Guillaume Lacroix, l., consul-general of France in Chicago, presented the French Legion of Honor to the 98-year-old Jack Baker, a former Army private first class who fought in the second world War, during a ceremony in Olive Hill, Ky.
(First Army/Sgt. 1st Class Darron Salzer )
A modest 98-year-old Kentucky man has become one of the few world war II veterans to receive the French Legion of Honour of France, the highest military award, comparable to the AMERICAN Medal of Honor.
France bestowed the honour on Jack Baker during a ceremony Wednesday in the small Kentucky town of Olive Hill.
“Those who have not yet to get back are the ones who deserve it,” Baker said.
Drafted in the Army, Baker wore the First Army patch as a young soldier, Fox affiliate WVAH-TV reported. By an administrative error that he never went to boot camp.
Baker landing on Omaha Beach on D-Day in 1944, under the command of the First Army commander Gen. Omar Bradley, and by the Cherborg Forest, the station reported.
In the critical fight at St. Lo, he was there when the Germans threw themselves en masse at the Falaise Gap.
98-year-old Jack Baker, c., a private first class with the First american Army during the second world War, was recognized for his service during a ceremony in his hometown of Olive Hill, Ky., Wednesday.
(First Army/Sgt. 1st Class Darron Salzer)
With the First Army, he was one of the first AMERICAN troops to enter and liberate Paris.
He has also fought in the Battle of the Bulge. He was awarded five Bronze Stars.
“Well, you have the day-to-day, everything is going to happen, you know, just try to dodge bullets,” Baker told the station.
He stood in the attitude on the stage, he received the Legion of Honour of Guillaume Lacroix, the consul general of France in Chicago.
“Mr. Jack Baker, and by him, thanks to all the veterans who have helped my country become what it is today. A free, independent, democratic country,” Lacroix said.
Baker is well known in Olive Hill, Ky., where he still cuts his own grass. He is looking forward to another season of fishing in Tygarts Creek, the Ironton Tribune reported Thursday.
That in honor of the Baker included the commander of the First Army, Lt.-Gen. Stephen Twitty.
“Generations from now, many of these people will be gone and shame on us if we don’t say thank you for the sacrifices you have made for this great country,” he said.
The U.S. Army says that the First Army is the military’s longest serving field Army and is celebrating her 100th birthday on Aug. 10, 2018.