Local veteran awarded France's Legion of Honor medal

MILFORD, Ind. (WNDU) A veteran from Milford has been awarded for his participation in the liberation of France during World War II.

Guillaume Lacroix, the Consul General of France for the Midwest, made a trip to Milford to give 95-year-old Daniel Levernier the Legion of Honor.

It's the highest distinction that France can bestow upon those who have achieved remarkable deeds for the country.

Levernier was a radio gunner and flew in 35 missions. He served with the 93rd Bomb Group, 8th Air Force, and participated in the Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland and Ardennes campaigns.

"We thought about saving America and England and everybody else. We wanted to get rid of Hitler; that was it," Levernier explained. "We didn't care how we done it. So that's how we flew all over."

"Mr. Levernier came to our rescue when my dad was a kid, and he was raised by his mother. She was the wife of a prisoner of war," Lacroix explained. "His first missions to France flew over the village I come from. So the story of German occupation – I should say Nazi occupation – and the American liberation resonates in my family. And I'm pretty sure that every French family has stories to tell."

Levernier's family tells us he has a combined 57 kids, grandkids, great-grandkids and even great-great-grandkids.

It's an incredible legacy for a man who is a hero to two nations.