Upon presentation of their military file as detailed hereunder, US veterans who risked their life during World War II to fight on French territory, may be awarded this distinction. Those selected are appointed to the rank of Knight of the Legion of Honor. The Legion of Honor medal is not awarded posthumously.
Created to honor extraordinary contributions to the country, the Legion of Honor is France’s highest distinction.
To be eligible to this outstanding award, the veteran has to fit strict criteria :
Interested veterans of all the different armed forces must have fought in at least one of the 3 main campaigns of the Liberation of France: Normandy, Provence/Southern France or Northern France. Actions having taken place in Belgium, Germany, Italy or any other neighboring European country are not taken into consideration.
The file presented must contain a copy of the military separation record (honorable discharge), the Proposal Memory application (below) and a copy of a current identity document with a picture.
If possible, it should also contain copies of citations for all the decorations already received in France or in the United States indicating meritorious action during wartime operations. This is particularly important for decorations that were not shown in the discharge document at the time of separation. To be considered, these citations must have been issued during WWII or the close aftermath, and must relate to events (outstanding actions, wounds, having been made prisoner, evasions, having taken action with the resistance, etc.) that took place on the French territory only which includes ground, airspace and coastal waters.
Since only a small number of Legion of Honor medals are awarded each year in the United States, care is taken to nominate only those with the most distinguished records. It is important to have such decorations as the Bronze Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart, Silver Star and higher, earned in French territory in order to have a competitive record.
If the veteran lives in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont he or she must send the file with the request for consideration for the French Legion of Honor to the