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Old 06-14-2013, 13:23   #1
ghp95134
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Larry Thorne [Lauri Törni]

Larry Thorne [Lauri Törni]

I'll post some photos of Larry Thorne — some of which I received from a friend on the East Coast, other photos are culled from the internet. Before doing so, I'd like to preface this post by saying my father was in the 77th Special Forces ca. 1954~55 and was, for a short time, Thorn's team sergeant. My father's career path went like this:
505th PIR, 77th SFG, 1st SFG (before and after the black border), 6th SFG, 5th SFG (B-33, Camp Widder), Training Group, JUSMAG-MACThai … (with some leg assignments interspersed).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bud Power
…I don’t recall exact dates I was in the 77th, but less than a year. There was a big turmoil at that time, they were still filling out vacancies in the 10th SFG, which were all taken from the 77th. I was left with a Team filled with Freedom Fighters from Hungry, ex-Foreign Legion, ex-SS Officers and a mix of European who didn’t speak English or very little of it. We were trained as a team -- everyone taking the same training and no one excused. The hardships placed on us were many; our field training was mostly Guerrilla Warfare and how to win the hearts and minds of the people. “ We are the fish and the people are the water, we can not survive without the people”. Sounds like it is straight out of Mao's little red book. [ghp95134's note: actually, it IS right out of Mao’s On Guerrilla Warfare (1937).]

Our mountain training was in the Grandfather Mountain area in NC. Thorne was an outstanding cold weather instructor. I remember one of his classes, about consuming alcohol while cold, he said "it is like peeing on yourself, it’s hot at first, but then it freezes; therefore, eat sardines and drink the juice because it’s a fuel and will warm your body"….
Many know Törni attended the Waffen-SS officer's school for a short time before being recalled to Finland, so there are a couple of not-well-known snaps of him standing in formation; plus the couple of him wearing his SS-Unterstürmführer uniform.

One of "Larry" as a roofer before he could join up, and a couple of him in the US Army.

I'll also tack on some of Aito Keravuori — whom I met as a 13 year-old. My father ended up being the S4 in Training Group and LTC Keravuori was the Group's XO. He came to the house at least once that I recall. My father jumped with him during Keravuori's "final jump", and there is one of Keravuori trooping the line during his retirement, just before being promoted to 06.

Cheers!

[P.S. I just learned how to insert images; however, I'm leaving the hot links as they will open to a larger image.]
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Last edited by ghp95134; 06-14-2013 at 14:38. Reason: West Coast changed to East Coast.
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Old 06-14-2013, 13:27   #2
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SS Recruit

Before uniform issue:
http://imageshack.us/a/img829/672/36ac.jpg


After uniform issue:
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/689/xo2c.jpg/



Okay ... why won't my images post when I use the correct [img] [/img] code?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Törni_SS-Recruit.jpg (39.3 KB, 206 views)
File Type: jpg Törni_SS-Recruit2.jpg (48.2 KB, 217 views)
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Old 06-14-2013, 13:34   #3
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http://imageshack.us/a/img849/8539/05y4.jpg


http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/849/g9k.jpg/
Mannerheim Cross, Cross of Freedom, Iron Cross II class.
....and fiance Ist class.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg torni.ss.jpg (42.1 KB, 124 views)
File Type: jpg Torni.EK2.jpg (54.7 KB, 146 views)
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Old 06-14-2013, 13:37   #4
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Before the US Army

Larry the Roofer:

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/22/myax.jpg/



Larry's roofs:
http://imageshack.us/a/img809/6683/b1ep.jpg
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Torni_roofer.jpg (51.3 KB, 158 views)
File Type: jpg Tornis_roofs.jpg (51.9 KB, 126 views)
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Old 06-14-2013, 13:41   #5
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US Army Recruit

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/211/6msk.jpg/

detail:
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/825/2f1x.jpg/

Football player #45
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/546/1tl1.jpg/

detail
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/51/klxs.jpg/
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Thorne_US-Army_Recruit.jpg (32.4 KB, 151 views)
File Type: jpg Thorne_US-Army_Recruit-detail.jpg (38.9 KB, 157 views)
File Type: jpg Thorne_45.jpg (48.0 KB, 147 views)
File Type: jpg Thorne_45-detail.jpg (51.0 KB, 141 views)
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Last edited by ghp95134; 06-14-2013 at 14:24.
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Old 06-14-2013, 13:45   #6
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77th SFG

Welcome to the 77th SFG, CPL Thorne!

