Robert O. Larson

Picture of Robert Larson ROBERT O. LARSON, born June 23,1920 in Sheboygan, WI. Attended Univ. of Colorado 1939-41 Liberal Arts major. Enlisted in old Air Corps pre-Pearl Harbor and studied Weather at Chanute Field, IL and became in-station instructor at newly opened Lubbock, TX Air Base.

Entered Cadets in class 43-F, the all ex-G.I. class. Moved up to 43-E and wore enlisted O.D. uniform through Basic Training finally getting pinks and green coat from a washout. Trained at Stamford, TX, Waco, and Victoria in AT.6's.

Set gunnery record at Matagorda Island with 23 hits on an aerial target out of 25 shots (gun jammed then). Instructed in flexible gunnery at Laredo Air Base and survived being hit in aileron and tail assembly by hysterical gunner in rear seat. Attended Fighter Gunnery Instructor's school and set up and directed Fighter Gunnery School at Laredo in P-40's and P-63's.

Opted for combat and trained in low level flying at Richmond, VA but missed European theater as VE Day shut off departure. Took retraining at high altitude at Dover, DE in the P-47N with some missions running 7 hours.

Headed for Saipan as B-29 escort pilot but VJ Day ended dreams of combat. Separated from service as 1st Lt. after 2 1/2 years of flying as commissioned officer. How can he explain this to his children?

Maintained love for flying and flew 180 Comanche for eight years. Entered family veneer and plywood manufacturing business and was Superintendent for 25 years. Started Import/Export business and is now President of Vikwood Ltd. dealing in exotic wood species. Exporting Paulownia logs to Japan regularly and importing Rosewood, Ebony, Teak, and other musical instrument woods from India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Canada.

Traveled around the world seven times and admits he has the best job in the world and the best boss. . . himself.

Still married to No.1, Helen, and is the proud father of four children, Christine, Christopher, Amy and Anders. Still lives in Sheboygan.

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Pilot Name Biography Summary
John Abbotts P-47 transition followed at Pocatello, Idaho and Greenville, Texas after which he was assigned to the 56th Fighter Group in England. When the news of his arrival reached Berlin, Hitler retired to his bunker with his cyanide capsule and revolver. Eva found the news equally depressing.
Asa A. Adair He returned to the States in August of 1944 after participating in the invasion "D" Day. He flew P-63's, P-51's, F-80's, T-33's, F-84's, T-38's, P-47's in numerous assignments during the following twenty years in in, Japan, U.S.A. and Europe before retiring after twenty-six years of Active Duty.
Edward B. Addison The 507th Fighter Group, equipped with P-47N's, won the Presidential Unit Citation for destroying 32 Japanese aircraft in the air on one mission to Seoul, Korea. The average flying time for raids to Korea and Japan would be 7 to 9 hours flying time. In a total of 31 months, the 507th not only provided top cover for B-29's, but also dive-bombed, napalm-bombed and flew low-level on strafing missions.
Levon B. Agha-Zarian It is rumored that he, took his primary training on a flying rug. He flew Spits, briefly, in England, but as the, war moved to the East, he was sent to India as a Sgt. Pilot and first saw action from Ceylon, flying the Curtiss P.36, the Brewster Buffalo, and the Hurricane. At this point he might have opted for the rug! This was at the time of the fall of Singapore and the sinking of the Prince of Wales and the Repulse.
George N. Ahles Posted to A-20 light bomber squadron Barksdale Field, Louisiana. . Group moved to Hunter Air Base Savannah, Georgia. Qualified for Pilot training November 1940. Entered Aviation Cadets January 1942. Presented wings November 1942 class of 42-J. Married Mary Louise while in Advanced Pilot Training at Craig AFB, Selma, Alabama, September 1942.
Roy J. Aldritt Shortly after the group moved to France he ran into some unseen flak and was forced to make a nylon descent behind the lines; some evasion and a lot of luck had him back with his unit in 24 hours.
Eugene J. Amaral After graduation from Stonington High School he enlisted as an Aviation Cadet in December 1942 and was called to active duty in March, 1943. He received his wings and commission at Spence Field, Georgia as a member of the Class of 43-C.
Talmadge L. Ambrose Flew 84 missions thru VE Day, was downed by 22mm ground fire over Siefried Line. He destroyed 11 enemy aircraft, 9 known confirmed in air and on ground, including 4 FW 190-D's in one afternoon over Hanover, Germany, April 8, 1945. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, 17 man, Oak Leaf Clusters, Good Conduct Medal, Pacific Theatre and European Theatre Meda1s with 5 Battle Stars and Unit Citation Medal.
John C. Anderson After P-47 transition he was assigned to the 406th Fighter Group, 512th Fighter Squadron. (E.T .0.) He flew 56 missions through January, 1945 destroying supply routes, bridges, and railroads; he also flew close support missions with the ground forces, with attacks on tanks, artillery and enemy positions.
William Anderson It was not always flak,two ME-109's beat the hell out of me one day. The central controller called me and said "Basher-Red Leader do you have contact Bandits," I replied, "I sure do, I'll bring them over the field in 3 minutes, they're chasing me home." Got all the usual medals including two Belgium and two French but one I'm most proud of is the Silver Star -it is the greatest.
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