Local News

France honors three N.C. WWII vets

Posted December 1, 2009 4:26 p.m. EST
Updated December 2, 2009 12:49 p.m. EST

— French officials honored three World War II veterans from North Carolina in a ceremony Tuesday at the state Capitol.

The Consul General of France, Pascal Le Deunff, presented the Legion of Honor medal, the highest honor in France, to Woodrow D. Casey, of Grifton, Robert W. Pyle, of Wilmington, and Earl W. Norwood, of Morehead City.

Casey was assigned to the 238th combat engineer. He helped clear mines and roads so other troops could move ashore.

Pyle, a sergeant in the communications unit of the 366th Fighter Group, said he is still haunted by the innocent lives lost. "There's a lot I don't talk about," he said.

Norwood served as part of the third wave carrying 36 soldiers from the 1st division of the U.S. Army to Omaha Beach during the invasion of Normandy. 

"What I want to represent here today is those I left behind or that we left behind," Casey said. "They are the true heroes. They are the ones that did the sacrifice."

Deunff said the honor is bestowed to Americans who "contributed to the liberation" of France.

"It made me understand that we are appreciated. That people care and that people understood what we did," Norwood said.