On Monday April 16, Glebe resident Col. Joseph G. Johnson, USAF, Ret. received the highest honor the French government can bestow, “The Legion of Honor,” for his service in WWII and specifically on D-Day, June 6 , 1944. At least 100 people including Del. Lacey Putney, attended today’s ceremony.
Nicole Yancey an emissary from the French Ambassador to the United States, spoke of the bravery and service of Johnson flying 40 missions over occupied France and then his service on D-Day when he flew his B-26 on two missions. One to bomb Utah Beach and the other to bomb a German troop train rushing soldiers to the front.
Johnson simply said, “Merci beaucoup,” when Yancey placed the coveted Legion of Honor cross on his suit coat.
Johnson thanked the people of France and the French president. He spoke of his service and his life. He spoke very highly of The Glebe where is affectionately known as, “The Mayor.” He also spoke of his late wife, Dreama Ann Waid Johnson, whom he married on this date April 16, 1945– 67 years ago today.
In attendance were his daughters Donna Powell and Dream Kattenbraker, their husbands, children, grand children, in laws and great grandchildren.
On Sunday April 15, 115 people from all over the area gave best wishes to Johnson at an afternoon reception held at Fincastle United Methodist Church where Johnson has been a member since 1971 when he retired from the Air Force.