Bob Loomis is not the only Westporter being honored by the French government for heroism during World War II.
Next Friday (July 3), Ted Diamond receives France’s highest medal: the insignia of Chevalier (knight) of the Legion of Honor.
The award — established by Napoleon in 1802 — acknowledges the longtime Westporter (and former 2nd selectman’s) enduring contribution to the success of Operation Dragoon, a military campaign to free the nation from Nazi domination.
Diamond was an Army Air Corps combat navigator with the 15th Air Force. He flew 50 missions over highly secured military installations throughout Europe, often leading a group of 28 B-17s.
Diamond has spent the last 60 years in Westport. In addition to 3 terms as 2nd selectman, he was a 3-term RTM member, and volunteered on numerous town committees, commissions and boards.
The Legion of Honor ceremony takes place at 5 p.m. on Pier 15 at the South Street Seaport. The site is fitting: in front of the frigate Hermione, an exact replica of the 18th-century ship that brought Lafayette here to support General Washington.
July 3 is the day before America’s national holiday. It’s also Diamond’s 98th birthday. He says he is humbled by the honor, and wishes the 9 other crew members on his 50 missions were alive to share it with him.
He does call it “one helluva birthday present.”