On Veteran’s day, Romain Serman, Consul general of France in San Francisco celebrated four heroes, Bob Robbins, Nicholas Leonoudakis, Andrew S. Leong et Roger Boas whose courage, faith and dedication contributed – more than 60 years ago – to defend and preserve the independence of France and to save our common values: Liberty, Tolerance, Democracy.
These four young men came to rescue people they didn’t even know. But they can be sure that those people they didn’t know have not forgotten. Their children and grandchildren have not forgotten. France has not forgotten. This is the reason why, President N. Sarkozy has decided to award them the highest French recognition, the Legion of Honor.
John R. BOAS,
Born on August 21st 1921 in San Francisco, California. M. Boas joined the US Army in June 1942. As member of the “94th Field Artillery Battalion, 4th Armoured Division, he landed on Omaha Beach on July 11th 1944. In August, the 8th and the 9th precisely, near a little village named Caudan, M. Boas climbed up to the bell-tower of a church. From there, he observed the enemy and guided the artillery fire to destroy the enemy. He received the “Bronze star” Medal for this feat of bravery.
Andrew S. LEONG,
Born on September 22nd 1922 in San Francisco, California. M. Leong joined the US Air Force, in October 1942, as a navigator on the B-26 Marauder bomber in the “397th Bombardment Group” of the 5968th Bombardment Squadron. He took part to 11 bombardment missions over Germany, in support of the invasion of the Nazi Germany by the allied forces, and destroyed airfields, fuel-stations, marshalling yards and bridges. His heroic actions allowed the Allied to invade Germany and to defeat the Nazis.
Born on July 8th 1923 in Carbonado, Washington. M. Leonoudakis joined the US Navy in December 1942, here in San Francisco, as an engineer, expert in Landing Craft Vehicle. Assigned to the Tank Landing Ship unit 134, he participated in the combined operations in Normandy. Between D-Day and the 25th of June 1944, he never stopped landing troops and equipment on the beaches of Normandy. Then, your unit was moved to the Mediterranean sea to support the invasion of Provence, operation Dragoon. Finally, your unit was sent to the Pacific Theater and took part to the Okinawa landings in May and June 1945.
Bob M. ROBBINS,
Born on August 5th 1924 in Seattle, Washington. He joined the US Army in July 1943. Trained at Camp Roberts in California, M. Robbins became an expert in communications and was assigned to the “240th Field Artillery Battalion”. With this unit, he landed on Utah Beach on 28th June 1944 and was in the middle of the battle of Normandy. Equipped with the 155mm canons, the famous “Long Tom”, this artillery unit was particularly active and demonstrated its deadly power during the battle at the cliff of Gap. Then crossing France, from West to East. He liberated Paris and was there, during the massive procession on the Champs-Elysées to celebrate the victory. And finally M. Robbins engaged once again the enemy in Lorraine, and in the Ardennes, a terrible and fierce battle in the snow of an icy winter.
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