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POSTED ON 7.15.2018
POSTED BY: Mary DeWitt

For his family

Lauri Alan Törni was born in Viipuri, Viipuri Province, when it was controlled by Finland. In 1945 the region was finally ceded to the Soviet Union following the Winter War and Continuation War. He served with the Finnish and German armies in the wars against the Soviet Union. In 1950, he immigrated to the United States and joined the US Army in 1954, while residing in Connecticut. At that time he changed his name to Larry Thorne. He joined the army Special Forces (Green Berets) and was commissioned in 1957. In 1963, Thorne was a captain serving as an advisor to the Army of South Vietnam. Thorne died while on a clandestine mission in Laos. His remains were eventually recovered in 1999 and interred at Arlington along with the remains of the South Vietnam Air Force personnel who died with him.

His parents were Jalmari Törni (1890–1970) and Rosa Maria Kosonen Törni (1896–1963). He was also survived by his sisters, Kaija Iris Törni Mikkola (1922–2001), and (unidentified).

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POSTED ON 5.28.2018
POSTED BY: Dennis Wriston

I'm proud of our Vietnam Veterans

Major Larry Alan Thorne, Served with Special Detachment 5891, Headquarters, Military Assistance Command Vietnam Advisors, Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV), United States Army Vietnam.
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POSTED ON 10.18.2016
POSTED BY: A Grateful Vietnam Veteran

Distinguished Flying Cross

Larry Alan Thorne
Date of birth: May 28, 1919
Date of death: MIA: October 18, 1966
Home of record: Norwalk Connecticut
Status: MIA


Distinguished Flying Cross

Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 2, 1926, takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross (Posthumously) to Major (Infantry), [then Captain) Larry Alan Thorne (ASN: 0-2287104), United States Army, for heroism while participating in aerial flight heroism against a hostile force while participating in aerial flight on 18 October 1965, in the Republic of Vietnam. Major Thorne was operations officer responsible for launching a small, combined reconnaissance patrol on an extremely hazardous mission into a suspected .Viet Cong stronghold. Due to the extreme hazards attending this mission, including weather and enemy action, Major Thorne volunteered to accompany submission aircraft during the introduction of the patrol in place of the assigned individual. After delivering the patrol to the landing zone, Major Thorne remained with one aircraft in the immediate area to receive an initial report from the patrol on the ground. This report was mandatory since only the vaguest information was available about enemy disposition near the landing zone. If the patrol were immediately confronted by a superior force, Major Thorne would land and extricate the patrol under fire. This was done with total disregard for the inherent dangers and with selfless concern for the ground forces. In so doing, he exposed himself to extreme personal danger which ultimately led to his disappearance and the loss of his aircraft. He had, however, guaranteed the safe introduction of the patrol into the area, the successful accomplishment of this mission and had positioned himself to react to any immediate calls for assistance from the patrol. Due to Major Thorne's efforts, the mission was accomplished successfully and contributed significantly to the overall mission of interdicting Viet Cong activities within the area. Major Thorne's actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service, and reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Army.

General Orders: Department of the Army, General Orders No. 33 (July 26, 1967)

Action Date: October 18 1966

Service: Army

Rank: Major

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POSTED ON 8.30.2015

Final Mission of MAJ Larry A. Thorne

MAJ Larry A. Thorne was born Lauri Allan Torni on May 28, 1919. As an adult in Finland, he joined the Finnish army where he attained the rank of Captain. His valor earned him the equivalent of the Congressional Medal of Honor, the Mannerheim Medal. He was so successful as a ski troop commander that the unit patch carried his initial "T" with a lightning bolt through it. At the end of the Winter War, Torni joined the German "SS" to fight the Russians. When the Continuation War began, he returned to Finland and again commanded his ski troops. Following Finland's second defeat to the Russians, Torni was imprisoned by the communists as a war criminal. He escaped prison three times and made his way to the United States where he enlisted in the U.S. Army as a private. Throughout the late 1950's, the budding U.S. Army Special Forces had been building a controversial force to conduct unconventional warefare. These unconventional warfare warriors had to be able to master critical military skills needed to train and lead guerrilla warriors, to be inserted anywhere in the world by any means of transportaion, to survive the most hostile environment, and to take care of themselves and others under the pressures of harsh combat conditions and isolation. At the same time, these individuals had to be independent thinkers, able to grasp opportunities and innovate with the materials at hand. In order to control and lead irregular fighters, they had to understand people, languages, and foreign cultures. Most important, the Special Forces warriors had to possess the intelligence, knowledge, tact, and acumen to successfully transform ordinary civilians into an effective military threat to a strong and cunning occupation army. In addition to recruiting rugged individuals possessing these attributes from regular army formations, the Special Forces attracted a proven lot of hardy, versatile volunteers from Finland and other European countries through the Lodge Act, Public Law 957 of the 81st Congress, sponsored by Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. Regardless of his background, each SF volunteer underwent strenuous physical conditioning, including paratrooper training, and was extensively tested to determine his best skills and abilities. He then received comprehensive instruction in his specialty area. Thorne was selected for the Special Forces and ultimately led an important mountain rescue mission to a crashed USAF plane in the middle east. The plane was carrying classified equipment and three earlier attempts to reach it had failed. Next, he went to Vietnam, he and his 7th Special Forces A-734 established the camp at Tinh Bien in April 1964 near the Delta's Seven Mountains area, which bushwacked so many Viet Cong that it became a serious thorn to the VC lifeline into Cambodia. In a second tour of Vietnam, attached to Headquarters Company, MACV, Special Detachment 5891, the Vietnamese Air Force CH-34 helicopter on which Thorne was a passenger crashed about 25 miles southwest of Da Nang. When rescue workers went to the site, they recovered the remains of the Vietnamese crew, but found no sign of Larry Thorne. He had simply disappeared. Thorne's photo is maintained in a pre-capture photo group shown to defectors for POW/MIA identifications purposes, yet Thorne was classified killed in action the day after the crash. In 1999 his remains were identified and he was interred at Arlington National Cemetery on June 26, 2003. [Taken from]
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POSTED ON 10.17.2014
POSTED BY: Curt Carter [email protected]

Remembering An American Hero

Dear Major Larry Alan Thorne, sir

As an American, I would like to thank you for your service and for your sacrifice made on behalf of our wonderful country. The youth of today could gain much by learning of heroes such as yourself, men and women whose courage and heart can never be questioned.

May God allow you to read this, and may He allow me to someday shake your hand when I get to Heaven to personally thank you. May he also allow my father to find you and shake your hand now to say thank you; for America, and for those who love you.

With respect, Sir

Curt Carter
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