Local WWII veteran awarded France’s highest military honor

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A local World War II veteran was awarded the highest military honor by the French government at a ceremony Monday.

Jim Gloeckler was a rifleman with Gen. George S. Patton’s third army. He was also one of the soldiers who stormed the beaches of Normandy on the second day, landing on Utah beach — the code name for one of five sectors of the allied invasion of German-occupied France in June of 1944.

Gleockler has lived in Shafter for 92 years.

He already has a Bronze Star, a Silver Star and two Purple Hearts, and now has the Legion of Honor — the highest French order of merit for military and civil merits.

France’s highest decoration was established in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte. 

Gloeckler received the honor from the Deputy Consulate General from the French consulate in Los Angeles.

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