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.