World War II veteran Alvin H. Perry, 95, of Wilmore, will be awarded France’s highest distinction next month for his participation in the liberation of France.
Consul General of France to the Midwest, Guillaume LaCroix, will officially present the Legion of Honor Medal to Mr. Perry on Thursday, June 6 at 5:30 p.m. EDT at the Thomson-Hood Veterans Center (THVC) in Wilmore.
The occasion also marks the 75th anniversary of the D-Day Landings and the Battle of Normandy on June 6, 1944.
“It is a great honor for us to host this presentation and to welcome Consul General LaCroix,” said Brig. Gen. Benjamin Adams, Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs. “Alvin Perry is a well-known and popular resident of THVC, still active at 95, and we are thrilled that he is receiving this honor.”
“Mr. Perry is delightful, unpretentious and always has a smile,” said THVC Administrator Ben Sweger. “He visits the other veterans, and talks with anybody.”
Pfc. Perry was a member of the 331st Infantry Regiment, 83rd Infantry Division. He participated in the Battle of Normandy where he was wounded in action and captured. He was awarded the Prisoner of War Medal, the Purple Heart Medal, Good Conduct Medal and the WWII Victory Medal for his service in France.
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.
Pfc. Perry landed at Omaha Beach on June 18, 1944. He participated in the Battle of Normandy and the fighting in the hedgerows, in particular in the southwest area of Carentan.
On July 19, 1944, he was wounded in action and captured by the enemy forces. After a period of hospitalization in Rouen, France, he was first transferred to Stalag XII-A, a prison camp in Limburg, Germany. He remained there for a couple of weeks before being transferred to Stalag VII-A in Moosburg in southern Bavaria, where he spent 10 months in captivity. He was liberated by the American troops in April 1945.
Media requests for advance interviews with Mr. Perry should be directed to ceremony coordinator Denny Hart, [email protected], 859-388-0299.
Interviews will be possible before the ceremony from 5:15pm until 5:30pm in the Library of the Thomson-Hood Veterans Center, and after the ceremony.
Media inquiries regarding Thomson-Hood Veterans Center and the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs should be directed to Lisa Aug, [email protected], 502-564-9203.
Media inquiries regarding the Legion of Honor, Consul General of France Guillaume LaCroix, and the Liberation of France should be directed to Pascale Furlong, Press and Communication Attaché, Consulate General of France, 205 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 3700, Chicago, IL 60601, 312-327-5220.