WWII Veteran Gets Combat Medal 67 Years Later

Tallahassee, FL -- November 4, 2011 --

Nearly seven decades have gone by, and on World War Two veteran is finally getting a well deserved honor.

It took 67 years, but, Retired Lt. Col. Terrell Yon is finally getting the Croix de Guerre pinned to his chest.

Yon was promised the French combat medal in August 1944, but, it was never presented to him until now.

The presentation was made Friday afternoon in Tallahassee.

Yon says, "I really appreciate it. Now, I'm so glad to sit back and stroke it, you know."

Yon earned the medal for what happened in World War II on December 28, 1943.

Yon and a wingman were ordered to intercept an armed plane spotted over the French Island of Corsica.

His wingman dropped out because of engine trouble.

Left in the chase alone, Yon fired both cannon and machine gun fire, striking the enemy plane.

That plane caught fire and crashed.

Brigadier General Bruno Caitucoli says, "They were losing a lot of wingmen every mission. For them, the question was not whether they'll lose wingmen, the question was how many. I'm here to say thank you on behalf of my nation."

Yon returned to the United States before the Croix de Guerre could be presented to him.

His son Kenny Yon realized his father never got the medal and got the ball rolling to make sure that it happened--even if it took until his father was 92 years old.

Kenny Yon says, "It brings, I guess the modern word would be closure. There was something that was not yet completed. Getting the particular medal presented, it certainly completes the mission."

Yon is from Blountstown, Florida.

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  • by Kevin aka Reality Location: Monticello on Nov 6, 2011 at 10:45 AM
    I am glad the Recognition was presented . Much deserved . However , in case anyone asks why so long , it isnt uncommon . Some missions are not disclosed until much much later . Sometimes , medals and commendations are never presented. Especially in the "Black Bag" community. The fact that he was not in the least bit bitter , shows what its really about. The pride in knowing you put it on the line , and protecting the next guy in the foxhole. Thank you Sir , and Semper Fi.
  • by A.C Location: Thomasville on Nov 5, 2011 at 02:53 PM
    Thank you for your service, have a great day!
  • by Kristen Wells Wiggins Location: Andalusia, Alabama on Nov 5, 2011 at 06:02 AM
    So incredibly proud to call this sweet man my "kin folk"! You are truly a hero and deserving of this honor. Love you!
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