South Australian WWII Veterans Awarded France’s Legion of Honor

In recognition of their assistance to France in 1944, four South Australian veterans have been awarded that country’s Legion of Honor.

French Ambassador Christophe Lecourtier presented the medals April 21 at the Adelaide Town Hall.

Thomas Goode, 93, Kevin Dennis, 93, and Howard Hendrick, 92, enlisted between December 1941 and November 1942, in Adelaide.

Lecourtier said the recognition was one of the greatest accolades France could bestow to those who provided exceptional service.

Awarding this medal is, for the French people, the most distinguished of medals and possibly the most emotional, to give tribute to the outstanding men and women, either French citizens, or of the world, he said.

Goode enlisted in the RAAF in 1941 and was attached to 10 Squadron and 461 Squadron Royal Air Force. He completed 68 operational sorties over Europe and paid respect to the fallen.

It’s a privilege to receive this and in recognition as an award for numerous worthy, unrecognized men who participated, he said.

Dennis joined the RAAF in 1942.  He served in 462 Squadron RAF as a gunner and a wireless operator, and flew a multitude of bombing missions over Europe.

He said receiving the recognition was with a feeling of pride.

It is for appreciation of what occurred during the war, which after seven decades, is a mite strange but it is wonderful to be received, Dennis said.

Hendrick joined the RAAF in 1942, serving in 460 Squadron Bomber Command. A Lancaster pilot, he completed 31 missions over Europe.

His job was to assist in liberating France when Germany invaded. We have not had the recognition until recently…he is extremely proud to wear it, he said.

Veteran Peter Dickson, 92, received a Legion of Honor presented April 20 at a separate ceremony in his nursing home for exemplary courage and service to France, The Australian reported.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE