|WWII Veterans from South Dakota, Jimmy J. TRAUPEL, 96, of Mitchell, Orville B. LEREW, 97, of Faulkton and Kenneth R. HIGASHI, 97, of Spearfish, will be awarded France’s highest distinction for their participation in the liberation of France during WWII.
The French Legion of Honor is the highest distinction that France can bestow upon those who have achieved remarkable deeds for France. Founded by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802, the National Order of the Legion of Honor recognizes eminent service to the French Republic. Recipients of this honor are named by decree signed by the President of the Republic.
Consul General of France to the Midwest region, Guillaume LACROIX, will officially present the Legion of Honor medal to the Honorees during three separate ceremonies:
– WWII Veteran Jimmy J. TRAUPEL to be honored on Wednesday, August 21, 2019 at 10:30am at the Veterans Park (1st and Main Street) in Mitchell, SD 57301 (weather permitting. Alternate address: Corn Palace, 601 N. Main Street, Mitchell, SD 57301).
S/Sgt. TRAUPEL was a member of the 379th Bombardment Group, 8th Air Force. He flew 34 combat missions during WWII as a waist gunner in a B-17. He was awarded the Purple Heart Medal, the Air Medal with three (3) Oak Leaf Clusters, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the European-African-Middle Eastern Medal with two (2) Battle Stars, the Good Conduct Medal and one (1) Overseas Service Bar.
– WWII Veteran Orville B. LEREW to be honored on Thursday, August 22nd at 11:00am at United Methodist Church – 1011 St John St. in Faulkton, SD 57438
– WWII Veteran Kenneth R. HIGASHI to be honored on Friday, August 23rd at 10:00am at Meier Hall – Black Hills State University Campus – Yellow Jacket Lane, Spearfish, SD 57799
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