French Diplomats Pin Medals On Chests Of Tennessee Veterans

Ivy Agee, center, is among the nine World War II veterans from Tennessee who received the Legion of Honor. Image: Rita Richardson

Ivy Agee, center, is among the nine World War II veterans from Tennessee who received the Legion of Honor. Image: Rita Richardson

Nine World War II veterans from Tennessee are now the recipients of France’s highest honor. On Tuesday, they received the Legion of Honor at a ceremony in Nashville. French diplomatic missions around the US are bestowing the award on veterans who took part in the liberation of that country, between 1944 and 45. Those honored in Nashville are:

– Bernard E. Meier from Smyrna, TN (First Lieutenant, 146th Engineer Combat Battalion)
– James L. Springer from Columbia, TN (Staff Sergeant, 38th Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division)
– Ivy C. Agee from Gordonsville, TN (Sergeant, Battery B, 111th Field Artillery Battalion)
– William D. Moon from Chattanooga, TN (Sergeant, Company A, 397th Infantry)
– Herman L. Finnell from Harrison, TN (Sergeant, 7th Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division)
– Kenneth A. Kittinger from Madison, TN (Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class, U.S. Navy Armed Guard)
– Kenneth G. Bush from Nashville, TN (Technician 3rd Grade, Medical Detachment, 23rd Infantry)
– James R. Massengale from Hixson, TN (Private First Class, Headquarters Company, 317th Infantry, 80th Division)
– Forde L. Callis from Ridgetop, TN (Private, Company B, 141st Infantry, 36th Division)

While it’s normally reserved for citizens of France, the Legion of Honor is also awarded to foreign nationals who “uphold the ideals of the French Republic.”

French Consul General Denis Barbet pins the Legion of Honor on Bernard Meier of Smyrna. Meier served in the 146th Combat Engineer Battalion, which took part in D-Day. Image: Rita Richardson

French Consul General Denis Barbet pins the Legion of Honor on Bernard Meier of Smyrna. Meier served in the 146th Combat Engineer Battalion, which took part in D-Day. Image: Rita Richardson

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