Good knights in Arapahoe County

Two local WWII vets honored by French president

Staff report
Posted 4/6/14

The south-metro area is getting two new, actual, real-life knights.

World War II veterans Elmo “Mitch” Mischler, of Centennial, and Walter Quering, of Littleton, have earned the praise of French President François Hollande, who is bestowing …

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Good knights in Arapahoe County

Two local WWII vets honored by French president

Posted

The south-metro area is getting two new, actual, real-life knights.

World War II veterans Elmo “Mitch” Mischler, of Centennial, and Walter Quering, of Littleton, have earned the praise of French President François Hollande, who is bestowing upon them the National Order of The Legion of Honor in the rank of Chevalier (Knight). It is the highest distinction in France, created by Napoleon in 1802.

“(The honor) is in recognition of their heroic actions and precious contributions to the liberation of France during the war,” reads a press release announcing the honor. “… The French people will never forget the veterans' courage and their devotion to the great cause of freedom.”

Senior Master Sgt. Mischler, U.S. Air Force, was born in Eckley, Colo. on July 11, 1923. He enlisted at Fort Leavenworth in December 1942 and arrived in England in September 1943, assigned to the 333rd Squadron, 94th Bomb Group. He was part of a 600-airplane raid on Berlin in March of that year, flying the “Pride of the Yanks,” surviving a mission that lost roughly a third of its fleet.

Over the next 30 years, Mischler served as a flight engineer, crew chief, flight chief, line chief, quality-control inspector and superintendent, retiring in 1977. His decorations include the Bronze Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, four Air Medals, a Good Conduct Medal, Meritorious Service Medal and numerous campaign credits.

After his service, he worked in the Colorado State Capitol security department for 12 years and now volunteers at the Wings over the Rockies. He was married in 1950 and has two children and two grandchildren.

Staff Sgt. Quering, U. S. Air Corps, was born in Glassport, Pa., on Oct. 12, 1923. He enlisted in May 1943 and landed in England in September 1944, assigned to the 839th Squadron as a gunner.

On Feb. 14, 1945, Quering saved the life of the radio operator by using a large towel to dress the severe wound. A month later, Quering was wounded himself while on his 34th combat mission over Germany, and ended up the war in an Army hospital. His decorations include three Air Medals, the Purple Heart and the Good Conduct Medal. He also has the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with three battle stars.

After the war, Quering moved to Colorado and completed a degree in accounting and economics at Regis University in 1949. The entrepreneur then opened his own insurance company and an electronics company, General Sound and Electronics.

He and his wife Catherine, married in 1947 and raised three daughters who gave them two grandchildren. Catherine passed away in 1995.

Mischler and Quering join four other Colorado men in accepting the honor: Lt. Leonard Siekmeier Jr., U. S. Army, of Colorado Springs; Staff Sgt. Claude Osbourn, U. S. Army Air Corps, of Broomfield; PFC Richard Walker, U. S. Army, of Boulder; Private First Class Edward Seitz, U. S. Army, of Colorado Springs.

The medals will be bestowed by Jeffrey Richards, Esq., Honorary Consul of France in Denver, at a ceremony to be held at noon on April 24 in the Old Supreme Court Chambers of the Colorado State Capitol building.

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