Princeton, NJ/ NJ.com — A 99-year-old British woman, Kathleen DuHaime, was among four World War II veterans who received the New Jersey Distinguished Service Medal in a Flag Day Ceremony held at Brandywine Living at Princeton, where the four are residents.
The medals were presented by acting Deputy Commissioner for Veterans Affairs retired Col. Walter Nall.
DuHaime’s daughter, Madeline McClure, who came in from Dallas, Texas, called her mother courageous.
“I’m very proud of Mummy. Think about what she went through and World War II. Her barracks were bombed and yet she went right back to work and didn’t miss a beat,” McClure said.
The British veteran, who was a member of the Women’s Royal Naval Service, said her duties involved working in the landing craft area prior to the Normandy invasion.
“The officers I worked under had to get each landing craft in prime condition prior to the invasion because they didn’t know exactly the day.” After the war ended, DuHaime came to the U.S. in 1948 with her family. She would later marry and have eight children. “I’m still in recovery,” she quipped, adding, “No, they turned out wonderfully.
“I’m glad I’m (British)-American because it gives me an insight into two wonderful countries I hope they would stay friends for a long time.”
The three other veterans honored were Radioman Third Class Kirt H. Wedemayer, 95, U.S. Navy, American Theater of Operations; Seaman First Class Stanley W. Tantum, 95, U.S. Navy, Asiatic Pacific Theater of Operations; and Technician Fifth Grade Robert J. Higgins, 95, U.S. Army, European Theater of Operations.
A group of New Jersey politicians were among the attendees at the Monday event.