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World War II veteran receives honors in New Hampshire

July 19, 2019

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire officials are honoring a World War II veteran who built radio connection networked used by the Allies during bombing runs into Japan.

Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, Portsmouth Mayor Jack Blalock and Brigadier General William Conway of the New Hampshire Army National Guard awarded several medals to Antonio Vaccaro Friday in Portsmouth.

During World War II, the Portsmouth resident jerry-built and maintained the radio equipment for the famous Flying Tigers, a group of U.S. volunteer pilots who helped fight the Japan in Burma.

Shaheen’s office says he also served as a gunner. He’s credited with climbing into the hills, accompanied by five Chinese soldiers, to rig up radio beacons that brought the Enola Gay home.

He reached the rank of technical sergeant and was discharged at the war’s end.

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