Great Falls Tribune: WWII vet honored after 67 years

A Montana World War II hero, who during his life received a Purple Heart for his service in France, was posthumously awarded a Bronze Star in Great Falls on Wednesday for what he did in Italy 67 years ago.

Peter Schneider, who died in 1999, was shot and seriously wounded by German troops at Livry, France, on July 3, 1944, with wounds so severe he was 100 percent disabled after spending four years recovering in hospitals.

He previously received the Purple Heart for that sacrifice.

However, Cpl. Schneider was never recognized for what he did in July 1943, when he served in the 41st Armored Infantry Division under Gen. George Patton. Schneider was part of the first allied forces to storm Sicily to liberate Palermo, known as the “tip of the spear.”

On Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Jon Tester of Montana presented the Bronze Star and the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal to Marlene Banninger, 59, and Kathy Durham, 65, Schneider’s youngest and oldest daughters; and his sister, 77-year-old Leona Stanhope of Billings.

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