British high award issued to Kansas man killed in WWII

Posted: Updated:
AUGUSTA, Kan. (KAKE) -

The British Distinguished Conduct Medal was awarded posthumously to the family of an Augusta, Kansas man killed in World War II.

Sgt. Sus J. Gonzalez is credited with saving lives of British military men in Europe during WWII in the fall of 1944. The U.S. 82nd Airborne Division reports that Gonzalez was granted the Distinguished Conduct Medal and in January of 1945 while in the hospital recovering from a war-related injury he received it. Gonzalez died the next day and the award somehow fell off the record.

On Veterans Day 2017, military men from both the United States armed forces and the British military met in Augusta, Kansas to serve the family of Gonzalez the award he rightfully should have.

“We got here a replica of the Distinguished Conduct Medal which we are going to recognize Sgt. Gonzalez contribution,” said British Military Brigadier Ollie Kingsbury.

According to the U.S. 82nd Airborne Division, the Distinguished Conduct Medal is the highest award any non-British person can receive. 

“It was presented on this occasion very rarely to an American soldier who displayed enormous gallantry during Operation Market Garden in Nijmegen, saving the lives of a number of British soldiers,” Kingsbury said. 

In a small box, the silver medal with the Queen of England’s image is stamped, a quick note reading “By appointment to her majesty, Queen Elizabeth II., Medallists, Worcestershire Medal Service LTD, Bromsgrave”

Gonzalez sister, 93-year-old Esther Mayes, says her family had no idea that Gonzalez had received this award until recently.

“Proud, very proud,” Mayes said.

“He will be in the British archives, always be remembered,” she said of her brother.

The family plans to donate the medal to a military museum in North Carolina. 

  • NEWSNewsMore>>

  • The Latest: 300 mourn victims outside tourism boat business

    The Latest: 300 mourn victims outside tourism boat business

    Friday, July 20 2018 1:36 AM EDT2018-07-20 05:36:01 GMT
    Saturday, July 21 2018 12:24 AM EDT2018-07-21 04:24:13 GMT
    (Andrew Jansen/The Springfield News-Leader via AP). Rescue crews work at the scene of a deadly boat accident at Table Rock Lake in Branson, Mo., Thursday, July 19, 2018. A sheriff in Missouri said a tourist boat has apparently capsized on the lake, lea...(Andrew Jansen/The Springfield News-Leader via AP). Rescue crews work at the scene of a deadly boat accident at Table Rock Lake in Branson, Mo., Thursday, July 19, 2018. A sheriff in Missouri said a tourist boat has apparently capsized on the lake, lea...
    A Missouri sheriff says at least 11 people have now been confirmed dead after a boat carrying tourists on a lake in a popular vacation city capsized and sank.
    A Missouri sheriff says at least 11 people have now been confirmed dead after a boat carrying tourists on a lake in a popular vacation city capsized and sank.
  • DA: No charges in death of 5-year-old Lucas Hernandez

    DA: No charges in death of 5-year-old Lucas Hernandez

    Friday, June 8 2018 6:28 PM EDT2018-06-08 22:28:48 GMT

    The last page of a report provided to the media says, "In light of the death of the sole suspect in the death of Lucas Hernandez, no charges will be filed concerning his death in February of 2018."

    The last page of a report provided to the media says, "In light of the death of the sole suspect in the death of Lucas Hernandez, no charges will be filed concerning his death in February of 2018."

  • Wichita woman among 3 killed in Utah motorcycle crash

    Wichita woman among 3 killed in Utah motorcycle crash

    KTVXKTVX

    One of the victims was identified as 53-year-old Judith Murray of Wichita. She was riding a motorcycle driven by 50-year-old Jason Murray.

    One of the victims was identified as 53-year-old Judith Murray of Wichita. She was riding a motorcycle driven by 50-year-old Jason Murray.

Check out these photos from across KAKEland snapped by our viewers, staff and local officials. Do you have pictures to share with us? Email them to news@kake.com.

MORE SLIDESHOWS HERE

<'>
  • Most Popular Stories

    • MGN Online

      Half of Kansas at high risk for West Nile virus

      The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has issued a high-risk warning for West Nile virus infections for half of the state.

    • Restaurant report card

      The concert Crewstview Bevco at Crewstview country club had several safety violations. Inspectors found strawberries covered in white and green mold. Tomatoes, pasta, ham and other food was being stored at unsafe temperatures and inspectors found old food debris was built up on the can opener and slicer.  This restaurant is found to be out of compliance.  Neighbors bar and grill on west 21st street needs to make some changes. Inspectors saw an employee touching raw eggs th...

    • (Andrew Jansen/The Springfield News-Leader via AP). Rescue crews work at the scene of a deadly boat accident at Table Rock Lake in Branson, Mo., Thursday, July 19, 2018. A sheriff in Missouri said a tourist boat has apparently capsized on the lake, lea...

      The Latest: 300 mourn victims outside tourism boat business

      A Missouri sheriff says at least 11 people have now been confirmed dead after a boat carrying tourists on a lake in a popular vacation city capsized and sank.
    • Kansas woman recounts hours leading to Missouri duck boat accident

      As the community met to grieve for the 17 tourists killed riding on a duck boat across Table Rock Lake, Lyons, KS native, Becky Rombeck is counting her blessings. Her boat left just 30 minutes earlier than the ill-fated boat that capsized in a storm. “It’s just so scary. You, know you just did it and then 17 people are killed,” Rombeck said. Rombeck said the weather outside appeared to be perfect. “The weather was beautiful. You could see the clouds coming i...

    • Day care owner gets probation for trying to kill toddler

      Nataliia Karia, 43, received her punishment in Hennepin County court after pleading guilty to attempted murder and third-degree assault earlier.

    • Crews from multiple Missouri agencies are on the scene of a mass casualty incident with a "tourist-type boat involved," the Stone County Fire Department said in a statement.  Full Credit: Southern Stone County Fire Protection District

      As investigation into deadly duck boat incident begins, survivor describes almost drowning

      A day after a duck boat capsized and sank during a severe storm at a southern Missouri lake, killing at least 11 people, divers are resuming a search for six people who remain missing.
    • KTVX

      Wichita woman among 3 killed in Utah motorcycle crash

      One of the victims was identified as 53-year-old Judith Murray of Wichita. She was riding a motorcycle driven by 50-year-old Jason Murray.

    • DA: No charges in death of 5-year-old Lucas Hernandez

      The last page of a report provided to the media says, "In light of the death of the sole suspect in the death of Lucas Hernandez, no charges will be filed concerning his death in February of 2018."

    • Table Rock Lake duck boat accident leaves 17 dead, including children

      The Ride the Ducks boat sank Thursday night in Table Rock Lake near Branson. Seventeen people died.

    • Father of two Parkland shooting survivors is shot, killed during robbery

      A shooting in February scarred Elama Ali. Another this month took her father's life. When an armed teen burst into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, moving through the school and mowing down students and teachers, Elama took cover.