The Fond du Lac Post Office is a step closer to being named after a World War II veteran originally from Fond du Lac.
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) welcomed Lt. Col. James “Maggie” Megellas to the United States Capitol on Tuesday. Megellas is a revered American soldier. He served with the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division during World War II and is recognized as the most decorated officer in the division’s history.
Johnson introduced legislation last July to re-name the post office to Lt. Col. James ‘Maggie’ Megellas Post Office. The legislation passed the Senate by unanimous consent last August, and Johnson hopes to see it signed into law soon.
“It is a privilege to recognize Lt. Col. Megellas,” he said, “one of the finest among us. His heroic actions helped ensure the liberation of Europe and our nation’s continued freedom.”
The renaming may be a consolation prize of sorts, given the lack of progress with another effort to honor Megellas. Legislation to award Megellas the Medal of Honor remains in limbo, despite bi-partisan support.
Megellas participated with distinction in the landing at Anzio, Operation Market Garden and the Battle of the Bulge, among other battles.
He and his fellow troops crossed the Waal River near Nijmegen, Netherlands, in small boats under substantial machine gun fire, according to the Army. Once on shore, Megellas crawled forward alone and killed two outpost guards and the crew of a machine gun nest.
After the attack, he carried a wounded man to safety while firing a submachine gun with one hand, the Army says. For this, Megellas was awarded the military’s second-highest decoration, the Distinguished Service Cross. He has also received multiple awards each of the Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart.
Now 98 years old, Megellas still gives lectures and makes public appearances each year.