Firemen award “Duffy” lifetime member statusJul 27th, 2011 | By William Dilella | Category: news
During the storm, LaVigne stayed behind, rescuing five women in the area. The group managed to ride out the storm by waiting in the choir loft of the St. Patrick’s Church, until they were rescued by airboats.
The award also recognized LaVigne for his distinguished service during his decades in the military. In World War II, he entered the Army Air Corps and flew combat and reconnaissance missions as a member of the Air Force. At the same time, LaVigne supported Gen.
Patton’s battalions and worked as an instructor with the Tuskegee Airmen—the first all African-American air crew. During the Korean conflict, LaVigne continued to serve in combat missions and was shot down twice during these engagements.
After Korea, LaVigne worked alongside famed test pilot Chuck Yeager—the first pilot to fly faster than the speed of sound—during his time at Edwards Air Force Base. Before retiring from the service in 1970, LaVigne served as an advisor to President John F. Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis and flew reconnaissance missions in Vietnam.
After his retirement, LaVigne returned home to Port Sulphur, where he served through the years as a President of the Chamber of Commerce, a Council member, Chairman of the ARC foundation and a member of the Port Sulphur Fire Department. He was proclaimed Orange Festival King in 1999.
LaVigne’s family and friends were in attendance when Captain S.G. Marange, Daniel Ellard, Johnny Williams, Ray Gallet, Dustin Ancar, Herbert Roberts and Adonis Merrick presented the Life Member award and pin for the association.