Kansas City (MO). WWII Veteran Charles Whittington awarded the French Legion of Honor
Kansas City (MO). On September 9th, Colonel Pierre-Olivier Marchand, French Army Liaison Officer at the Combined Arms Center in Fort Leavenworth, presented the French Legion of Honor to WWII Veteran Charles B. “Red” Whittington.
Mr. Whittington, 95, a native of St. Louis Crossing (IN), was presented the medal during the annual reunion of the 95th Division. During the evening, a special tribute was paid to the “Iron Men of Metz”. 10 other American veterans from the 95th Infantry Division were present, two of them had been already awarded the Legion of Honor. Hundreds of guests and veterans attended the event.
Mr. Whittington entered active duty in August 1942. He was 21 years old. He served with the 377th Infantry assigned to the “I” company where he was at first a platoon sergeant, then platoon leader during combat operations.
On September 13th, Mr. Whittington landed at Omaha Beach. After a few weeks spent assisting with trucking supplies on the Red Ball Express, he was deployed to the Northeastern part of France, in the Lorraine region.
The Moselle and Seille Rivers, Rombas, Uckange, Maizières-les-Metz, the Forts on the Maginot Line and the Fortress of Metz are some of the places where Mr. Whittington and the men of the 95th Division made history.
In three different engagements, during the attacks in Château Brieux, Maizières-les-Metz, and Julian-les-Metz, Mr. Whittington was wounded in combat but continued to fight on. But on November 26, as his company was attempting to break the Siegfried Line and capture Teterchen, Mr. Whittington received multiple shrapnel wounds. He had to be evacuated. On August 28, 1945, after 9 months of hospitalization, he was honorably discharged from the U.S Army with the rank of Technical Sergeant.
For his actions during the war Mr. Whittington has received prestigious American military awards including the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart with One Oak Leaf cluster. Mr. Whittington has also been awarded the Metz Medal which he has received in France.
France Will Never Forget
Greatest honor: Decorated WWII veteran to receive French Legion medal