BELLE PLAIN, Kan.– 92-year-old Bennie Jeffries was a tail gunner on a B-17 in World War II completing 31 missions, including 11.5 hours of flight time on D-day.
“Of course some of them made it with a lot of injuries, I didn’t get a scratch,” Jeffries said.
Jeffries has been honored a few times for his service. But his newest honor is The French Legion of Honor Medal. It’s his reward from the French government for helping to defeat the Nazis.
“This medal is as important as a medal of honor to the United States so that really means a lot,” he said.
Jeffries says U.S. soldiers who helped liberate France are eligible to apply for the medal. They receive it via mail from France once French authorities confirm the application.
Jeffries will turn 93 next month and he wants to take this opportunity to remind fellow veterans who fought in France that it’s not yet too late to receive this symbol of gratitude.