World War II Veteran being awarded the French Legion of Honor | People
The following is a press release from Camp Shelby:
On June 6, 1944, D-Day, Oscar Russell, of Biloxi, Mississippi, was in the first wave of landing crafts to hit Omaha Beach, Normandy. He was 21 years old.
As he landed, he saw men all around him being “slaughtered.” The Germans had a machine gun in a chapel and were mowing down the men around him. He watched as more than 50 men in the Higgins Landing Craft next to his were killed.
Seaman Russell made it to the beach. He stayed there for a total of 28 days, rendering aid, removing bodies, and ensuring that he helped as many of American’s sons as he could. When he left Europe, he went to the South Pacific and continued to fight. He was later recognized for his bravery in that theater as well.
When he completed his service in the Navy, he went back home to Mississippi, stayed in the Navy Reserves, became a loving husband to Helen, fathered two children and carved out a good life as a teacher and minister. He inspired countless people along the way including his grandson, First Lieutenant Rodney Brock, currently assigned to the 177th Armored Brigade, First Army Division East.
In honor of his courage, the French government is awarding Mr. Russell it’s most distinguished decoration, the Legion of Honor and the accompanying title of Knight or Chevalier of the Legion of Honor. The award recognizes the special contributions and acts of bravery of American Service members during the liberation of France in the Second World War.
Please join us as Mr. Russell receives his award, at 9 a.m., Aug. 15 at the Mississippi Armed Forces Museum located at Camp Shelby.
For additional information regarding the ceremony please contact Mrs. Amanda Glenn, chief of public affairs, First Army Division East at firstname.lastname@example.org or the CSJFTC Public Affairs Officer, Maj. Deidre Musgrave at email@example.com .