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French Medal of Chevalier in the Order of the Legion of Honor awarded to Eugene G. Schulz

Eugene G. Schulz ’50 MBA ’51, spent one year in Chicago, then at Northwestern Mutual, retiring as an officer after a 36 year career. Gene served in the U.S. Army for 3 years as a typist, often handing battle orders to be delivered to the front lines. He had crossed Utah Beach on his 21st birthday, July 22, 1944. In August of 1944 his unit was near Chartres, France. The U.S. Army planned on shelling to destroy the Chartres Cathedral because it was assumed German snipers were in the Bell Towers observing our troops. Gene’s General, Col. Wellborn Griffith took it upon himself to search the Cathedral and found no snipers. He then rescinded the order to shell and destroy the Cathedral. About an hour later the Colonel was killed as he rode on a tank in the suburb of Leves. It took some years for the story of his heroism to become known.

As time went on, Gene wrote a book about his Army career, The Ghost in General Patton’s Third Army. In his research, he located the Colonel’s daughter, Alice, who was 13 when her father was killed. Gene and his wife, Eleanore Schulz ’48, visited Alice in Florida. He could tell her about working with her father; it was a joyous meeting.

Later, Gene and Eleanore joined “The American Friends of Chartres”, a fundraising group to help the French clean and reinstall the stained glass windows of the Cathedral. They were able to attend the final installation of one of the circular windows, 142 steps above the floor of the Cathedral.

On September 13, 2019 in celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of France, the city of Chartres and suburb, Leves, will host several events. On the 13th, the governor of Chartres prefecture will present the Medal of Chevalier in the order of the French Legion of Honor to Gene, followed by a reception. There will also be a tour of the Cathedral, the Crypt of the Cathedral, a parade, luncheon, tour of the “Sound and Light Shows” of the major buildings in Chartres. The Schulz family was invited, so there will be 14 of us attending these events. Unfortunately our oldest son, David will not be able to attend as he has classes at Wisconsin Lutheran College in Wauwatosa. He earned master’s degrees in mathematics and computer science and his Ph.D. in linguistics from UW. Son Mark earned his law degree from UW, and son Tom earned a master’s in cartography from UW.

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