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/853/04hn.jpg/


Linville River, NC - 1958/9
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/138/jlhr.jpg/

detail:
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/854/6kok.jpg/


Sadly, I have no idea who all are in the photo, nor who owns the photo [same-same with up-thread photos]
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 77thSFG-Sign-1955.jpg (48.4 KB, 216 views)
File Type: jpg Thorne-Linville_River-1958:59.jpg (35.5 KB, 172 views)
File Type: jpg Thorne-Linville_River-Detail.jpg (35.9 KB, 170 views)
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Last edited by ghp95134; 06-14-2013 at 14:26.
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Old 06-14-2013, 13:49   #7
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1LT Thorne

Got these from a friend on the East Coast ... they look like screen-shots.

Germany
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/703/9xe3.jpg/

Thorne 2nd from left; Keravuori on the far right:
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/203/757s.jpg/



Italian Alpini School, ca 1960:
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/268/s5gr.jpg/
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Thorne_Germany.jpg (38.1 KB, 129 views)
File Type: jpg Thorne&Keravouri-Germany.jpg (45.4 KB, 134 views)
File Type: jpg Lt-Thorne_Alpini-School_1960.jpg (31.8 KB, 137 views)
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Old 06-14-2013, 13:51   #8
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MACV-SOG

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/834/lpkh.jpg/


http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/138/9gk8.jpg/
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Cpt-Thorne.jpg (51.1 KB, 148 views)
File Type: jpg Cpt-Thorne_MACV-SOG.jpg (43.8 KB, 154 views)
File Type: jpg Thorne & JD RVN 1965.jpg (46.6 KB, 138 views)
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Old 06-14-2013, 14:03   #9
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LTC Aito Keravuori

1955
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/802/m3q.jpg/

May 1967:
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/442/y3ur.jpg/
He just read the promotion orders advancing my father to major.

23 Nov 1967:
After LTC Keravuori's final jump he was given a baton passed by the Golden Knights:
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/21/r87y.jpg/
L-R: COL Calloway, MAJ Power, LTC Keravuori

Pass in Review:
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/826/bm3m.jpg/


.
.
.
.
That concludes today's briefing.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Aito_Keravouri-1955.jpg (43.6 KB, 143 views)
File Type: jpg Maj_Power&LTC-Keravouri.jpg (54.8 KB, 156 views)
File Type: jpg keravuori.LastJump.jpg (57.4 KB, 153 views)
File Type: jpg keravuori.retirement.jpg (51.9 KB, 162 views)
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Old 06-15-2013, 08:21   #10
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Ghp95134, thanks for posting! i have never seen some of those photos anywhere else. Larry Thorne (Lauri Törni) was a great soldier with an amazing career. As I'll bet you already know, his time with the Waffen SS was for training only. He was basically TDY to them for officer's training. He was never a Nazi, but always a staunch anti-communist. As I posted a while back, I have a couple of Larry Thorne puukkos, originally made as potential awards for 10th Group. (See "edged weapons" subforum) I never served with 10th, but bought them from the guy who had them made. He has no more. They were sold for a while in "The Drop." IDK and don't think any were ever used as awards, based on my discussions with the gentleman, thus the magazine sales.
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Old 06-15-2013, 08:43   #11
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I would really like to know what happened to Larry, along with Shriver and a few others.

All of them, if possible.

RIP
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Old 06-15-2013, 10:56   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dusty View Post
I would really like to know what happened to Larry, along with Shriver and a few others.

