Ten California men who fought overseas with the US forces have been awarded the French government’s highest honor for their World War II service.
The veterans were each presented the National Order of the Legion of Honor during a ceremony Sept. 19 at Los Angeles National Cemetery.
Among them was 94-year-old Sterling D. Ditchey, an Army Air Corps 1st lieutenant who flew 70 combat missions in Europe as a B-25 bombardier.
Ninety-five-year-old Ignacio Sanchez was part of 35 combat missions as a B-17 turret gunner.
The presentations were made by Christophe Lemoine, the consul general of France in Los Angeles.
Instituted by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802, the Legion of Honor recognizes exceptional service to France.