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WWII vet honored with French Legion of Merit

Seventy-five years ago Albert Lubinsky fought in World War II to protect freedom in Europe. On Thursday, the Consulate General of France traveled to Peachtree City to thank Lubinsky for his bravery and bestow upon him the Legion of Honor.

The Consul General of France in Atlanta, Vincent Hommeril, presented Lubinsky with his medal. 

“The medal is France’s most prestigious order and is bestowed on French citizens, as well as foreign nationals, including veterans, such as the Americans who risked their lives during World War II fighting on French soil,” Hommeril said. 

Consul General of France in Atlanta Vincent Hommeril (left) presented WWII veteran Albert Lubinsky with the Legion of Honor.  (Staff Photos by Christopher Dunn)

France and America have a long history of coming to each other’s aid dating back to our Revolutionary War, Hommeril noted. 

“Today we remember that the French-American friendship is bound in blood, and our two countries owe each other their very existence as free nations,” he said. “The United States and France have always stood shoulder-to-shoulder to defend the values of freedom and democracy.”

During his service as a bomber pilot during WWII, 1st Lt. Lubinsky, U.S. Army Air Corps, participated in 50 combat missions in nine countries as a member of the 461st Bomb Group, primarily flying B-24 Liberators, dropping 250,000 tons of bombs on German targets in France, Yugoslavia, Greece, Hungary, Romania, and Germany, among others. 

“More than 70 years ago, Mr. Lubinsky risked his life for the freedom of France and Europe. France is what it is today, a free and sovereign country, thanks to the bravery of such veterans,” said Hommeril. 

Roger Wells, a veteran, WII military historian, and friend of Al’s, presented Lubinsky for consideration for the French Legion of Merit. 

“Al and his crew in no small way contributed to the destruction of Germany’s ability to continue their reign of terror across Europe,” Wells noted. “For this bravery and sacrifice, all Americans and Europeans owe a debt of gratitude that remains very difficult, if not impossible, to repay.”

Hommeril pins the Legion of Honor medal on Lubinsky. 

For all of the honors bestowed upon him, Lubinsky himself is modest. How did he feel about being awarded the French Legion of Merit?

“Ehhh, pretty good,” he said. “Not bad.”

His friends were more than happy to speak on his behalf. 

“He’s a true hero and a great American.”

Hommeril agreed. 

“Mr. Lubinsky, you are a true hero. You will be our hero forever,” he said. “We, the French, will never forget that you helped to restore our freedom, and today we remember the ultimate sacrifice of so many of your comrades who perished on French soil. They will forever remain in our hearts.”

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About

Christopher Dunn has been the sports editor for Fayette Newspapers since 2011, in addition to running Fayette Game Day magazine. He is a graduate of Fayette County schools, as well as a graduate of Georgia State University with a degree in journalism. Follow him on twitter @fayettesports.


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