It’s been 62 years since Norco resident Stanley A. Madere fought in World War II.
Madere, a United States Army veteran thought his heroic efforts had gone unnoticed.
But on Wednesday, June 6 Madere received the Legion of Honor award, for his role in the liberation of France.
“It took the Veterans Affairs office in Washington, D.C. a long time to find me, but I’m glad they did,” a teary-eyed Madere told the Herald-Guide.
“It has been more than 60 years and there are times when I feel that I’m still on the battlefields that we were on during 1944 and 1945,” he continued.
“The dates August 19, 1944 and August 20, 1944 were days when I thought the Germans were trying to eliminate my tank and crew.”
Madere said he and his tank crew were able to make it to the batallion where they loaded their equipment onto another tank, just minutes before the worse hours of his life.
“We returned to our company by day break, but after a short rest we were told that were were going to replace a unit from another company that was moving out.”
“Three and a half hours of fierce combat that seemed like it would never end, but when the smoke cleared we had destroyed an armored column consisting of 118 vehicles and captured 229 German prisoners.”
Madere said he had never seen as many German tanks and armored vehicles at any one time as the ones he encountered that day.
“The moment I came under attack during the most trying hours of my life, is the moment I learned how to pray.”
The Legion of Honor Medal was created by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802 to acknowledge services rendered to France by persons of great merit.
|Capt. Phillipe Roland of France, pictured left presented the medal of honor to Stanley A. Madere of Norco, right, Wednesday, June 6.|