N. Babylon WWII vet receives honor from Belgium

Joseph Ventri, 91, was at the time a private in the Army when he deployed to Europe in 1944.

Joseph Ventri, 91, was at the time a private in the Army when he deployed to Europe in 1944. (5/26/16)

NORTH BABYLON - An American World War II veteran received a belated military honor from Belgium Thursday for his service more than 70 years ago.

Joseph Ventri, 91, was at the time a private in the Army when he deployed to Europe in 1944.

He was a gunner with a mobile anti-aircraft artillery unit defending the Port of Antwerp in Belgium.

That unit is credited with setting a record by shooting down 361 "buzz bomb" cruise missiles and 40 bomber planes.

Belgian Brigadier Gen. Johan Andries presented Ventri with the Belgian Fourragere, a braided shoulder cord, on behalf of his country's minister of defense Thursday.

Ventri accepted the award with a bit of modesty.

"I don't feel like I'm a hero," he said. "I did what I was supposed to do. We were just good at it."

The ceremony was held in Ventri's North Babylon backyard. His four children, nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren were in attendance.

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Top 5 Must See

An Amtrak power problem in one of the 1 More headaches for LIRR riders after Amtrak power problem
Jack Martins, a Republican member of the state 2 Sen. Martins announces Nassau exec bid
An Amtrak power problem caused Long Island Rail 3 Amtrak power problem causes more LIRR disruptions
Suffolk County has scrapped a controversial proposal to 4 Suffolk scraps proposal to raise ticket fees
Police say Jay Marcello inappropriately touched teenagers while 5 Prosecutors: Camp counselor accused of sexual abuse had 8 victims

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Features

Each week, News 12's Doug Geed explores the Check out fun things to do on the East End!

Explore the Twin Forks with News 12's Doug Geed.

Each week a different shelter visits News 12 Dog Day Fridays Series

Each week a different shelter visits News 12 Long Island with pets up for adoption.

News 12 digs deep to find Long Island's Discover Long Island's Hidden Past

News 12's Danielle Campbell digs into Long Island's roots.

News 12's Lily Stolzberg sees how much Long On The Spot

News 12's Lily Stolzberg sees how much Long Islanders know about everything and anything.

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE