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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Arlington Burial For Swiss-Born WWII Spy

Rene Joyeuse was born in Switzerland but he was a hero for the U.S. during the Second World War.

He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross because he provided the allies with invaluable intelligence before the D-Day invasion in 1944.

“His activities behind the lines are legendary. He’s arguably one of the greatest spies that OSS ever produced.”
– Patrick O'Donnell, military historian

After World War II, Joyeuse immigrated to the U.S. and became a prominent doctor in New York.

His family says he always wanted to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

But when he died last June, the request was denied because of questions about his citizenship during the war, and the fact that he wasn’t a member of the American military.

A campaign to reverse that decision succeeded and Rene Joyeuse will be buried at Arlington tomorrow afternoon.

Military historian Patrick K. O’Donnell was part of that campaign.

He told Here & Now that if anybody deserves to be buried in Arlington, it’s Joyeuse.

“I’ve interviewed 5,000 World War II veterans, and his story stands out among all of them,” O’Donnell said. “It’s an extraordinary story of service to the United States. And his activities behind the lines are legendary. He’s arguably one of the greatest spies that OSS [the Office of Strategic Services] ever produced.”

Rene Joyeuse is pictured at his home in Saranac Lake, N.Y. in 2012. (Courtesy Joyeuse family)

Rene Joyeuse is pictured at his home in Saranac Lake, N.Y. in 2012. (Courtesy Joyeuse family)

O’Donnell found Joyeuse’s story so compelling, he started his third book with it. (Read an excerpt here)

The prologue of “Operatives, Spies, and Saboteurs” describes how Joyeuse shot his way out of a Nazi ambush in Northern France and gave the Allies vital details about a German oil refinery and rocket factory.

Thanks to that intelligence, those sites were bombed before the invasion in June 1944.

Rene Joyeuse’s son Remi Joyeuse told Here & Now why it was so important to his father to be buried at Arlington.

“My father was a soldier and the highest honor you can bestow to any soldier is to be buried next to his military heroes. And based on his actions on the combat field he deserved that honor,” Joyeuse said.

Guests:

  • Remi Joyeuse, son of Rene Joyeuse.
  • Patrick K. O’Donnell, combat historian who has has written about Rene Joyeuse.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Kathleen Walsh

    Many thanks for this great and inspiring story.  What a contrast to the likes of Ryan/Boehner and the selfish Right Wing crowd in America these days.  A good wakeup call for all of us, to be of good heart and care for one another.  Rest in Peace good Doctor:  a Dieu

    • HarryT

      Nice job politicizing words to this hero. Another lowlife leftist using their typical strategy of piggybacking on a great story to spread their vile words. Isn’t there a mass murder or some other ugly event that you can use instead (as you normally do)?

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7Q76XCU5URJ5CKZPBEZSJAKQMM Heres the fix

         Libtards don’t need an “ugly event” to demonize anyone. It’s their nature and can spew at random.

  • http://twitter.com/Dr_2A Dr 2A

    Yes Kathleen, because the likes of Pelosi and Reid aren’t selfish at all.

    A great story about a hero. RIP sir.

  • Gab1934

     Rene…..am sure you have received your reward, and are now next to God.  Rest in Peace Mon Ami……………..

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