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27 May 2009
Medal of Honor nominee James ‘Maggie’ Megellas has been invited by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands for the Military Order of William(Medal of Honor) ceremony.
The Military Order of William will be awarded to a Dutch Special Forces Captain Marco Kroon for heroic Actions in Afghanistan.
In 1945 Megellas himself was selected by General James Gavin to receive the Military Order of William on behalf of the 82nd Airborne Division from the Dutch Minister of war in 1945. He became the first American decorated by the Government of the Netherlands.
Megellas will return later to Holland with his buddies to visit Nijmegen where during Operation Market Garden 1944 he and his men crossed the Waal River during broad daylight(subject of the “A Bridge too Far” movie).
LTC James Megellas, USA (Ret) is the most decorated officer in the history of the 82nd Airborne Division.
Maggie (as his fellow troopers called him) was awarded more than 25 medals including The Distinguished Service Cross, two Silver Stars, two Bronze Stars and two Purple Hearts, Presidential Citation w/cluster, Belgium Fouragere, 6 Campaign Stars, and Master Parachutist for his WWII service.
He was selected by General James Gavin, as the most outstanding officer of the 82nd Airborne Division to receive the Netherlands, “Military Order of William Orange Lanyard” from the Dutch Minister of War in Berlin in 1945, the first American decorated by the Government of Holland. Among his most notable battles were those in the Italian mountains near Venafro, the beach landing at Anzio, the jump into Holland (Operation Market Garden), the famous crossing of the Waal River under heavy German machine gun fire in broad daylight (subject of the “A Bridge too Far” movie) and the Battle of the Bulge.
Maggie commanded H. Company 504 PIR in the occupation of Berlin and led his Company, the only Company he served with during the entire war, down 5th Ave. in New York in the Victory Parade in January 1946. For his leadership and heroic action in capturing the town of Herresbach, Belgium, Jim was recommended to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor.
On January 31, 2007 Congressman Thomas Petri of Wisconsin introduced a bill (H.R 795) in the United States House of Representatives to authorize and request the President to award the Medal of Honor to James Megellas of Colleyville, Texas for acts of valor on January 28, 1945, during the Battle of the Bulge in World War II. The bill is presently in the Committee on Armed Services awaiting future action.
On July 08, 2008 Senator John Cornyn of Texas introduced a bill (S. 3232) in the United States Senate to authorize and request the President to award the Medal of Honor to James Megellas of Colleyville, Texas for acts of valor on January 28, 1945, during the Battle of the Bulge in World War II. The bill is presently in the Committee on Armed Services awaiting future action.
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