France honors Westport man for WWII bravery

The French government honored a Westport resident Wednesday for his bravery during World War II.



Bob Loomis, 90, received the French Legion of Honor, the country's highest honor.



Loomis' grandson, John Buddenhagen, recalls how the then-19-year-old saved his unit when a grenade was tossed into their foxhole. Buddenhagen says his grandfather picked it up and threw it, only for it to explode nearby seconds later.



The Loomis family patriarch lost nearly all of his hearing after the incident.



At the time, Loomis earned the Silver Star and other medals for additional acts of bravery.



The French consul to Connecticut presented Loomis with the Legion of Honor for his heroism at Utah Beach on D-Day and later at the Battle of the Bulge.



The French Legion of Honor was conceived by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802 to recognize anyone who helped forge equality in France. With the medal comes the privilege of using the title "knight."



Loomis was born in France, and moved back to Connecticut before being drafted. After the war, he settled in Westport, became a graphic artist and then went to nursing school and worked as an EMT at Norwalk Hospital for 25 years.



Loomis and his wife will be celebrating their 65th wedding anniversary this Friday.


sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."