It is a pleasure to report that our longtime crew member Artis West was decorated a Chevalier in the French Legion of Honor at a ceremony at the Los Angeles National Cemetery on September 19, 2017 in recognition for his distinguished service in France during World War II.  

The decoration was established by Napoleon in 1802 and is France‚Äôs highest award.  French Consul General in Los Angeles, Christophe Lemoine, bestowed the award on Artis and 9 other World War II veterans at the ceremony.  Our crew member Bob Johnson had recommended Artis for the award and also served as Master of Ceremonies at the event. 

USMMVWWII President John Saville attended the ceremony.

Corporal Artis C. West was born in Elkhorn, West Virginia in January 1927 and grew up on a small family farm in Virginia.  After attending Max Meadows School he left to support his family by working at several defense installations.  He graduated from the Sheepshead Bay Merchant Marine Academy in 1944. During the war Artis served as an Able Bodied Seaman in many Atlantic Ocean crossings with the U.S. Army Transport Service including the Hospital Ships USS Blanche E. Sigman and USS Aleda E Lutz.

They evacuated many Allied war casualties from such French ports as Cherbourg, Le Havre and Oran. After the war Artis served in the U.S. Coast Guard for one year and the U.S. Marine Corps until 1951.  His decorations include the Good Conduct Medal. 

In civilian life Artis was a Journeyman Union Ironworker for 40 years including 25 years in Space and Communication supporting 8 space launches out of Vandenberg AFB and 3 Space Shuttle launches out of the Cape Canaveral.  He resides in Torrance, California with his wife Moyies of 66 years and their family includes two children, four grandchildren, and three great grandchildren.

Ceremony Photos by VA Photographer Scott Hathaway