One of, if not the, most decorated man to have served as President of the United States was Dwight D. Eisenhower or “Ike” as he was commonly known. The reason for his long list of US and foreign honours relates to his time serving in World War Two where he was General, the Supreme Commander Allied Expeditionary Force, Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, and helped orchestrate the Allied invasion of Normandy in June 1944.
Besides his numerous US decorations, he received many foreign honours from countries with monarchies at that time including Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Japan, Luxembourg, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Thailand, and the UK.Embed from Getty Images
Belgium: The future President of the United States was bestowed the Order of Leopold, Grand Cordon with Palm by King Leopold III of Belgium on 30 July 1945 – just a few months after World War Two ended in Europe with the unconditional surrender in May of 1945. That same day he was given the Croix de Guerre of 1940 with Palm.
Denmark: King Christian X of Denmark honoured Ike with the Order of the Elephant on 19 December 1945 after the conclusion of the Second World War.
Egypt: On May 24, 1947, General Eisenhower was bestowed with the Most High Order of Ismail, Grand Order with Star by King Farouk of Egypt. The order was delivered to him on 29 May. His desk calendar said that on that day he was due to be at the Egyptian embassy at 4 pm to “receive award,” according to Valoise Armstrong, Archivist at the presidential museum in Kansas.
Greece: Ike was given the Grand Cross of the Order of George I by King George II. The Eisenhower Presidential Library & Museum explained to Royal Central, “It was delivered to him the morning of July 13, 1946, by General Alexander Papagos at a meeting in his office while he was U.S. Army Chief of Staff.”
Japan: It was some years after World War Two (when Japan was on the losing side after siding with the Axis) that the President was given a royal order from Japan. On 27 September 1960, he was made a member of the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum, Grand Cordon by Emperor Hirohito.
Luxembourg: Ike was given the Order of the Grand-Duchal de la Couronne de Chéne, Grand Croix (or Order of the Oak Crown, Grand Cross in English) by Grand Duchess Charlotte on 3 August 1945. Grand Cross the highest of the five grades.
Morocco: On 9 July 1943, the future president was bestowed with the Order of Ouissam Alaouîte Chérifien, Grand Croix by Sultan Mohammed (Mohammed later became King of Morocco in 1957). King Mohammed V bestowed Eisenhower with the highest state decoration of Morocco: Order of Mohammed on 25 November 1957.
The Netherlands: The Order of the Lion of the Netherlands, Knight of the Grand Cross was given to General Eisenhower on 14 July 1945 by Dutch Queen Wilhelmina.
Norway: King Haakon VII of Norway gave Ike the Royal Order of St. Olaf, Grand Cross on 20 November 1945; on 17 April the following year, Ike was made Grand Commander.
Thailand: King Rama IX, who had been born in Massachusetts, bestowed Ike with the Most Illustrious Order of the Royal House of Chakri on 28 June 1960.
United Kingdom: President Dwight D. Eisenhower was made a Most Honourable Order of the Bath, Knight Grand Cross (G.C.B.) on 12 June 1943. He was also given the Order of Merit on 12 June 1945. Both honours were presented to Ike by The Queen’s father, King George VI.Embed from Getty Images
All of President Eisenhower’s awards and honours can be viewed here. Many thanks to the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum for their help in the research for this article.