OKLAHOMA CITY - A local World War II combat veteran who recently received the highest honor Americans can receive from the country of France, has died.

Earl Gonzales, 92, died Tuesday morning, family members said. Gonzales joined the military before the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. He fought in North Africa, Sicily, and Italy during World War II.

Along with another Oklahoma veteran, Gonzales was given a medal called the “French Legion of Honor Medal” in December 2014.

In an interview with News 9, Gonzales said he was surprised to have received the honor. “I never in my whole life dreamed that anything like this would happen,” he said. “Because I didn't do any more than anybody else. You know as a matter of fact some guys done [sic] a heck of a lot more and they never came back.”

Anyone who would like to make a donation to the 45th Infantry Division Museum in his name, can visit its Facebook Page.