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World War II Veteran Receives Purple Heart, 70 Years Late

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It may have taken decades, but it’s finally mission accomplished for a Navy vet in Ledyard.

Navy Chief Frank Bennett served in both World War II and The Korean War, and was awarded a number of honors, but he always wanted the Purple Heart.

On Friday, Senator Richard Blumenthal’s office helped to make that happen.

Bennett was part of the crew on the U.S.S. Little which was sunk by the Japanese in 1942. He was injured and, after hours at sea, swam to safety.

In his front yard, the 89-year-old enjoyed a ceremony nearly 70 years in the making.

“I have other medals for combat and things like that, but this is the one I was really hoping for,” Bennett said.

“I got it, now I’m really pleased and elated,” he added.

Senator Richard Blumenthal, who presented the medal, said, “We often neglect to recognize the greatest generation and Mr. Bennett is among the greatest of the greatest generation.”

With his family watching, Bennett, a grandfather and great grandfather, was also presented with the “World War II Victory Medal”, “The Korean War Service Medal” and the “Combat Action Ribbon”.

Bennett turns 90 in September.

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