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Former Vienna Resident Receives French Legion of Honor Award

The father of a Vienna woman was one of six World War II veterans of the D-Day invasion who were awarded the French Legion of Honor award for their service to France at a ceremony Tuesday, Feb. 18, held at Fort Myer.

John C. Sheban, 91, was a staff sergeant and waist gunner on a B-24 liberator bomber and participated in three bombing missions under heavy fire over Normandy, France and inland German positions during the June 1944 D-Day invasion. Sheban previously received a number of medals from the Army for his actions during the invasion that turned the tide of World War II in Europe.

Sheban is the father of Lorraine Sinclair of Vienna and he lived in Vienna for several years before returning to Delaware.

“It is important that we recognize these members of the ‘Greatest Generation’ for their selfless service and valor to our nation and the world,” U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-11) said. “I congratulate Mr. Sheban and all of these World War II heroes who are being honored by France for their valor and their hallowed place in history.”

The Legion of Honor award was established by Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of France, in the early 1800s.

Five other veterans of World War II also received the Legion of Honor for their valor on D-Day: Arthur W. Ordel of Keswick, Va.; Robert L. Sales of Madison Heights, Va.; Henry E. Ponton Jr. of Frederick, Md.; Charles S. Toms Jr. of Frederick, Md; and George A. Shenkle of Lansdale, Pa.