Taunton WWII Veteran receives French Legion of Honor

Kirsten Glavin

kglavin@abc6.com

@kirstenglavin

More than 70 years later, one local World War II veteran is receiving recognition for his service overseas.  90–year–old Norman Dunphe of Taunton, accepted the French legion award from a French Ambassador. 

"I thought that was a wonderful thing. I never expected the Legion of Honor from France.  That is really a distinction,” Dunphe said proudly.

From his three sons, to a group of ladies from his former workout class, supporters from all over Taunton gathered inside the Old Colony Historical Society to watch the ceremony.

"Norm has a lot of friends in this community,” said Warren Hanna, President of the Old Colony Historical Society. “Hundreds of friends in this community. So it was great to see so many of them brave a hot afternoon to sit and watch him honored."

Dunphe was a member of the US Army Air Force.  In April of 1945, at 20–years–old, he was asked to bomb the remaining 122,000 Nazi troops occupying France.  "We used an A-bomb for the first time in the European theatre,” Dunphe recalled.

Dunphe represents more than the city of Taunton.  He represents a vanishing generation of World War II veterans.  He is the last living member of his crew, and says he is honored to accept the award from France.  His sons said they are incredibly proud of their father.

"Its not often that something like this happens,” said Warren Dunphe, Norman’s son. “So it's kind of a nice moment that you'll always remember."