• Randolph Olano Jr. and Winnie Ancar receiving the Legion of Honour
medal from Consul General of France Jean Claude Brunet.
    Alex Galbraith

Parish natives earn 'Legion of Honour' Medal

By Alex Galbraith
On June 6, 1944, Randolph Olano Jr. stormed the beaches at Normandy along with 156,000 other Allied troops. The famous assault claimed the lives of over 4,000 Allied soldiers and is largely credited with changing the course of World War II. But even after taking part in such a courageous and momentous action, Olano can still get anxious. The Plaquemines Parish native admitted he was “nervous” about receiving the Legion of Honour at the National WWII Museum’s celebration of 70th anniversary of D-Day. The award – which is the highest decoration in France - was bestowed upon 17 veterans of the assault by Consul General of France Jean Claude Brunet. All 17 men were inducted into the order as chevaliers (“knights”), the highest degree within the Legion. Two of the 17 were from Plaquemines, with Happy Jack resident Winnie Ancar also receiving the medal. Ancar was an infantryman who used his knowledge of French to serve as a translator during the European campaign.
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