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VIDEO: World War II medic, 103 years old, finally given his medals

(From center-left) A Purple Heart, Silver Star, American Campaign Medal, WWII Victory Medal, WWII Occupation Medal with "Germany" clasp, European/African/and Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with four bronze stars, and a Good Conduct Medal, lie on a table. (Justin Connaher/U.S. Air Force)
January 08, 2020

At 103, Peter Fantasia had his day in the sun.

The former World War II Army medic was awarded medals that he never received at a ceremony Monday at Reading Town Hall.

U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton, a Marine veteran, did the honors bestowing the medals to Fantasia.

He was given a Bronze Star, Good Conduct, American Defense, American Campaign, European-African-Middle Eastern and Victory medals. He was also pinned with a Combat Medical badge and Honorable Service Lapel Button.

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As the Herald wrote last month, Fantasia was taken prisoner during the war because he refused to leave his wounded men. “I wouldn’t go,” said Fantasia. “I stayed in the foxhole.”

Moulton’s team worked with Fantasia’s family and the military to secure the medals that Fantasia’s service merited, but which he never received. Fantasia had already received the Silver Star, the nation’s third-highest decoration for valor in combat.

“We all had a duty. That was my job,” said the former postal worker and longtime Somerville resident. “My job was to take care of soldiers. None of them died while they were with me.”

Fantasia served with Lima Company, of the 3rd Battalion, of the 104th Regiment, of the 26th Infantry Division as an Army medic. He was captured tending to wounded Americans in Rodalbe, France, on November 12, 1944. He was held as a Prisoner of War until he was liberated by Russian forces on April 28, 1945.

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© 2020 the Boston Herald