Savannah WWII veteran given France’s highest honor

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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The French Government is giving a Savannah World War II veteran the highest possible honor. On Tuesday, Paul Grassey was the recipient of a Legion of Honor for his brave fight in France.

The ceremony was held at the Mighty 8th Air Force Museum in Pooler. The museum says Grassey has been a docent since the day it opened. Since then, Grassey has led thousands of tours and presentations about his time during the war.

Grassey enlisted himself in the Army Air Corps and served with the 446th BG, 8th Air Force. His bravery stood with him when he flew 13 combat missions.

A Consul General of France in Atlanta visited Pooler to bestow the Legion of Honor upon Grassey. It is France’s highest honor. It is given to a Frenchman or foreign national who served France bravely and honorably. It also symbolizes America’s strong bond with France.

“I’m very happy to do these ceremonies because… I was born in Normandy, so I know the region well,” said Vincent Hommeril, the Consul General of France in Atlanta.

Hommeril is the one who pinned the honor onto Grassey’s chest. The 96-year-old veteran says he never expected to receive it.

“I want to thank you all for coming here,” he said to an audience of friends and family members. “I don’t think I’ve had something like this happen to me.”

Grassey says his book, his museum tours and even this achievement is for his friends he fought with on the battlefield.

“It was 22 years ago when this museum started. It was 90 volunteers and 60 of us were veterans. They have all passed away. And what I got today is for them,” said Grassey.

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