At a ceremony held late last month, Henry W. Smith, a Lebanon native, received France’s highest honor for his service defending that country.
The event was held at the Lebanon VA Medical Center, where Smith has been a patient.
A US Army vet of five combat campaigns in Europe during World War II, Smith was given the rank of Knight in the Order of the Legion of Honor by Michael Scullin, Honorary Consul of France, on behalf of the Ambassador of France.
US Ambassador to France Jamie D. McCourt recognized Smith in a recent tweet over the weekend.
The Legion of Honor is the highest order of merit that any citizen, French or foreign, can receive from that government.
Smith entered service on December 15, 1942. After enlisting he attended basic training at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and was then assigned to Battery C, 203rd Field Artillery Battalion. Smith survived a boat crash during the invasion of Normandy, and went on to provide direct support to front line units through campaigns in Germany, Belgium, Holland, and the Ardennes. After the war ended, Smith assisted relocated civilians in Germany. He was mustered out of service on October 31, 1945 as a Technician Fifth Grade at Fort Indiantown Gap.
His previous military awards and decorations include:
- Army Good Conduct Medal
- American Campaign Medal
- European-African-Middle East Campaign Medal with 5 Bronze Stars
- World War II Victory Medal
Below you can see video of Smith wearing his most recent decoration.
This post was updated after publication to state where the event took place.