Blountstown Veteran Receives France's Highest Honor

By: Rick Adams Email
By: Rick Adams Email

Tallahassee, FL- A Blountstown veteran received a very big honor from the French today.

Family and friends came together at the Golden Eagle Country Club in Tallahassee to honor their hero.

Unfortunately Lieutenant Colonel Terrell Yon became hospitalized and was not able to attend the event.

The 93-year-old is being awarded the French Legion of Honor, which is France's highest honor.

France's Brigadier General says "we are very fortunate to be giving him the award ... It's our way of expressing how grateful we are for what he has done during world war 2"

And what he had done was very significant, Yon successfully flew more than 100 combat missions during World War 2, mostly over France.

Terry Yon says "it's a great deal for us my dad was such a warrior"

Norma Yon says "it really means a lot to me and him"

Rick Adams says "even though Terrell Yon couldn't make it here, he told his family and friends that the party must go on, the French representatives will be visiting Tallahassee memorial to officially award Yon this prestigious medal"

France's Consul General says "I've met wonderful people but Lt. Col. Terrell is somebody unique and his family has been really, really committed to make this ceremony happen"

This French Legion of Honor medal was created by Napoleon.
It certainly was an event to remember for Yon's family and friends.


Invitation to Ceremony

Tallahassee, FL - The presentation of the French Legion of Honor medal to Lt. Col. Terrell E. Yon (USAFR - Retired). Presented by officials of the Republic of France.

Prelude: On May 4, 2012, by decree of the President of the French Republic, Yon was appointed a "Chevalier" of the Legion of Honor for his contributions to the United States' decisive role in the liberation of France during WWII.

Honoree: Lt. Col. Terrell E. Yon, USAFR (Ret.) (Age 93), Blountstown, FL, WWII Fighter Pilot

Presented By: The Honorable Gael de Maisonneuve, Consul General of France, Miami, FL

Brigadier General Bruno Caitucoli, Defense Attaché, Washington DC, Desert Storm Fighter Pilot

Date: Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Place: Golden Eagle Country Club
3700 Golden Eagle Drive
Tallahassee, Florida 32312
Phone No. (850) 893-7700

Schedule:
12:30 - 1:15 PM Arrival of Guest and Media
1:30 - 2:15 PM Awarding Ceremony
2:15 - 2:45 PM Press Engagement
2:45 - 4:00 PM Afternoon Lunch (Buffet)

Comments: Yon, a WWII fighter pilot in the Army Air Corps, was assigned to the 52nd Fighter Group, the 5th Fighter Squadron (a/k/a the "Spittin Kittens") and flew 110 combat missions in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations. Most of his missions were flown in the British Spitfire. Yon was highly decorated with the more notable awards being the Distinguished Flying Cross, the French Croix de Guerre with Vermeil Star, the Air Medal with 12 Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Purple Heart.

The heroics of the 52nd Fighter Group, to include actions by Yon, are recorded in the book: "Spitfires and Yellow Tail Mustangs, The 52nd Fighter Group in World War Two", by Tom Ivie and Paul Ludwig. The book, Yon's shadow box with service medals, his memoirs, historical photos, and more will be on display at the ceremony. Any pre-ceremony communique will be issued by the French authorities. Family, Friends and other dignitaries will attend. All, including the news media, are invited to partake in the luncheon.


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