Three Missouri World War Two veterans have received France’s Legion of Honor medal, the highest award given by the French government for service to that country. The three were recognized Monday at a ceremony at the State Capitol.
87-year-old Frank Crooks is a St. Joseph native who now lives in Jefferson City. He served in the Army Air Forces as a turret gunner in a B-26 bomber. His plane was forced to make an emergency landing at a German airstrip after being hit by enemy flack over France:
“We thought we’d probably end up being prisoners, (but) the Germans had pulled out five days before, so it was back in French control.”
90-year-old Bud Jones of Jefferson City served as a fighter pilot, earning two Distinguished Flying crosses. 88-year-old Lloyd Cain, also of Jefferson City, served in the U-S Army in France and Germany, and during one battle exposed himself to enemy fire while doing spotter duty for American mortars.