In order to express France’s "eternal gratitude" to those who liberated it from oppression from 1944-45, the Consul General of France in Atlanta, Denis Barbet, will bestow the Legion of Honor upon 12 American WWII Veterans from Georgia during a next week.
The list includes three from northeast Georgia: Harry T. Catchpole of Bogart, Arthur Mohor of Hartwell and Henry R. Petree of Bethlehem.
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. Foreign nationals who have served France or the ideals it upholds may receive a distinction from the Legion of Honor. American veterans who risked their lives during World War II and who fought on French territory qualify to be decorated as Knights of the Legion of Honor. Veterans must have fought in one of the four main campaigns of the Liberation of France: Normandy, Provence, Ardennes, or Northern France. Recipients of this honor are designated by the President of the Republic, François Hollande.
The following veterans have all confirmed plans to be at the ceremony:
· Farish C. Chandler, Jr. from Sandy Springs, GA (Lieutenant Colonel (Ret), 8th Air Force)
· John Martin from Stone Mountain (Major (Ret), 829th Amphibious Truck Company)
· John F. Bales from Good Hope, GA (Capitan, 492nd Bomb Group, 859th Squadron)
· Lloyd E. Pittman from Sandy Springs, GA (1st Lieutenant, 492nd Bomb Group)
· Harry T. Catchpole from Bogart, GA (Technical Sergeant, 9th Traffic regulation Group, 3rd Army)
· Frank W. Blackston from Dunwoody, GA (Staff Sergeant, Company B, 36th Tank Battalion)
· Arthur Mohor from Hartwell, GA (Staff Sergeant, 302nd Infantry Regiment, 94th Division)
· Frank G. Bond from Fayetteville, GA (Technician 5th Grade, 106th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron)
· William B. Johnson from Atlanta, GA (Technician 5th Grade, 340th Field Artillery Battalion, 89th Division)
· Bert R. Sadler from Morrow, GA (Marine Stocker/Landing Craft, 652 LCM Flotilla, 32RM Battalion)
· Henry R. Petree from Bethlehem, GA (Private First Class, 1306th Engineer General Service Regiment)
In addition, Janice Sears will accept the award on behalf of her late father, Michael Doi from Stone Mountain (Private First Class, 100th Battalion, 442nd Regimental Company Unit, Company C).