Henry Ochsner, World War II veteran who landed on the beach at Normandy on D-Day and later received the French government’s highest honor for his service, died Saturday, Sept. 7, in California. He was 96.

Family friend Dennis Anderson said the Army veteran died at his home in California City from complications from cancer and old age.

As part of the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division, known as the “Screaming Eagles,” Ochsner also fought at the Battle of the Bulge, which was the last major German offensive campaign on the Western Front during World War II.

During a ceremony at Los Angeles National Cemetery on Sept. 19, 2017, Ochsner and nine other veterans were awarded the Legion of Honor, the highest decoration bestowed by the government of France.

After the war, Ochsner joined millions of returning veterans and worked as a truck driver with a superior safety record, and for many years in aerospace until his retirement.

Ochsner was born on Feb. 2, 1923, in Hellgate, Montana. He married Violet Jenson in 1947 and they recently celebrated 72 years of marriage. He is survived by her, four daughters and two granddaughters. Funeral plans are pending.

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