April 29, 2019 - Issue: Vol. 165, No. 69 — Daily Edition116th Congress (2019 - 2020) - 1st Session
TRIBUTE TO ST. LOUIS WORLD WAR II VETERANS; Congressional Record Vol. 165, No. 69
(Senate - April 29, 2019)
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[Pages S2481-S2482] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] TRIBUTE TO ST. LOUIS WORLD WAR II VETERANS Mr. HAWLEY. Mr. President, today I wish to commemorate three extraordinary World War II veterans from St. Louis who were recently awarded the French Legion of Honour. Established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802, the Legion of Honour is the highest civilian honor awarded by the government of France. [[Page S2482]] Mr. Eugene Harmack, Mr. Glenn Harrison, and Mr. Alfred Villagran served when the United States and its allies needed them most. These heroes bravely fought against the Nazis and helped liberate Europe from Hitler's fascist regime. When he was 24, Eugene Harmack fought in one of the deadliest battles in American history, the Battle of the Bulge. During the battle, Harmack secured a vehicle trapped behind enemy lines and used its radio to restore vital communications for the American forces that defeated the last major Nazi offensive. In 1944, Glenn Harrison was a 23-year-old B-17 bomber pilot who had flown 17 bombing missions against the Nazis. On one mission, Harrison and his crew were shot down on the way to Munich, Germany. Following the crash, Harrison was captured and forced to march 300 miles to a Nazi prisoner-of-war camp, where he was held from June 1944 to January 1945. At the age of 19, Alfred Villagran was a gunner and radio operator on a B-17 Bomber. On one mission, Villagran's plane was shot and lost two of its four engines. As the plane flew back to England, Villagran and his crew came under fire again and lost the third engine. With only one functional engine, the crew safely landed thanks to the Allied fighter planes that provided cover. As we approach the 75th anniversary of D-Day, I wish to thank these American heroes for their service and bravery. As a nation, we are forever grateful for their sacrifices. ____________________