James B. Jones Legion of Honor

JonesPrivate First Class James B. Jones of Laurel, MS, a member of the 761st Tank Battalion's D Company, and five fellow World War II Mississippi Veterans, received France's highest honor, the Legion of Honor, at Camp Shelby on December 9, 2014.

Founded by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802, the National Order of the Legion of Honor is the highest honor in France. It recognizes eminent services to the French Republic. Foreign nationals who have served France or the ideals it upholds may receive a distinction from the Legion of Honor. American veterans who risked their lives during World War II and who fought on French territory qualify to be decorated as Knights of the Legion of Honor.

Recipients of the honor were designated by the President of the Republic, François Hollande. "It is my great honor to recognize American veterans of World War II who courageously served their country to help liberate my country, France," said Denis Barbet, the Consul General of France in Atlanta. "I look forward to personally thanking these veterans from Mississippi who will forever be our heroes."

Also honored were veterans Adelchi A. Pilutti from Ocean Springs, MS (Technician 4th Grade, 508th Parachute Infantry),  William M. Amos from Hazelhurst, MS (Gunner's Mate 3rd class, USS LCT Flotilla Seventeen, LCT 776), John L. Balser from McComb, MS (Technician 5th Grade, 3444th Ordnance Medium Maintenance Company) and James H. McBrayer from Brandon, MS (Private First Class, Military Police Platoon, 80th Infantry, 10th Armored Division.)