In the 1930s, Bob Loomis lived on the outskirts of Paris with his American father and French mother. When the Germans occupied the country, his parents moved to the US.
Loomis was drafted in 1942. On D-Day, he landed on Utah Beach. With many other soldiers, he fought heroically to recapture that important territory. He earned a Silver Star for saving his troops from a grenade that landed in their foxhole.
After the war, Loomis became a commercial artist. He’s lived in Westport for 55 years, including a long stint as art director for the marketing giant MCA.
In his mid-50s, Loomis went to nursing school. For decades, he served as a member of Westport’s Volunteer Emergency Medical Service corps.
Tomorrow morning (Wednesday, June 17), he’ll welcome a special visitor to his Kings Highway home. Connecticut’s honorary French consulate is coming from Hartford, to award him the Croix de Guerre: France’s medal of honor for bravery in combat.
It’s part of the French government’s ongoing effort to recognize American soldiers, for their help in the liberation of France.
Remarkably, this is the 3rd Croix de Guerre for the Loomis family. His father received the honor for his heroism as a fighter pilot in World War I. And Loomis’ cousin was awarded the same medal for working with the Underground in World War II, hiding soldiers from the Germans.
That cousin is 96, living in Paris. Loomis and he are often in touch.
Now — thanks to the French government — they have one more special bond.
(Hat tip: Patricia Broderick)