On Friday, family members, including Mooneyhan’s two daughters, Linda Haslett of Winnsboro and Barbara Mooneyhan of Camden, attended a ceremony in Columbia where Pascal Le Deunff, France’s consul general, made the Legion of Honor medal presentation to them.
The medal was accompanied by a document of thanks signed by the French president. The honor is given to American soldiers who helped liberate France in World War II.
Mooneyhan, who was a draftee from Lee County, spent the war building bridges, and rose to command his company. He fought throughout France, in the Battle of the Bulge and throughout Germany’s Rhineland.
James Mooneyhan learned last fall that he would receive the award, but passed away Jan. 20 at the age of 93.
“It’s too bad he didn’t get to receive it himself,” said Linda. “When he was notified that he would receive it, he was very excited about it. He said he was ready to go to France to receive it!”
Linda, a senior occupational health nurse at Performance Fibers, lived all over the country, and moved back to Winnsboro six years ago when she married Town Council member Bill Haslett.
Bill said Mooneyhan was an Esso gasoline distributor when he lived in Winnsboro.
“He knew all of the farmers and pulp wood workers around here. He went to the Methodist Church on Congress Street and told me stories of everyone attending Sunday School under the church building,” Bill said.
“He knew and remembered everybody,” said Linda, “and he kept in touch with people even after leaving.”
Mooneyhan was also awarded the American Defense Service Medal, the European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with five bronze service stars and one bronze arrowhead.