Fayette County News

Fayette County


WWII Vet receives medal from French Consul for service

WWII veteran Joseph R. Akin of Fayetteville was recently awarded the Legion of Honor Order by the President of the French Republic. Above, Akin with his sons Joseph Jr. and Larry at the ceremony.
Akin receives the medal.

June 6 brings remembrances every year of D-Day and the sacrifices made when Allied forces stormed the beaches of Normandy and throughout World War II.
One local resident who fought in WWII, Joseph R. Akin of Fayetteville, was recently awarded the Legion of Honor Order by the President of the French Republic for his bravery and courage.
Soon to be 95-years-old in September, Akin was inducted with six fellow veterans as a Knight in the National Order of the Legion of Honor in a ceremony at the French Residence in Atlanta.
Technical Sergeant Joseph R. Akin joined the US Army in October 1940, first assigned to Fort McPherson for basic training. He completed training in an airplane mechanic school and left for the United Kingdom in January 1942. Returning to the United States in 1943, Akin completed pilot training, then he returned to Europe as a gunner.
Akin flew in two bombing missions in Royan, France on April 15 and 16, 1945. The objective was to bomb a last pocket of German resistance that was preventing Allied ships from accessing the port of Bordeaux. Akin also supported the 8th Air Force, bombing over Rhineland and Central Europe.
For his service, he was decorated with the Air Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, and the European African Middle Eastern Service Medal.
The Consul General of France to the Southeast, Denis Barbet, thanked Akin and his brothers for their service in a proclamation read at the ceremony.
“You are our heros. By fulfilling your duty to your country, you helped ensure liberty and democracy for the French people, and we will never forget that.”

By Christopher Dunn

Managing Editor Christopher Dunn has been with the Fayette County News since 2011, in addition to running Fayette Victory 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.