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WWII vet in Omaha honored for helping liberate France

Posted: 10:40 AM, Oct 30, 2019
Updated: 2019-10-30 14:07:07-04
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OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — A World War II veteran in Omaha, who was part of the legendary unit 'The Big Red One' and landed on Omaha Beach during the storming of Normandy, is being "awarded France’s highest distinction for his participation in the liberation of France during WWII." This year marks the 75th anniversary of landings in Normandy and Southern France by allied forces.

This morning, 96-year-old Edward H. Morrissette will be presented the Legion of Honor medal by Consul General of France to the Midwest, Guillaume Lacroix.

The award ceremony is scheduled to begin at 11:00 a.m. at the Omaha Army Reserve Center.

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts will be on hand to deliver remarks.

More from the Consulate General of France in Chicago's release about the event:

Edward H. “Ed” MORRISSETTE was a member of the 16th Infantry, First Division, also known as the “The Big Red One,” where he served as a machine gun squad leader, and military policeman. He entered active service on January 15th, 1941 in Richmond, VA.

From August 1942 until September 1945, he participated in the campaigns of North Africa (French Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia), Sicily, Normandy (D-Day Landing at Omaha Beach - second wave, Battle of Saint-…), Northern France, Rhineland (Battle of Hürtgen Forest, Battle of the Bulge…) and Central Europe (Germany and Czechoslovakia). Cpl. MORRISSETTE was honorably discharged on September 20th, 1945 at Fort George G. Meade, MD.

For his service during the Second World War, Edward H. MORRISSETTE was awarded several distinctions including the Bronze Star Medal (Tunisia), the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Ribbon, the Good Conduct Medal, the American Defense Service Medal, and the Distinguished Unit Badge.

After his service, Mr. Morrissette spent most of his career working as a civil engineer with the U.S Air Force (North American Aviation in Los Angeles, Langley AFB, March AFB). He joined the Offutt Air Force Base, SAC in 1972, and retired as Deputy Director of Operations and Maintenance in 1981.

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 FrenchRepublic. Recipients of this honor are named by decree signed by the President of the Republic.

3 News Now Anchor and Reporter John Madden will have more on this story tonight, on 3 News Now Live at 6 - Available on-air, on our website and on the 3 News Now apps for mobile and streaming devices.

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