Blountstown - After waiting 67 years, a 92-year-old World War II veteran will finally receive the French combat medal he earned so many years ago. A French brigadier general will award Terrell Yon with the French Croix de Guerre in Tallahassee on Friday. It's an honor that is long overdue, but much appreciated.
Come Friday, Terrell Yon will have a new medal for his case. In August of 1944 the World War II veteran was awarded the French Croix de Guerre for his heroics, but never actually received the medal. "It feels great and I've been waiting for it a long time," said Ret. Lt. Col. Terrell Yon.
He earned the medal while piloting a British-made Spitfire over the island of Corsica. He still remembers the mission like it was yesterday. "I started gaining on the ME 210 as he was headed back to Italy." He intercepted and shot down the German reconnaissance aircraft, all without the protection of a wingman. "After I shot the right engine he didn't have any engines left."
He says even in the heat of battle, he never felt afraid. "When you were fighting another aircraft you didn't have time to be afraid. You had to either shoot him or he was going to shoot you down." Yon is also the recipient of the prestigious Purple Heart. He was wounded while flying one of the 118 combat missions he completed. "One of the shells came up and hit my leg and came up below my right elbow."
He is deeply grateful to God for sparing his life. "I thank the good Lord that he stayed with me the whole time I was in combat and when I came home, has has been with me ever since." Congratulations to Ret. Lt. Colonel Terrell Yon. He'll be presented with the Croix de Guerre medal in Tallahassee on Friday. Senator Bill Nelson will also be in attendance.