The late, former Congressman Sam Gibbons was a member of the U.S. Army’s 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment. He parachuted into Europe on D-Day and also fought in the Battle of the Bulge.
“I was the third man to step out of plane #42, and dropping 800 feet to start what some have called ‘The Longest Day,’” Gibbons wrote in his World War II memoir I Was There.
Gibbons passed away peacefully in his sleep last year at age 92.
This week, Gibbons was posthumously inducted into the Florida Veterans Hall of Fame. His son was there to accept the honor bestowed by Gov. Rick Scott.
In all, six Floridians were welcomed into the first class of the new Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame. They were given Hall of Fame Medals and Certificates.
1. John R. D. Cleland, Major General (Retired), U.S. Army (Melbourne)
2. The late US Rep. Sam M. Gibbons, former U.S. Army Major (Tampa) – represented by his son, Clifford Sam Gibbons
3. John L. Haynes, Major (Retired), U.S. Marine Corps (Monticello)
4. Robert F. Milligan, Lieutenant General (Retired), U.S. Marine Corps (Tallahassee)
5. Jeanne Grushinski Rubin, Captain (Retired), U.S. Navy (Sunrise)
6. Robert J. Silah, Captain (Retired), U.S. Navy (Tampa)
The Veterans Hall of Fame recognizes those who have made a significant contribution to the state of Florida after their military service.