Staff Writer

SACO – Not many people know that John C. Blunt sank a German submarine with a cannon during World War II, while he was serving in the Navy. For political reasons unknown to his family, the U.S. government credited the Canadian Navy with sinking the submarine.

That didn’t matter much to Mr. Blunt, who died Wednesday at the age of 82. He was never one to give himself accolades.

“We found out some pretty harrowing stories that he never shared with us growing up,” said John S. Blunt, one of Mr. Blunt’s sons. “And we were really impressed that he never used those stories to elevate himself above other people.”

Mr. Blunt joined the Navy in July 1942 and served throughout the war. He was honorably discharged in December 1946 with the rank of seaman first class.

During his service he completed seven ocean crossings in the Pacific and Atlantic, as part of a unit that protected cargo vessels participating in the war effort. In addition, Mr. Blunt was on the second wave during the invasion of Normandy in 1944.

“He was always quiet about his service,” said Charlie Blunt, another son. “But he was also very proud of his service.”

Mr. Blunt was born in Woonsocket, R.I., on Aug. 12, 1922. In 1947, he married Mary E. Libby of Saco. In early July, the couple celebrated their 63rd anniversary.

“They were the love of each other’s lives always devoted to each other,” Charlie Blunt said of his parents.

John S. Blunt described his father as a devout family man who especially enjoyed seeing his six grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

“He was always there at their graduations, recitals and Little League games,” his son said. “He was very supportive of them.”

Both brothers fondly recall their family’s annual hunting trips.

“The whole family got together each fall to hunt deer and bear” in Fryeburg, said John S. Blunt.

“We all camped together, and it was really important to us because later in life it was the only time we would all be together.”

So many people attended Mr. Blunt’s 80th birthday party that the family ran out of food.

“We ran out because he had such a big family and so many friends,” said John S. Blunt. “My dad touched a lot of hearts.”

In addition to being an avid hunter, fisherman and gardener, Mr. Blunt was a skilled carpenter who built the family’s first and only home, in 1941. He also helped each of his three sons build a home nearby.

“It was nice for us,” said Charlie Blunt, “always being able to come back to the same house and see my mom and dad. It never changed.”

On Thursday, Charlie Blunt worked on his parents’ house in Saco. He said he missed the guidance of his father.

“I’m working on the house now,” he said, “and it’s strange not having him out here giving advice.”

Staff Writer Max Monks can be contacted at 791-6345 or at:

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