LOS ANGELES — Ten California men who fought overseas with U.S. forces have been awarded the French government’s highest honor for their World War II service.

The veterans were each presented the National Order of the Legion of Honor during a ceremony Tuesday at Los Angeles National Cemetery.

Among them was 94-year-old Sterling D. Ditchey, an Army Air Corps 1st lieutenant who flew 70 combat missions in Europe as a B-25 bombardier.

Ninety-five-year-old Ignacio Sanchez was part of 35 combat missions as a B-17 turret gunner.

BGen Garrant meets WWII Veteran Henry Ochsner who landed on D-Day with the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division. BGen Philip Garrant, Vice Commander, Space and Missile Systems Center, attended and spoke at the National Order of the Legion of Honor, held at the (Veterans) Los Angeles National Cemetery. The presenter, French Consul General in Los Angeles, Christophe Lemoine, recognized ten World War 2 American veterans from the Army, U.S. Army Air Corps, and Navy for their contributions in the liberation of France. The Award is France’s highest award for distinguished service in France during WWII. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Joseph M. Juarez Sr.)
BGen Garrant meets WWII Veteran Henry Ochsner who landed on D-Day with the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division. BGen Philip Garrant, Vice Commander, Space and Missile Systems Center, attended and spoke at the National Order of the Legion of Honor, held at the (Veterans) Los Angeles National Cemetery. The presenter, French Consul General in Los Angeles, Christophe Lemoine, recognized ten World War 2 American veterans from the Army, U.S. Army Air Corps, and Navy for their contributions in the liberation of France. The Award is France’s highest award for distinguished service in France during WWII. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Joseph M. Juarez Sr.)

The presentations were made by Christophe Lemoine, the consul general of France in Los Angeles.

Instituted by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802, the Legion of Honor recognizes exceptional service to France.