The Highest French Honor Comes to D-Day Veteran in Brevard
by Janis Allen
On December 7, U.S. Navy D-Day Veteran George Sarros will be given the French Légion d’honneur Medal by Consul General of France, Anne-Laure Dèsjonqueres, in a public ceremony at Brevard’s courthouse gazebo at 1:00 PM. (Inclement weather location: Transylvania Elections Center, 150 S. Gaston Street, Brevard.)
This is the highest merit bestowed by the French government “based on a exemplary services rendered to France.”
George Sarros served as Motor Machinist on LST 515 (Landing Ship Tank) on Normandy Beach. He said, “We sailed just after midnight on June 6, 1944. Our ship was full of engineers, tanks, and trucks. We didn’t hit the beach until 1:00 P.M. June 6. I was manning a 40mm anti-aircraft gun. When we hit the beach, we had a German fighter come down and try to strafe us. But no sooner did he come down but a P-47 was right on his tail. And just blew him right out of the water.”
When LST 515 landed, it was one of many that began the invasion which eventually liberated France and all of Europe from the German Nazi occupation. They made 65 trips across the English Channel in the next days, taking wounded soldiers to hospitals in London and delivering tanks, ambulances, trucks, and engineers to the fight on the Normandy beaches. Later they took brand-new troops going to the Battle of the Bulge.
After the war, Sarros worked as a postal carrier, moving with his wife, Enrica, to Western North Carolina in 2001.
Other recipients of the French Légion d’honneur Medal have been Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf Jr., Amelia Earhart, Charles Lindbergh, Gen. Curtis Lemay, Tom Hanks, Gen. George Marshall, Elie Wiesel, Louis Pasteur, George S. Patton, Eddie Rickenbacker, Gen. Colin Powell, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, Audie Murphy, and Gen. John J. Pershing.
And now taking his place among these other luminaries and heroes . . . George Sarros. The public is invited to attend this ceremony December 7 at 1:00 PM in the Transylvania courthouse gazebo at 21 East Main Street in Brevard, N.C. You may meet Sarros in the Veterans History Museum of the Carolinas (just behind the gazebo) after the ceremony. For more information, email email@example.com or call 828-507-3171. Following is the program for the event.