• Last modified 6199 days ago (June 7, 2007)
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Denis Huston eligible for Legion of Honor medal

I was sorry to read about the death of our "Old Editor." I never had a chance to meet him.

I often wondered, because he was a forward artillery observer, whether he was the fellow who, with all of his radio equipment, sat with me in a covered duck pen where I, as a rifleman, had set up an observation position shortly before his arrival. It was fascinating to sit and listen in reasonable safety to the ongoing engagement with the enemy as the observation Piper Cubs flew overhead.

I read the article about the possibility of being eligible for the Legion of Honor from the French government. After seeing it, I realized I was indeed eligible, called a local travel agency, and got the number and address of the French consulate in Seattle WA.

My first contact, a clerk at the consulate, was quite intrigued that I had the information. About six months earlier, 15 other Normandy veterans and I had been awarded the Liberty Medal of Freedom by our local congressman, who was sort of representing the French government as a favor. (Also received a Congressional "thank you" certificate.)

When I told the clerk this, he said he would get back to me shortly after checking his database in which my name was listed because of the Freedom Medal. Within minutes, a woman called from the consulate and said I knew more about the situation than they did. She had me read to her the article from the Checkerboard. I also sent her a copy.

She said she would call the VA office in Olympia WA, but I haven't figured out why. I have the copy of my Bronze Star citation should it be required for proof and the rest is on record.

It will be interesting to see what, if anything, happens next.

The only other 99'er who I know of who would be eligible for the French Legion of Honor is dead. He was Joseph Thibault. He landed with me at Normandy and volunteered with me for combat duty. I believe he is buried in France, having died at the end of the war and our occupation duty. I don't remember his rifle company in the 394th.

Denis Huston

504 Point Brown Ave. SE

Ocean Shores WA 98569-9566