Wilton resident Peter Kaskell was honored on July 1 in New York City with appointment to the Legion d’Honneur, France’s highest award, by the President of the French Republic. Peter received this award for his service in World War II with the U.S. Army Group that included the French First Army, fighting through France and into southern Germany; his service earlier in the war was in Italy. His recognition for this honor has been facilitated by Jean-Pierre Lavielle, who has done such extraordinary work in gaining recognition for those giving exemplary service on French soil during World War II.
Peter’s German passport from the 1930s shows — surrounding his bespectacled and earnest young face — the eagle and swastika symbols of the Third Reich. Fortunately, thanks to the farsightedness of his parents, Peter got out of Nazi Germany as a young teen and went to a Quaker school in England, then to the States and Columbia University, which he left in his junior year to enlist in the Army. (His college diploma arrived in the mail in 1944 while he was serving in Italy with credit given by Columbia for his Army service, all of it in the Intelligence Branch.)