On Sunday, July 7th, 2024 from 3:30pm – to 4:30 pm, at the Westport Town Hall, CT. The medal will be presented by the Consul General of France in New York. Born in Connecticut on February 21st, 1924, Mr. Chalfant enlisted in the U.S. Army when he was 18 years old. He was assigned to the 3rd Armored Division’s 486th Armored Anti-Aircraft Battalion, which was tasked with protecting Allied forces from aerial attack, as well as providing direct fire support against enemy infantry, vehicles, and fortifications. He saw action in the Normandy, northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes and Central Europe campaigns. His battalion encountered every type of German weapon and endured numerous hardships, notably at the Battle of the Bulge.
After returning from the war to Westport, Connecticut, Mr. Chalfant married Mary Speer. They recently celebrated their 76th anniversary. Mr. Chalfant, along with others, helped establish a sister city relationship between Westport and Marigny, France. In 1994, town officials invited him to visit the residents of the historical Normandy town. The Legion of Honor is the French Republic’s highest honorary distinction. It was created by Emperor Napoleon to recognize men and women who have accomplished exceptional deeds for France and its people. In 2004, French President Jacques Chirac decided his country would bestow the award upon all American WWII veterans who fought on its soil, on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy. “We feel it is our duty to thank the heroes who helped liberate our nation during WWII, while we still can. We owe them our freedom, democracy, and way of life, ” said Damien Laban, Acting Consul General of France in New York.

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