BELPRE – A Belpré who fought across Europe in World War II will be honored by the French nation for his service, his family said.
Roy Sees of Belpre, who is 102, will receive the Legion of Honor for his service in the United States Army in a noon ceremony on June 2 at Belpre Masonic Lodge, his daughter-in-law Linda Boso said.
The Legion of Honor, created in 1802 by Napoleon, is the highest French honor of honor and is designated by five titles, the knight, the officer, the commander, the grand officer and the grand cross. Other area residents who received the medal included Walter Criss, Holly D. Eagle, Denver Gandee, Randall Hunter and Clement Dowler.
“I feel somehow very honored and honored to receive the medal,” Sees, who turns 103 on November 15, said. “But the real heroes were the ones who didn’t come back.”
Sees enlisted in 1943 and was assigned to the 66th Infantry Division, but was transferred to the Army Air Corps in May 1943. From the Air Corps, Sees was sent to the 100th Infantry Division due to a lack of infantry.
He entered combat in October 1944 in France.
“I didn’t know what to expect. I was just a farm boy, “ he said. “I didn’t know what was going to happen. I just accepted it. I was excited about it.
His experiences in service included the Battle of the Bulge, the attack on the Germans and the recovery of Bitche in France, and the Battle of Lemburg, France.
“I was trained to be a soldier and soldiers are trained to kill the enemy. I am not a hero. Real heroes lie in cemeteries or at the bottom of the ocean all over the world. God bless them all. These are the real heroes ” he said.
Sees received the Bronze Star for Heroism and a Purple Heart for Combat Wounds.
He moved to Tucson, Arizona, where he raised his family after the war. Sees went to electric school.
He retired in 1984 and returned to Belpré.
Sees, who wanted to serve in the Air Corps, was a licensed pilot for most of his life. He was active in the Blennerhassett Radio Control Club where he flew his own model airplanes and was the club’s first life member.
He still maintains his yard and garden and takes care of his little poodle Cindy. His daughter, Kim, lives with him in Belpré.
Sees’ message to young people is to stay in school and receive all the education possible.
“Go to school,” he said. “The more you know, the better off you will be.”
Jess Mancini can be contacted at [email protected]