World War II vet finally honored for Pacific service

Al Willis, a Montford Point Marine, salutes during a ceremony on Veterans Day, Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014, at the The All Wars Memorial to Colored Soldiers and Sailors in Philadelphia. Americans marked Veterans Day on Tuesday with parades, speeches and military discounts, while in Europe the holiday known as Armistice Day held special meaning in the centennial year of the start of World War I. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) — A 92-year-old World War II veteran who fought in the Pacific will finally be honored for his service.

John Gaes of Stamford served in the 4th Marine Division’s Tank Battalion and served in conflicts in Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, Saipan and Tinian. He was promoted to the rank of master sergeant and was in command of an armored platoon.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal said he learned last year that Gaes needed help obtaining his long-earned military decorations. The decorations were issued this year and the Connecticut Democrat is scheduled to present the medals to Gaes at 8:30 a.m. Friday in Stamford.

Seventy years after Japan surrendered, Gaes will receive numerous honors, including the Combat Action Ribbon, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, American Defense Service Medal and American Campaign Medal.
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