Sen. Reed presents medals to WWII veteran

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CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — A World War II Navy veteran was honored for his service at an event in Cranston this afternoon.

Senator Jack Reed was on hand to present 91-year-old James Dowling with several medals he earned, but never received. 

Those medals include the Good Conduct Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, the Navy Discharge Button and the Honorable Service Lapel Pin.

Mr. Dowling enlisted in the Navy at the age of 17, and after boot camp was sent to gunnery school in Florida. In 1943, he was stationed in Hawaii on board the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Intrepid.

He soon became a member of a six-man crew on a Navy patrol bombing squadron known as the “Blue Raiders,” (Squadron VPB-117) which earned a distinguished record in the Pacific Theatre of World War II. The squadron compiled the best composite combat record of all U.S. Navy squadrons in World War II, receiving a Presidential Unit Citation for its heroic service.

“I’m honored to present Mr. Dowling with these medals for his service and tremendous bravery,” said Senator Jack Reed, a former Army Ranger and the Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “He served his country valiantly in World War II, and just as importantly, he came back after the war to Rhode Island, where he raised a great family, helped us build a great country, and inspired others to serve their country in many different ways. His service is emblematic of our World War II veterans and it is important that we continue to recognize, honor, and celebrate their great contributions and achievements.”

Dowling retired from the Navy in 1947, he returned to Providence to work for the U.S. Postal Service.

He and his wife Dorothy now live in Coventry.

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