Fresno man awarded Knight of the Legion of Honor

FRESNO, Calif.

It may be just a page in history to many of us but for those who served in World War II it remains a pivotal moment in time. It shaped the man 86-year-old John Loomis of Fresno would become. At 19 his college army ROTC unit went active and he was headed to battle.

His training had prepared him for his first hand to hand combat but the woods of northern France proved chaotic. "It was tunnel vision, there's where they are, go for 'em ... I just took off and went, and went after the German emplacements"

His regiment engaged the German army and after five days and nights his wounds sent him out of that battle and to a long recovery back in the United States. His successful life as a lawyer would include memories of those he fought alongside.

In 1994 he traveled to Metz, France for a reunion where he says he found his foxhole that sheltered him many years ago.

On January 14th, when former private first class John Loomis receives the "Knight of the Legion of Honor" for being part of the liberation of France, he'll be accompanied by those who didn't make it home.

Loomis said, "I was the lucky one and there were so many who were not lucky ... I'll be thinking of my buddies."

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