Hutchinson (MN). WWII Veteran Elvin "Speed" Homan receives the French Legion of Honor
On November 18th, Consul General Lacroix awarded the Legion of Honor to WWII Veteran Elvin "Speed" Homan, 93, in Hutchinson, MN. He was accompanied by Honorary Consul of France in Minnesota Christina Selander- Bouzouina. Many attended the ceremony including Hutchinson Mayor Gary Forcier, State Representative Glenn Gruenhagen, veterans, lawmakers, members of the Memorial Rifle Squad and friends and family of Mr. Homan.
Corporal Elvin “Speed” Homan entered into active service in March 1943, at the age of 18. He was assigned to the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment attached to the 101st Airborne Division where he served as a paratrooper and a member of a mortar squad with the “C” company.
On June 6, 1944, he took part in the Allied invasion in Normandy along with 17,000 fellow paratroopers. While the planes carrying the paratroopers were approaching the coasts of France, they found themselves under severe anti-aircraft enemy fire. In the middle of the night, his regiment was dropped behind enemy lines, far from the shores and miles from the targeted drop zone by Utah Beach. Mr. Homan and his fellow servicemen were scattered over an area four times larger than the designated one. He landed in an unknown territory, and under the constant threat from enemy fire. It took him four long days to rejoin his unit. Once reunited with his company, with your “Band of Brothers”, he went on fighting 14 consecutive days including in the vicinity of the famous village of Sainte-Mère-Eglise. Despite the great losses, and the confusion from this unforeseen situation, his regiment was able to successfully move forward with its objectives.
Mr. Homan later were sent to England for rest and to train for Operation Market Garden in Holland. On September 17, 1944, as his plane was entering combat zone near Amsterdam, it got hit and severely damaged. Following the parachute drop, he was immediately captured by the enemy. He would spend the following five months held prisoner in Germany until a Russian tank column came to the rescue.
Mr. Homan, has received prestigious distinctions including the French Croix de Guerre with Palm.
- An area veteran has joined the Legion of Honor by Jeremy Jones, Novev. 18, 2017 - Hutchinson Leader.
- Hutchinson Veteran Receives France’s Highest Honor - WCCO - CBS Minnesota - November 18, 2017 8:10 PM
- Broadcast of the "Elvin (Speed) Homan Knight of Legion of Honor Award Ceremony"- McLeod County Veteran Service’s Facebook page.