Saranac Lake The family of local World War II hero, Dr. Rene Joyeuse, who passed away earlier this year, recently received approval from the Secretary of the Army, John McHugh, for the burial of Dr. Joyeuse’s remains in Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, DC.
The family was originally denied permission for burial in Arlington because Joyeuse was not an American Citizen during WW II when he worked for the United States Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and parachuted behind German Lines before D-Day to with orders to gather crucial intelligence about German military installations, supply depots and troop movements so the allies could bombard them before the invasion.
Joyeuse distinguished himself in this mission and others and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, personally presented by Gen. Dwight David Eisenhower, second in magnitude only to the Congressional Medal of Honor in the United States. France gave him its highest military honor, The Legion D'Honneur-Chevalier.
McHugh cited these accomplishments in a letter to Mayor Clyde Rabideau, who, along with Congressman Bill Owens, lobbied the Department of the Army and requested permission to bury Dr. Joyeuse in Arlington.
“Dr. Joyeuse’s case was carefully reviewed by senior leaders on my staff pursuant to our standard protocols for processing these requests,” said McHugh in correspondence. “Though Dr. Joyeuse was not a member of the U.S. military, these senior leaders overwhelmingly recommended that this request be granted due to his extraordinary heroism, lifetime scientific contributions and civilian service in support of the U.S. military. I agree, and have acted accordingly.”
Joyeuse and his family came to the United States in 1955, became American citizens and then resided in Saranac Lake for the last 25 years as Dr. Joyeuse worked for the state correctional department and later retried there. He was also a noted surgeon who helped develop the first replacement heart valve and was a founder of the American Trauma Society.