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The Man Who Fought for Three Flags: Finland, Nazi Germany and the United States. 

 

Larry Alan Thorne born May 28, 1919. As an adult in Finland, he joined the Finnish army working his way up to attained the rank of Captain. His bravery and uncommon valor in the war earned him the equivalent of the Congressional Medal of Honor. At the end of the Winter War, Torni joined the German “Waffen SS” to fight the Russians. Torni was captured and imprisoned by the communists as a war criminal, but he escaped prison three times and eventually made his way to the United States where he enlisted in the U.S. Army as a private.

Throughout the late 1950’s, the U.S. Army Special Forces had been building a force to conduct unconventional warfare. These guerrilla warriors had to be able to be inserted anywhere in the world by any means of transportation, and survive the most hostile environment, taking care of themselves and others under the pressures of harsh combat conditions

Thorne was selected for the Special Forces and ultimately led an important mountain rescue mission to a crashed USAF plane in the middle east. Thorne’s helicopter crashed about 25 miles southwest of Da Nang and when rescue workers went to the site they found no sign of Larry Thorne. He had simply disappeared. Thorne was classified killed in action the day after the crash. His remains were never found. Lauri Torni hated the threat of communism so much that he was willing to join any army to fight it. We must never forget men like Thorne. It is to them that we owe our freedom. We also owe them theirs.

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