World War II Air Force veteran awarded French Honor

Published: Jun. 16, 2019 at 11:53 PM EDT
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At 96 years young, William Provonsha can still remember every detail from his deployment overseas during World War II. From the names of his comrades, to what kind of mattress was in the hotel rooms in Germany.

70 Years Later, he proudly displays his many honors in what he calls “The War Room” in his riverfront home near Point Place, just across the Michigan border.

"Our main mission as the 8th Air Force was formed was to strategically bomb the industry air fields,” says Provonsha.

He was part of the 381st Bombardment Group, and the 532nd Bombardment Squadron.

As an airman, he completed 22 combat missions over Germany and France. Provonsha also spent 13 months as a prisoner of war in three different camps, before escpaing and returning in April of 1945 and returning home.

His uniform jacket is decorated with a Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with five Oak Leaf Clusters, and now, it includes The Legion Of Honor; the highest distinction anyone can achieve for remarkable deeds to France.

"More or less the sentiment of it,” Provonsha says. “It’s a thank you from the French. They give us credit for giving them their liberty back.”

More than 100 people attended the ceremony yesterday to witness his latest achievement. Provonsha says it was gratifying to see so many friends during that proud and emotional moment.