SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Tuesday, World War II Veteran Paul Grassey was recognized for his military service and role in helping to free France from Nazi occupation.
The Consul General of France in Atlanta, Vincent Hommeril, presented Grassey with the French Legion of Honor medal during a ceremony at the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force.
American recipients of the French Legion of Honor include the likes of Dwight D. Eisenhower and Douglas MacArthur. Today, Paul Grassey joined the ranks of military members recognized by France for fighting in one of the four main campaigns of the Liberation of France in World War II.
“France is what it is today, a free and sovereign country, thanks to the bravery of such veterans and thanks to America," said Hommeril.
Grassey enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1942, and after training was assigned to the 446th Bomber Group, 8th Air Force, in England.
Grassey flew more than a dozen combat missions as a B-24 pilot.
After receiving the French Legion of Honor medal, Grassey reflected on his time at the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force and the original group of volunteers he worked with, many of whom were Eighth Air Force veterans, too.
“What I got today is for them. These are the guys. I was lucky enough to be here all these years, and I enjoy it, love it. But I always wanted to take care of my pals.”
Grassey continues to volunteer his time at the museum, giving presentations and sharing his experiences with visitors.
If you have a World War II veteran you’d like to nominate for the honor, contact the Consulate General of France in Atlanta at 404.495.1660
Veterans must be living, and fought in one of the four main campaigns of the Liberation of France: Normandy, Provence, Ardennes or Northern France.