WWII Veteran Mike J. Aleo receives the French Legion of Honor
On March 27, Deputy Consul General Frédéric Cholé presented the prestigious French Legion of Honor medal to WWII Veteran Mike J. Aleo, 96, for his contribution to the liberation of France.
Veterans, friends and family gathered at the VFW Post in Fraser Michigan to honor Mr. Aleo where he has been a lifelong member.
During the war, Cpl. Aleo served with the Battery A 257th Filed Artillery Battalion. He landed in Le Havre on December 24, 1944 and was immediately deployed in the Ardennes Forest. After the Battle of the Bulge, he fought on the Rhine in Alsace and Germany.
In April 1945, after months on the front lines where he was a Field Wire Chief, he was sent to southwestern France to liberate the Gironde estuary, a strategic point dominated by two enemy fortresses. Alongside the French forces, he helped capture the town of Royan, one of the last pockets of Third Reich resistance along the Atlantic coast. After the conclusion of the operation and the surrender of the enemy, on April 22nd, his battalion was reviewed by General de Gaulle, and his commander was awarded the French Croix de Guerre. A week later, he would continue on north and liberate the Oléron Island before heading back to Germany.
Cpl. Aleo was honorably discharged from the U.S Army on January 13, 1946. He was awarded the European African Middle Eastern Campaign medal with 4 Bronze Battle Stars, the American Theatre Ribbon, the World War II Victory medal, and the Good Conduct medal.