Posted by: SJS | August 11, 2011

Ordre national de la Legion d’honneur

Legion of Honor Medal

French Legion of Honour

The decision by the government of France to award the prestigious Legion of Honour to PT Vets whose service during WWII contributed to the liberation of that nation is no small thing.  It underscores the importance of the bond between France and the United States that dates back to the founding of our country.  Without the support of the French and the courageous involvement of military figures like Lafayette, the American war for independence from Great Britain may have had far different outcome.

Red in dress blues, hatless

Red Stahley, USNR, 1944

The battles that were fought in the Mediterranean during the summer of 1944 involved American PT sailors, British commandos, Free French soldiers and French Colonial soldiers from Africa.  While most of the attention during the summer of 1944 was focused on the Normandy Invasion (D-Day) and its aftermath, there was fierce fighting occurring on the Island of Elba as well as the coast of southern France.  Red Stahley’s PT Squadron (Ron) 15 was in the thick of the action and the combined Allied efforts resulted in a string of impressive victories in this theater of the war.

I sincerely hope that all Surviving PT Vets who played a role in the liberation of France will submit the necessary paperwork to the French Embassy in Washington so they can receive this prestigious award.  Their noble service has been recognized by the citizens of France and the presentation of this honor is a profound note of thanks for a job well done.

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