CHARLOTTE — An Elkin native is preparing to be honored for his efforts during World War II by members of the French government in a ceremony set for Wednesday in Charlotte.
John W. “Worth” Newman, who now lives in Mooresville, is one of 12 World War II veterans to be decorated with the French Legion of Honor by the Consul General of France in Altanta Denis Barbet. The ceremony is being held at the Levine Museum of the New South in Charlotte at 2 p.m. Wednesday.
“In order to express France’s eternal gratitude to those who liberated it from oppression from 1944-45,” the National Order of the Legion of Honor, the highest honor in France, is being awarded, according to the announcement by the French consul general’s office. “Founded by Napoleon Boneparte in 1802, it recognizes eminent services to the French Republic. Recipients of this honor are designated by the President of the Republic, François Hollande.”
Doug Hemmert of Huntersville explained his father-in-law, James W. Cox Jr., piloted a B-17 of which Newman was a crew member. “Mr. Newman is the sole living crew member of the ‘Cox’s Army’ group which flew support for troops on D-Day,” Hemmert said in an email. “Of Mr. Newman’s 26 comabt missions, 13 had targets in France.”
Newman is a graduate of Ronda High School and served as staff sergeant, 410th Bombardment Squadron, 94th Bombardment Group, 4th Combat Bombardment Wing, 3rd Bombardment Division, 8th Air Force.
Others being honored at the ceremony include Richard P. Woodson of Raleigh, Lewis E. Herron of Asheville, Jerome M. Schwartz of Charlotte, James M. Bond of Edenton, Vincent Corsini of Burlington, South Carolina, Mervin Eugene Hogg of Wilmington, Anthony Joseph Buccieri of Apex, Murray Lorber of Raleigh, James R. Inman of Elizabethtown, Charles J. Jones of Jamestown and Julius N. Watlington of Yanceyville.
Newman was on the crew of the B-17G, “She’s OUR BABY,” which flew missions from May through September of 1944, including D-Day June 6, 1944. They were based out of Rougham Airfield-Station 468, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, England.