Local WWII Vet to be Honored by France

first_imgSubmitted by Doug OttoThe French Consulate has announced that Ocean City’s Francis X. McCormac, a WWII U.S. Army veteran, will be named a Chevalier (Knight) of France’s National Order of the Legion of Honor, on July 14 (Bastille Day).The award, the highest given to civilians or military, was created in 1802 by Napoleon to recognize men and women who have accomplished exceptional deeds for France and its people.McCormac’s nomination was based on his 1942-45 U.S. Army service as a signal corpsman, most notably during the D-Day invasion of Omaha Beach in Normandy.In 2004, on the 60th anniversary of D-Day, then-French President Jacques Chirac decided to honor all American WWII veterans who had fought on French soil, including McCormac.“I entered the service in Massachusetts, and was then shipped out to Scotland,” McCormac said in an interview. “From there, I landed on Omaha Beach, followed by deployments to Belgium and Germany, for the Battle of the Bulge.”During the Battle of the Bulge, McCormac’s Northern France radio relay unit informed U.S. Army units of the Nazis ruse of dressing in GI uniforms and posing as Military Police to misdirect Allied troops.Those messages were critical in stopping the Nazi efforts. McCormac went on to see the liberation of German concentration camps before he eventually returned home to Philadelphia.Following the war, McCormac returned to his civilian job as an inspector for Philadelphia’s Philco Radio Corporation for 42 years until retirement.“I was not even aware that I would be receiving this honor until I was informed by Tom Tumelty, a trustee from Ocean City American Legion Post 524,” McCormac said.McCormac’s ceremony will take place in the yard of his daughter’s Ocean City residence with guests to include staff members from the French Consul General’s office, Mayor Jay Gillian and City Council members, Ocean City American Legion Post 524 Commander Bob Marzulli, family and friends.A release from the French Consulate Office in New York states:“Your generation showed the utmost strength of soul: It risked its life to save men and women that it had never met, and to liberate a soil that it had, for the most part, never set foot on. Beyond commemorating and celebrating your bravery, we owe it to you to prove ourselves worthy of the great legacy of peace and freedom that you left us. Vive la France. God Bless America. Long live the French-American friendship.”Francis X. McCormac, a WWII U.S. Army veteran, will be honored July 14 in Ocean City. (Photo courtesy Doug Otto) Francis X. McCormac, of Ocean City, will be named a Chevalier (Knight) of France’s National Order of the Legion of Honor. (Photo courtesy of Doug Otto) last_img

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