Ceremony to honor WWII vet Traupel moved to Aug. 24

Honor is highest distinction awarded by France

Jimmy Traupel, 96, of Mitchell, will receive the French Legion of Honor for his contribution to the liberation of France during World War II Saturday, Aug. 24 in a ceremony at Veterans Park in Mitchell at 4 p.m. The event has been rescheduled from earlier in the week. (Republic File Photo)

The ceremony to honor Mitchell World War II veteran Jimmy Traupel has been moved to Saturday, Aug. 24 at 4 p.m. at the Mitchell Veterans Park.

Traupel is scheduled to receive the French Legion of Honor, the highest distinction that can be conferred in France on a French citizen as well as on a foreigner. Napoleon Bonaparte, first consul for the First Republic, established the award in 1802.

The award will be presented by Guillaume Lacroix, consul general of France to the Midwest Region. The French government is presenting the award to Traupel for his role in the liberation of France during the war. Two other South Dakota WWII veterans will receive the award at separate ceremonies in Faulkton and Spearfish, as well.

The ceremony to honor Traupel had originally been scheduled for earlier in the week.

Traupel, 96, served as a waist gunner aboard a B-17 during the June 6, 1944 invasion by Allied forces at Normandy, France. He flew 34 combat missions during the war as a member of the 379th Bombardment Group, 8th Air Force.


The award is being presented 75 years after the famous invasion, which involved thousands of Allied soldiers and marked the beginning of the end for World War II and Nazi Germany.

Related Topics: HISTORY
Erik Kaufman joined the Mitchell Republic in July of 2019 as an education and features reporter. He grew up in Freeman, S.D., graduating from Freeman High School. He graduated from the University of South Dakota in 1999 with a major in English and a minor in computer science. He can be reached at
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