Military History

Valor The Quiet Heroine

Lt. Jeannette Guyot French army Legion d’honneur France 1944–45

When 97-year-old widow Jeannette Guyot passed away on April 10, 2016, in Chalon-sur-Saône, a town of 50,000 in eastern France, few neighbors knew of the heroic life the unassuming old woman had led 75 years earlier. Guyot was a chevalier of the and a recipient of her nation’s . Britain had presented her a George Medal for “acts of great bravery.” She was also one of only two women awarded the U.S. Distinguished Service Cross for “extraordinary heroism” during World War II. Indeed, Guyot was among the most decorated Allied agents to have operated in German-occupied France. Early in the war she’d been arrested, imprisoned and withstood three months of interrogation. Yet after her release the fearless young patriot insisted on returning to France to resume the fight.

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