by Sylvania AdVantage Staff

World War II veteran William Provonsha receives the French Legion of Honor in commemoration of D-Day and is congratulated by Bud Fisher, who interviewed the veteran for his book “What a Time It Was” published in 2013.

William Provonsha was awarded the Legion of Honor, France’s highest honor, by the French consulate for the Midwest on June 15 at Friendship Park. He was selected for the honor because of his role in the liberation of France, and it was presented then in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
Staff Sgt. Provonsha was one of the veterans interviewed by Sylvania resident Bud Fisher as part of the Veterans’ History Project. His was one of the 80 interviews selected for Fisher’s book, “What a Time it Was,” published in 2013.
A 1940 graduate of Waite High School, Provonsha enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force in October, 1942. After completing basic training, he became part of the 381st Bomb Group, flying 22 missions between October 1943 and March 1944 when his plane was shot down and he was captured. After 13 months as a POW, he and four others managed to escape. He was rescued by an advance group of General Patton’s army on April 12, 1945.
Provonsha received many medals for his service including the Prisoners of War Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross.