th Bombardment Squadron, 94th Bombardment Group, 4th Combat Bombardment Wing, 3rd Bombardment Division, 8th Air Force)

Jerome M. Schwartz, Charlotte (Staff Sergeant, Company A, 379th Regiment, 95th Infantry Division)

James M. Bond, Edenton (Sergeant, 8th Air Force, 385th Bomb Group, 551th Bomb Squad)

Vincent Corsini, Burlington (Sergeant, Company I, 116th Regiment, 29th Infantry Division)

Mervin Eugene Hogg, Wilmington (Sergeant, Anti-Tank Company, 358th Infantry Regiment, 90th Infantry Division)

James R. Inman, Elizabethtown (Private First Class, 551th Anti-Aircraft, 3rd Army)

Photo via The Charlotte Observer

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