I have the link provided and bought the 'new' book on him...hoping to find others interested in him. I met him and went on a 'hike' in the alps with hime and some others...when I was about 13...
The author of the 'new' book called and we discussed other information not in the book.
I am interested in some of the details of his life when he was preparing for SE Asia and his actions during the early Vietnam era...to date no SF person that served with him has responded to my inquiries and postings...my credentials should not be a factor but they may be.
HI from Finland
There is a book in finnish called "Legenda" that is the only 100 % accurate book on Larry. H A Gill's book Soldier under 3 flags is the other of the english books , the other is M Cleverleys Scent of glory. But I 'd like to know all how you know Larry etc.
In 1958 I accompanied my friend Steve Hartman (my father was an US Army officer stationed in Munich) to a trip to the Bad Tolz area where an 'outing' had been arranged where he and I would go 'mountain climbing' with a small US Military group...I was about 13 years old at the time.
The group consisted of four or five US military men that spoke amongst themselves in English but often in another language(s?)...at the time I thought it to be German. The leader of the group was the person I believe to be Lauri Torni and I thought he was one of the ex-German WWII military that were allowed to join the US military. My father had a NCO assigned to his company who was an ex-German WWII soldier...my family visited his family in Germany during the Christmas season.
I met Lauri Torni again for a short period in 1961 or 1962 while my father was stationed in Bangkok. A group of US Special Forces officers met with my father and other JUSMAG officers in our home on Soi 2. I recognized him and asked if he was the person who had taken my friend and I climbing in the alps near Bad Tolz...he replied that he remembered. I was then 17 and more aware of Special Forces and told Lauri that I was considering enlisting after highschool and did I 'have a chance' of getting into Special Forces and assigned to Asia. He gave me a short explanation of the requirements and that if I did enlist and completed SF training that I should contact him and 'if you want to work with me, I will try to get it approved'.
I did not know of his WWII exploits and activities until many years later. In November 1965 I attempted to locate him (I had completed SF MOI, Weapons and Branch...finished in early summer of 1965) when I arrived in Saigon...a senior SF officer informed me that he was believed dead...KIA. My childhood dream of serving with him was never fulfilled...I had hoped he could get me assigned to his unit.
I have read some on his career and nothing was mentioned on his being in Bangkok during 1961 or 1962; however, since my memory is vivid on this point I believe that he was present, possibly in some TDY status.
Best information that my memory can provide. I can recall his demeanor and personality clearly...he was one of those that inspired me as a child and young man.
Since you are located in Finland and aware of his history...did you also know him and serve with him?
Thank you on your listing of Torni publications.
RANGER Jerry Conners, Captain
Master Parachutist, Special Forces Weapons Expert, 101st RECONDO, Army Aviator, AMOC
Chinese Bandit 13
Chinese Bandit Recon LRRP Team 1st Bn (ABN) 8th Cav 1965-66
see the Chinese Bandit homepage at http://www.geocities.com/d6566mustangs
Sorry to say but I am only 47 yrs, so I didn't serve with Larry but I know many US Veterans who did and as a member of The Larry Thorne Memorial Guild here in Finland , I know Larry,s comrades of the WWII era, of his unit.
I wonder if you have any photos of the era you told, of Larry or other men.
My private e mail is [email protected] ( notice jarisalo NOT jari.salo ) e mail me to that address if it is ok.
I have no photos of Lauri or others present that were accompaning him. I have only my memories.
He was different/extraordinary...I saw the first James Bond movie (Dr. No) when I first enlisted (summer of 1963) and while watching the film thought of him and in my mind, the movie character and Lauri 'merged'.
I still regret not having the opportunity to join him on the border of Laos and Cambodia in 1965.
My email is [email protected] and please contact me directly if you wish to discuss my memories of him privately.