ATLANTA, Ga. (WTVA) -- In an effort to express France’s eternal gratitude to those who liberated it from oppression from 1944-45, the newly appointed Consul General of France in Atlanta, Denis Barbet, will bestow the Legion of Honor upon 12 American WWII Veterans from the U.S. Southeast.
The ceremony will be held on September 27 at the Lenox Building in Atlanta.
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. Recipients of this honor are designated by the President of the Republic.
The following veterans will receive this award in recognition of their courage:
William Garrett, from Winona, MS (Technician 4th Grade, Company C, 245th Engineering Combat Battalion);
Richard Gibian, from Selma, AL (Major, 373rd Fighter Group, 411th Fighter Squadron, 95th Air Force);
William W. Varnedoe, from Hunstville, AL (First Lieutenant, 385th Bomb Group, 8th Air Force);
Stanley E. Richardson, from Alexander City, AL (Private First Class, 3rd Battalion, 180th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division);
Lewis J. Baldwin, from Double Springs, AL (Private First Class, Cannon Company, 38th Infantry Regiment);
Marion J. Nesmith, from Snellville, GA (Private First Class, 329th Regiment, 83rd Division);
Isaac H. Storey, from Rome, GA (Captain, 10th Infantry Regiment, 5th Infantry Division);
Charles G. Shepherd Jr., from Chamblee, GA (First Lieutenant, 121th Infantry Regiment, 8th Infantry Division);
Julian P. Rau, from Decatur, GA (Technician 5th Grade, 30th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Division);
Morton B. Waitzman, from Atlanta, GA (Technical 5th Grade, 2nd Battalion, 115th Infantry Regiment);
Eddie J. Sessions, from Carrollton, GA (Private First Class, 95th Infantry Division);
James C. Austin, from Rome, GA (Pharmacist’s mate second class, LST-57).