Category Archives: News

Susan Eisenhower – Normandy 2016

On June 5, 2016, Susan Eisenhower, Normandy Institute advisory board member, received her Legion of Honor at La Fière bridge. Susan Eisenhower was then special guest at a Legion of Honor ceremony at chateau de Bernaville in Picauville for five WWII veterans. Attendees included four-star General Nicholson who also received a Legion of Honor that day, General Townsend, Henry Montgomery, grandson of General Montgomery and the Prefet de La Manche, Jacques Witkowski.

IMG_3137Susan Eisenhower and Henry Montgomery on the steps
of Château de Bernaville

Susan Eisenhower is the grand-daughter of General Dwight Eisenhower, 34th President of the United States, Supreme Allied Commander Europe during WWII. Susan is an author, educator and respected international security affairs expert on Russia and nuclear issues. Susan Eisenhower is currently a member of the American Legion’s 100 anniversary honorary committee. Continue reading Susan Eisenhower – Normandy 2016

Zane Schlemmer 82nd Airborne Veteran Legion of Honor June 6 2009

Zane Schlemmer, a Picauville D-Day veteran, received Legion of Honor 

Zane was inducted “Officier” of the Legion of Honor on June 6, 2009, the 65th anniversary of D-Day. The ceremony took place at the American Cemetery in the presence of Presidents Sarkozy and Obama, Prince Charles and the Prime Ministers of the UK and Canada.

ZaneSarkozyZane Schlemmer receives hug from President Sarkozy
after receiving his Legion of Honor medal at the
American Cemetery, Normandy, June 6, 2009

On D-Day Zane Schlemmer was a 19-year-old tech sergeant of the 508 PIR, 82nd Airborne Division. He was a forward observer for a 81 mm Mortar Squad and at 1.30 am on June 6, 1944 he landed in an orchard in Picauville, close to Château de Bernaville. This chateau in Picauville was the  headquarters of German General Falley and his 91st Airborne Defense Division. Zane stayed in combat until July the 3d 1944 when he was wounded in the battle of La Haye du Puits. Continue reading Zane Schlemmer 82nd Airborne Veteran Legion of Honor June 6 2009

JJ Witmeyer – Legion of Honor – Chateau Picauville

WWII Veteran JJ Witmeyer receives the Legion of Honor
at the Invalides in Paris in June 2009

WW2 veteran J.J. Witmeyer Jr. (1921-2014) was one of 75 recipients of the Legion of Honor medal that was bestowed in Paris on June 5, 2009, the eve of the 65th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy.

A New Orleans native J.J. Witmeyer enlisted in the army the day after Pearl Harbor. He was a tech sergeant in the 79th Infantry Division that landed on Utah Beach in Normandy and went on to liberate La Haye du Puits and Cherbourg.

The Legion of Honor ceremony was held in the cobblestone courtyard of Paris’ Museum of the Army, les Invalides, a few hundred feet from the tomb of Napeolon. Attendees included Tom Hanks.

JJTomTom Hanks and JJ Witmeyer in the gardens of
the Invalides in Paris in June 2009

Continue reading JJ Witmeyer – Legion of Honor – Chateau Picauville

Dr. Gordon “Nick” Mueller – Legion of Honor

Dr. Gordon “Nick” Mueller was the driving force together with Stephen Ambrose behind the creation of the National WWII Museum in New Orleans. Dr. Mueller is currently the President and CEO of the Museum and has led the organization as chairman of the board from 1998 through its fundraising and construction of an ongoing 370 million dollar expansion.

thumb_IMG_2949_1024Dr. Mueller receiving the Legion of Honor from General
Georgelin in the salon of the Grand Chancellerie in Paris,
together with Tom Hanks and Tom Brokaw

On May 20, 2016, Dr. Mueller received together with Tom Brokaw and Tom Hanks, the French Legion of Honor in Paris. The three men were recommended by Countess Dorothea de La Houssaye for their outstanding contributions to the memory of WWII and in particular the Battle of Normandy. Continue reading Dr. Gordon “Nick” Mueller – Legion of Honor

Tom Brokaw – Greatest Generation – Legion of Honor

Tom Brokaw received French Legion of Honor
in Paris on May 20, 2016

thumb_IMG_2998_1024Dorothea de La Houssaye and Tom Brokaw
at the American Embassy in Paris

In May 2016, 32 years after Tom Brokaw set foot on the sand of Omaha Beach in Normandy to mark the 40th anniversary of D-Day, Dorothea de La Houssaye and Simon Rock de Besombes recommended Tom Brokaw for a “Chevalier de La Legion d’Honneur” for his continuing work and advocacy on veterans issues and preserving the legacy of “The Greatest Generation”. Continue reading Tom Brokaw – Greatest Generation – Legion of Honor