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home : news : north central illinois   May 25, 2016

3/23/2013 11:52:00 AM
Former Peru man receives French Legion of Honor medal


Submitted photoJoseph S. Niewinski poses with his French Legion of Honor medal and document after receiving it in December for his U.S. Army service during World War II. Niewinski, 89, of Adams, Wis., spent the first 60 years of his life in Peru. He fought in North Africa and France.
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Submitted photo
Joseph S. Niewinski poses with his French Legion of Honor medal and document after receiving it in December for his U.S. Army service during World War II. Niewinski, 89, of Adams, Wis., spent the first 60 years of his life in Peru. He fought in North Africa and France.
Jeff Dankert
NewsTribune Reporter



A former Peru man who fought in World War II received the French Legion of Honor for his role in freeing France of German occupation.

Joseph S. Niewinski, 89, of Adams, Wis., received the medal in December.
Last fall, Niewinski’s daughter, Josee (Niewinski) Forzono of Bonaire, Ga. wrote the French consulate and submitted documentation for her father’s service in the U.S. Army. Once approved, the medal was mailed to him, Forzono said.

Niewinski entered the war as a tank driver and was sent to North Africa. After his tank was destroyed he was sent to England and trained as a medic in preparation of the Allied land invasion of Europe, according to his daughter.

He was assigned to the 26th Infantry Regiment, 104th Medical Battalion. Niewinski landed with American forces on Omaha Beach on the French coast during the D-Day invasion of June 6, 1944.

Niewinski was transferred to the 28th Infantry under General George Patton’s Third Army. In the push to Luxembourg, Niewinski was injured and he was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star.

Niewinski spent his first 60 years in Peru. Prior to the war he was a heavy-equipment operator with the Civilian Conservation Corps. He married Ladys Rem, whom he met in France, and they had five children. After the war he worked as a pressman at Wayside Press, Mendota. In later years he remarried and moved to LaMoille. Today he lives in Adams, Wis.

Niewinski is a member of the Illinois Disabled American Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion.

Correspondence for Joseph Niewinski may be directed to 1184 Duck Creek Drive, Adams, WI 53910.










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