France to honor three South Dakota World War II Veterans

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

WWII Veterans from South Dakota, Jimmy J. Traupel, 96, of Mitchell; Orville B. Lerew, 97, of Faulkton; and Kenneth R. Higashi, 97, of Spearfish, will be awarded France’s highest distinction for their participation in the liberation of France during WWII.

The French 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.

Consul General of France to the Midwest region, Guillaume LACROIX, will officially present the Legion of Honor medal to the Honorees during three separate ceremonies.

Veteran Orville B. Lerew to be honored on Saturday, August 24 at 10:30?a.m. at United Methodist Church, 1011 St John St. in Faulkton. S/Sgt. Lerew was a member of the United States Army, Troop “D” 87th Cavalry, 7th Armored Division where he was a platoon leader. He participated in the Northern France, the Rhineland, the Ardennes and Central Europe campaigns. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart with one (1) Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster, the American Campaign Medal, the European-African-Middle Eastern Medal with four (4) Bronze Service Stars, two (2) Overseas Service Bars, the Honorable Service Lapel Button WWII, the WWII Victory Medal, and the Expert Badge with Carabine Bar.

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