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John V. Kavanaugh, 93, World War II veteran May 11, 1918 -- March 25, 2012

John V. Kavanaugh, a World War II veteran and Silver Star recipient, died last Sunday. He was 93.

Born in Buffalo's Old First Ward, Mr. Kavanaugh served as chief gunner in the U.S. Army's 209th Coast Artillery regiment.

In 1942, he entered the war in North Africa. His battalion made its way to Italy, where he volunteered to retrieve wounded soldiers from the front lines, evacuating them to safety.

During his tour of duty, he helped to liberate Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Sicily, Italy, France, Belgium and the concentration camp at Dachau, Germany before the war's end in 1945.

Mr. Kavanaugh received the Silver Star with valor, the third-highest combat military decoration, which is awarded for "gallantry in action against an enemy of the United States," according to the U.S. Army.

After the war, Mr. Kavanaugh helped manage a home delivery service for Consumers Beverages.

He was an active member of St. Benedict's Holy Name Society, served as past commander of the VFW Post 2472 in Tonawanda and as past president of the Ancient Order of Hibernians.

Services were held Wednesday and Thursday.