All of them, if possible.

RIP
Yep, them and a whole lot more.
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"So you have enemies. Good. You must have stood up for something, sometime in your life."

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Old 06-15-2013, 12:41   #13
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If he never served with a German unit why is he wearing an iron cross in that one photo?
One other comment about anti communist......Nazi's were Socialists...actually basically Communists but the primary difference was they were National Socialists believing in a German socialism and not the one world order of socialism.
Hooking up with a totally state run socialist outfit and saying you are anti communist is like being a little bit prego.
He may have been anti Soviet but far from anti communist.

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Old 06-15-2013, 15:58   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PRB View Post
If he never served with a German unit why is he wearing an iron cross in that one photo?
One other comment about anti communist......Nazi's were Socialists...actually basically Communists but the primary difference was they were National Socialists believing in a German socialism and not the one world order of socialism.
Hooking up with a totally state run socialist outfit and saying you are anti communist is like being a little bit prego.
He may have been anti Soviet but far from anti communist.
PRB, what you say is absolutely true, politically. There are several biographies of Thorne out there that can explain his stance on communists/Soviets better than I. But basically, Finland was invaded by Russia in 1939 and Thorne enlisted, serving as a cook initially. That war (The Winter War) ended in 1940 with a badly brokered treaty that had Finland give up the Karelian Isthimus. The Finns had militarily defeated the Soviets, but were totally logistically depleted. So they had to give in.

In 1942, war with the USSR broke out again (The Continuation War.) Germany offered Finland men and material. They took it. Germany sent advisors and troops. Finns recieved Iron Crosses and Germans Mannerhiem Crosses (I.e., RVN Cross of Gallantry.) Thorne was selected for officer training in Germany. Early on, the Waffen SS were the primary recruiters of Eastern troops. Lith., Lat., Ukr., etc. they raised several units of Waffen SS troops from these countries including one regiment from Finland that fought further south in USSR. Thus, they were set up for training these troops. Thorne completed training and returned to the Finnish Army. Funny that this came up, because I read in my local paper today about a former Ukranian SS Lt. that is 93 and living in MN. There is a movement to get him deported to Poland or Germany to stand trial for war crimes. Which is a good thing, since there is and shouldn't be a statute of limitations on what he oversaw as a Co. Cmdr.

The strangest part of WW II in Finland was the end. The Soviets launched an offensive and overran most of the Axis troops in Finland in 1944. The Finns again brokered a truce with the USSR. The terms this time included a clause saying that the Finns have to push the Germans out of Finland themselves by force of arms. So the Finns turned on the Germans and pushed them out via Norway (The Lapland War.) A surreal scenario.

Thorne's motivations were purely patriotic, based on what I've read. I guess it's like the Afghan people's erroneous initial embrace of the Taliban for relief from warlords after the Soviets pulled out. Be careful what devil you ask to the dance! And given Thorne's overall life story, I'd say he accepted the best training he could receive because he was indeed a Professional Soldier in every sense of the word. Even to the point of training under one homicidal dictatorship to fight another.
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Old 06-15-2013, 17:17   #15
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Here is my take on Thorne...and believe me, I'd of liked the guy.
He joined the SS prior to the invasion of the USSR, ergo the anti Soviet deal doesn't wash. The USSR and Germany had a non aggression pact/treaty and had already divided up territory between themselves.
In my opinion Thorne, like a lot of SF types, was a adrenaline junky with a military bent. He loved soldiering.
He also went with winners...initially the Germans were 'winners' everywhere when the war was in its early stages. Looked like a good gig.
After the war, we were the 'winners'...what better way to feed that soldiering desire. Looked like a good gig.
I see him as more of a soldier of fortune than a stalwart patriot of some type.
Not making a value judgment, just saying what I see from my foxhole.
There were lots of documents one had to sign and oaths one had to take before you put on the SS runes......and none of them would have made one a 'Patriot' in ones own Country.
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