Bridgewater Man Given Military Honor

Credits: Richard DeVita
Credits: Richard DeVita
Credits: Richard DeVita
Credits: Richard DeVita
Credits: Richard DeVita

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Frank DeVita, of Bridgewater, recently received the French Legion of Honour, France’s highest military award, when he went to Normandy for the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

DeVita, 89, volunteered for service during World War II, and was then assigned to the USS Samuel Chase, a Coast Guard-manned United States Navy attack transport, which serviced both the Normandy and Provence campaigns during the Liberation of France.

During the two campaigns, DeVita crewed a Higgins Landing Craft, taking the U.S. 1st Infantry Division to Omaha Beach June 6, 1944, as well as the U.S. 3rd Infantry Division to the beaches of the St. Tropez peninsula in August 1944.

Sign Up for E-News

DeVita traveled back to Normandy for the 70th anniversary with 32 family and friends, participating in the ceremonies and celebrations.

DeVita received the city’s medallion in a ceremony June 3 with Patrick Jardin, the mayor of Arromanches, which is home of the British Mulberry system that was deployed on D-Day.

Next, DeVita received a commemorative medallion from the Normandy Memorial Association, and was interviewed by Tom Brokaw and the NBC’s “Today Show” on June 4.

Finally, on June 5, DeVita was awarded the Legion of Honour in an international ceremony with ex-servicemen from Britain, Canada, Australia and Poland. The ceremony was officiated by the Prefecture of Calvados, a senior French administrator speaking for the French president.

The Legion of Honour was established by Napoleon in 1802 for excellent civilian or military conduct, and is the highest award given by the French government for military and civil acts. It is rarely given to foreigners.

On June 6, DeVita attended a ceremony at Omaha Beach where he met the Commandant of the United States Coast Guard, numerous military leaders and President Barack Obama.

DeVita also met a veteran of the U.S. 1st Infantry Division, who was on the ship he delivered to Omaha Beach 70 years ago.

Finally, DeVita served as grand marshall at a parade in Sainte-Mère-Église.

“Love your freedom,” DeVita said, “because that’s what we fought for.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Upcoming Events

Fri, February 23

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Fri, February 23, 9:00 AM

The Center for Contemporary Art , Bedminster

Dan Bischoff: Critic As Artist

Arts & Entertainment

Fri, February 23, 9:00 AM

The Center for Contemporary Art, Bedminster

Keepers of the Chroma: An Exhibition Regarding ...

Arts & Entertainment

Raritan Police: Warren Man Arrested for DWI and More in Police Blotter

February 17, 2018

RARITAN, NJ - A Warren man was arrested Feb. 1 for driving while intoxicated following a motor vehicle violation, according to a report from Raritan Borough Police.

Wayne Krause, 68, was charged with driving while intoxicated, reckless driving and speeding after being pulled over on Route 22 West.

Krause was processed and released pending a court appearance.

Police made other arrests for ...

Grape Expectations Hosts Wine Tastings

February 23, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ – Grape Expectations, recognized as the oldest “Make Your Own Wine” establishment in Somerset County, will host wine tastings the next two weekends for those curious about wines made from grapes harvested in South Africa and Chile in South America.

Tastings are scheduled Feb 24, from noon to 4 p.m.; March 2 from 5 p.n. to 9 p.m. and March 3 from noon to 4 ...

Sen. Bateman Launches "Socks for Soldiers" Drive

February 23, 2018

SOMERVILLE, NJ - State Sen. Christopher "Kip" Bateman and his colleague Kristin M. Corrado. (R-Passaic, Bergen, Essex, Morris),  have launched a “Socks for Soldiers” drive to collect one of the most requested items by United States troops serving around the world.

“Our heroes at home and abroad need our help to stay warm and comfortable,” said Bateman, ...

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on ...