Edward Morrissey was one of 100 graduates who received diplomas Thursday from Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School.
Morrissey says he was just weeks from graduating in 1942 when his father told him to leave school and get a job milking cows. He also worked at a gas station and a gun maker before enlisting in the U.S. Navy.
He served in the Pacific during World War II and was a Northampton officer for 25 years before retiring in 1977.
Morrissey was inspired by other World War II veterans getting their diplomas late in life.
Smith Vocational Superintendent Jeffrey Peterson calls Morrissey a "true American hero."