MANCHESTER, N.H. (CBS/AP) – A World War II veteran in New Hampshire who recently received a Purple Heart amid his battle with cancer has died. He was 94.

Francis Byrne passed away at his home Thursday morning, his family told the Boston Globe. Byrne was diagnosed with terminal bladder cancer two months ago and said his dying wish was to get his long-awaited Purple Heart.

Francis Byrne received his Purple Heart Dec. 14, 2018. (WBZ-TV)

That wish was fulfilled during a Dec. 14 ceremony, more than 70 years after he was hit by shrapnel from a landmine while fighting in the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium.

Byrne’s lieutenant had promised to fill out the paperwork for a Purple Heart, but he was killed in action the next day.

U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen, who helped Byrne with his Purple Heart application, remembered him as a man who “sacrificed so much to defend our nation” in a Facebook post.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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