LARRY C THORNTON
VIEW ALL PHOTOS (4)
HONORED ON PANEL 4E, LINE 38 OF THE WALL

LARRY C THORNTON

WALL NAME

LARRY C THORNTON

PANEL / LINE

4E/38

DATE OF BIRTH

03/03/1932

CASUALTY PROVINCE

LZ

DATE OF CASUALTY

12/24/1965

HOME OF RECORD

IDAHO FALLS

COUNTY OF RECORD

Bonneville County

STATE

ID

BRANCH OF SERVICE

AIR FORCE

RANK

CMS

REMEMBRANCES

LEFT FOR LARRY C THORNTON
POSTED ON 3.3.2018
POSTED BY: Dennis Wriston

I'm proud of our Vietnam Veterans

Chief Master Sergeant Larry C. Thornton, Served with the 4th Air Commando Squadron, 6250th Combat Support Group, 13th Air Force.
read more read less
POSTED ON 11.26.2016

Final Mission of MSGT Larry C. Thornton

On December 24,1965, at 0728 hours, an AC-47D gunship, call sign Spooky 21, departed Da Nang Airfield, RVN, on an armed reconnaissance strike mission over the panhandle of Laos. They were to monitor enemy activity moving through this region known to contain several arteries of the infamous Ho Chi Minh Trail. The crew consisted of pilot LTC Derrell B. Jeffords, co-pilot CAPT Dennis L. Eilers, navigator MAJ Joseph Christiano, flight engineer TSGT William K. Colwell, and MSGT Larry C. Thornton and SSGT Arden K. Hassenger, both aerial gunners. The planned flight path was from Da Nang to the target and back to Da Nang. The gunship was due to return to base at approximately 1330 hours. Weather conditions in the target area included scattered clouds at 500 feet with variable heights to the top of the clouds; 10,000-foot high-scattered patches of ground fog, and stratus clouds that descended into the jungle covered valleys. To the west of the target area, the ceiling of cloud cover was only 1,500 feet high. Spooky 21 was directed by the airborne command and control aircraft to its primary target located approximately 32 miles northeast of Saravane City. As the gunship made its way westward, it was diverted to a second location 18 miles east-northeast of Saravane. Shortly before contact was lost with the gunship at 1050 hours, one of the crew broadcast, "Mayday, Mayday, Mayday, Spooky 21" over the UHF emergency frequency. The aircrews of two separate aircraft who were also operating in this sector heard the gunship's final radio transmission. At 1448 hours, an extensive search and rescue (SAR) operation was initiated. During the entire search effort, SAR aircraft were subjected to intense enemy ground fire emanating from the jungle below. The search was terminated at 1500 hours on 26 December when no trace of the aircraft or crew was found. At the conclusion of the search, military personnel determined the aircraft was downed by enemy action and weather conditions played no part in its loss. At 1530 hours on Christmas Eve 1965, the crew was declared Missing in Action. The last known location of Spooky 21 was over the rugged and densely forested mountains that were laced with a well-established network of roads and trails of various sizes running in all directions. It was also located approximately 6 miles west-southwest of Ban Solou, 7 miles south of Un Tai, 18 miles east-northeast of Saravane and 36 miles west of the Lao/South Vietnam border, Saravane Province, Laos. In 1995, a joint U.S./Lao People’s Democratic Republic (L.P.D.R.) team investigated a crash in Savannakhet Province, Laos. Local villagers recalled seeing a two-propeller aircraft, similar to an AC-47D, crash in December 1965. A local man found aircraft wreckage in a nearby field while farming, and led the team to that location. The team recovered small pieces of aircraft wreckage at that time and recommended further investigative visits. Joint U.S./L.P.D.R. investigation and recovery teams re-visited the site four times from 1999 to 2001. They conducted additional interviews with locals, recovered military equipment, and began an excavation. No human remains were recovered, so the excavation was suspended pending additional investigation. In 2010, joint U.S./L.P.D.R. recovery teams again excavated the crash site. The team recovered human remains, personal items, and military equipment. Three additional excavations in 2011 recovered additional human remains and evidence. Scientists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command used dental records and circumstantial evidence in the identification of their remains. The remains of the six U.S. servicemen were identified and returned to their families for burial with full military honors. [Taken from ac47-gunships.com and pownetwork.org]
read more read less
POSTED ON 12.19.2013
POSTED BY: Curt Carter [email protected]

Remembering An American Hero

Dear CMS Larry C Thornton, 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, and the best salute a civilian can muster for you, Sir

Curt Carter
read more read less
POSTED ON 10.19.2013
POSTED BY: Robert Sage

We Remember

Larry is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
read more read less
POSTED ON 10.19.2013
POSTED BY: Robert Sage

We Remember

Larry is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
read more read less
1 2 3