PEORIA — A Tremont man who served in World War II will be presented France's highest military decoration for merit later this month for serving in World War II.

Eugene "Gene" Neeley will be presented the Legion of Honor on Sept. 27 by the Consul General of France to the Midwest, Guillaume Lacroix at a ceremony at the Peoria County Club.

Neeley, 94, was a private first class serving with the U.S. Army from 1943 to 1945. While in Europe, he was a supply clerk and a truck driver and participated in the Naples-Foggia, Rome-Arno, Southern France, Rhineland and Central Europe campaigns.

He's an active volunteer for the Greater Peoria Honor Flight and was recently on a trip to France to remember the 75th anniversary of the Normandy invasion, otherwise known as D-Day.

According to the French consulate, the Legion of Honor is the highest distinction that France can bestow upon those who have achieved remarkable deeds for France. Founded by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802, the National Order of the Legion of Honor recognizes eminent service to the French Republic. Recipients of this honor are named by decree signed by the President of the Republic.

Andy Kravetz can be reached at 686-3283 or akravetz@pjstar.com. Follow him on Twitter @andykravetz.