Three Oklahoma World War II veterans were awarded France's highest honor Tuesday for their service toward liberating France.
World War II veterans W.M. Lynch, of Norman, and Oren Peters and L.M. Sullivan, both of Edmond, each were presented with the French medal of Chevalier (Knight) of the French National Order of the Legion of Honor for their military service.
The medals were presented by Sujiro Seam, a consul general of France, during a ceremony at the state Capitol.
Lynch was part of the 47th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division.
“As a heavy artillery operator for the 2nd Battalion, Mr. Lynch arrived on Utah Beach in Normandy on June 13th of 1944 and faced the enemy on the Cotentin Peninsula,” according to a news release. “He participated in the capture of Cherbourg at the end of June, and took part in the capture of Saint-Lo in July. In September of 1944, his regiment was the first to penetrate the Siegfried line into Germany.”
Lynch received the Purple Heart Medal for injuries suffered in the Battle of the Hurtgen Forest on Sept. 22, 1944.
Sullivan entered the 3021st Army Air Force Base Unit as a cadet in October 1942 as part of the 848th Bombardment Squadron, 490th Bombardment Group.
His first mission as a tail-gunner for a B-24 bomber took place on June 6, 1944, during D-Day. After participating in additional flights bombing strategic enemy sites in northern France, Sullivan became a tail-gunner for a B-17 and participated in the Battle of Brest.