CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) -- More than 70 years ago, Mr. Benjamin "Benny" Carbone was protecting planes from from enemy fighter aircrafts during World War II.
Now, his service is finally getting the recognition it deserves.
Senator Jack Reed presented Carbone with the medals he earned through his service in combat.
“On behalf of a grateful nation and the state of Rhode Island, I want to express my enduring gratitude for Mr. Carbone’s faithful service,” Sen. Reed said. “We are so grateful to him and his fellow airmen. They continue to inspire us and their contributions to our nation will not be forgotten.”
In 1943, Carbone joined the U.S. Army Air Forces at age 19. Carbone served as a staff sergeant in Italy and completed 50 missions as a ball turret gunner before he was 20.
In 1945, Carbone was honorably discharged and began a lifetime career as a plumber. He started a company called the "Carbone Brothers" with his brother, where he worked for 10 years before becoming the plumbing inspector for Providence.
Carbone received several medals and awards Friday, including the Air Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with Bronze Star & Silver Star Attachment, World War II Victory Medal, Honorable Service Lapel Button WWII, Good Conduct medal, Marksmanship Badge & Rifle Bar and the Army Aviation Badge Basic.
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