ST. LOUIS – Three St. Louis area veterans were awarded on Wednesday with the highest honor from France, the French Legion of Honor.
Eugene J. Harmack, Glen A. Harrison and Alfred C. Villagran were presented with France’s highest distinction for their participation in the liberation of France during WWII.
Consul General of France for the Midwest region, Guillaume Lacroix, officially presented the Legion of Honor medal to the Honorees at Soldiers Memorial Military Museum in downtown St. Louis at during a standing room only ceremony Wednesday morning.
The three French Legion of Honor Honorees are:
Eugene J. Harmack, 98, of St. Louis, Technician 5th Grade, communication operator, 329th HQ Company, 83rd Infantry. Mr. Harmack participated in the Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes and Central Europe campaigns.
Glen A. Harrison, 98 of O’Fallon, Missouri, 2nd Lt., co-pilot, 339th Squadron, 96th Bomb Group, 8th Air Force. Mr. Harrison, POW, flew 17 missions during the Normandy and Air Offensive Europe campaigns.
Alfred C. Villagran, 95, of Chesterfield, radio operator and gunner, 369th Bomb Squadron, 306th Bomb Group, 8th Air Force. Mr. Villagran flew 33 missions during the Normandy, Northern France and Germany campaigns.
The Legion of Honor is the highest distinction that France can bestow upon those who have achieved remarkable deeds for France. Founded by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802, the National Order of the Legion of Honor recognizes eminent service to the French Republic. Recipients of this honor are named by decree signed by the President of the Republic.
Previous Legion of Honor recipients include Dwight Eisenhower, Miles Davis, Bob Dylan, Charles Lindbergh, and Clint Eastwood.