Jim Carroll, a World War II veteran who parachuted into Normandy and fought in subsequent battles in Europe, was awarded the French Legion of Honor medal Sunday. Finally.
Carroll, of Bloomington, is 91. The grateful French have awarded Legion of Honor medals to U.S. soldiers over the years, and Carroll had been scheduled to get his Nov. 10, until a snowstorm caused a delay.
U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar and French Honorary Consul Christina Selander Bouzouina were on hand when Carroll finally got the award Sunday in Bloomington.
The French Legion of Honor was created by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802; it is that country’s highest honor for those who have achieved remarkable deeds for France.
Carroll was 18 when he joined the Army after the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941. As a private first-class in the 101st Airborne Division, he parachuted into Normandy on D-Day and later fought in Operation Market Garden in Holland and in the Battle of the Bulge. He and his mates spent a month in foxholes, in freezing temperatures, surrounded by the Germany army over Christmas 1944. Carroll also has a Bronze Star Medal from the U.S. military.
He worked as a machine shop foreman and then a Bloomington school bus driver until he retired in 1999 at age 75. He’s been active in the Ft. Snelling Memorial Chapel Foundation.