Legion of Merit, "James S. Thurmond" (Sen Strom Thurmond)
Legion of Merit, slot brooch marked “HLP-GI”, machine-engraved “James S. Thurmond”.
James S. Thurmond (1902-2003) was better known as Senator James Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, who was a major general in the Army Reserve. The award of the Legion of Merit to Thurmond in 1976 was widely criticized in the press as a “political” award. Thurmond had joined the Army in 1941 and served as a civil affairs officer on the staff of First Army, landing by glider on D-Day with the 82nd Airborne Division.