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North State WWII Vet Receives Legion of Honor Award

By Mark MESTER
Published On: Mar 14 2013 02:26:26 AM CDT
Updated On: Mar 14 2013 01:10:12 PM CDT

Ellis Booth was given Knight status at a ceremony at the Redding Veterans Hall Wednesday night.

REDDING, Calif. -

A very high honor was awarded to a North State veteran Wednesday night.
     
89-year-old Ellis Booth received the Legion of Honor Award. 

The award was established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802, and was first awarded in 1804 for excellent civil or military conduct.  

There are five degrees: Knight, Officer, Commander, Grand Officer, and Grand Cross.

There's also a Grand Master, which is France's President.

Booth was given Knight status at a ceremony at the Redding Veterans Hall Wednesday night.

Booth was drafted into the Army in 1943, and was captured during the Battle of the Bulge in 1944. He was held as prisoner of war for five months.

Booth told KRCR News Channel 7 quote, "I'm still trying to figure out why they (France) let me have it (Legion Award)."

Corinne Pereira, France's Deputy Consul General to the United States, traveled from San Francisco to present the award.

Pereira, who wasn't alive during World War II, said Booth received the award because he landed in Normandy in 1944 and helped free France. "We are very grateful and even people from my generation know what to owe to the American Army. We just want to say thank you before it's too late," said Pereira.

Booth has also been awarded a Bronze Star and Purple Heart.