Capt. Harry Emmett Larsen


(Frank Birtciel)

Capt. Harry Emmett Larsen

338th FS - April 1943 - 11 December 1944 (Killed in Action)

Assigned Aircraft

P-51D 44-14211 "Harvest Moon"

Mission History

Not Known

 

(Known) Mission List

55th FG Mission #

Date Target
03 17 October 1943 Sweep - Northern France (Yellow 4 - Filled in for 2/Lt. Jensen)
05 19 October 1943 Sweep - Amiens Area (Blue 2)
n/a 22 October 1943 (Unable to fly due to Capt. Gustke's a/c locking brakes and obstructing taxiway)
10 05 November 1943 Gelsenkirchen (Yellow 4)
11 07 November 1943 Sweep-Ostend-St Omer Area (White 4)
13 10 November 1943 Montdidier Airdrome (Yellow 2)
14 11 November 1943 Münster (Yellow 2)
15 13 November 1943 Bremen (Yellow 4)
16 25 November 1943 Sweep - Lille Area (Yellow 2)
17 26 November 1943 Bremen (White 2) (Returned early and made a forced landing at Bassingbourn at 1240 due to Supercharger failure)
20 01 December 1943 Solingen (White 3) (Returned early at 1230 as unable to rejoin the Squadron after encounter with Me-109's)
37 29 January 1944 Frankfurt (Red 2)
48 20 February 1944 Kiel Area (Returned early with induction system leak - 1 Sortie credited)
49 21 February 1944 Werl (Returned early as had dropped external tanks - 1 Sortie credited)
68 08 April 1944 Brunswick (Returned early with radio out - no sortie awarded)
73 13 April 1944 Augsburg (Returned early as escort to Lt. Tinto)
80 24 April 1944 Friedrichshaven (Returned early with Turbo Regulator out - 1 Sortie credited)
96 20 May 1944 Type 16
97 21 May 1944 Chattanooga No. 1(Returned early as escort for Lt. Jonoski)
265 06 November 1944 Neumunster (Returned early as escort)
285 11 December 1944 Giessen (KIA)
Air Scores
Destroyed
Probable  
Damaged  
Ground Scores
Destroyed  
Damaged  
Score Detail 29 January 1944  FW-190 destroyed (air) Frankfurt
20 May 1944 
FW-190 destroyed (air) Sens
Notes Born on 07th August 1919 in Anaconda, Montana
ASN - O-743347
April 1943 - Joined the 338th Fighter Squadron
July 1943 - Granted 15 days leave
29 November 1943 - Awarded the Air Medal
20 December 1943 - Presented with the Air Medal at an awards ceremony, by Col. Woodbury, Commanding Officer, 66th Fighter Wing
05 January 1944 - Promoted from 2nd Lieutenant to 1st Lieutenant
17 January 1944 - Awarded 1st Oak Leaf Cluster to the Air Medal
14 February 1944 - Awarded 2nd Oak Leaf Cluster to the Air Medal
07 March 1944 - Awarded 3rd Oak Leaf Cluster to the Air Medal
05 April 1944 - Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross
21 May 1944 - Appointed Flight Commander, 'C' Flight
27 May 1944 - Appointed Assistant Squadron Operations Officer
08 June 1944 - Promoted from 1st Lieutenant to Captain
24 June 1944 - Awarded an Oak Leaf Cluster to the Distinguished Flying Cross
03 July 1944 - Appointed Flight Commander, 'C' Flight
13 September 1944 - Appointed Flight Commander, 'E' Flight
23 October 1944 - Awarded 4th Oak Leaf Cluster to the Air Medal
26 October 1944 - Awarded 5th Oak Leaf Cluster to the Air Medal
29 November 1944 - Awarded 6th Oak Leaf Cluster to Air Medal
11 December 1944 - Hit by flak near Padberg.
MACR No. 10888
1/Lt. Kenneth Griffith reported:  "On 11 December we were on a sweep in the Frankfurt area.  After the target was hit we dropped down to the deck and strafed.  We reformed and climbed back up to 18-19,000 feet and were driving home when several bursts of flak broke within our flight.  I believe Capt. Larsen was hit by one of the bursts because he said his oil pressure dropped to zero immediately after.  I pulled back up beside him and observed jagged holes in the belly of his ship.  He stayed on course (265) and about two minutes later he said his engine had quit completely and he continued in a glide.  We saw him jettison the canopy and when he reached 5000 feet he said he was going out.  It looked like he tried to roll the ship on its back to get out but only got it partially over when the nose dropped and he disappeared in the overcast at between 3,500 and 4,000 feet going straight down.  This was between 1300 and 1305.  I did not see him leave the plane but he might have done so in the overcast. The ground was covered with snow so I couldn't have seen the chute.  My altitude showed the ground to be 1500 to 2000 feet high in this area.  Lt. Col. Righetti and Lt. Wright had tried to get a fix while at a higher altitude but couldn't.  Because of the 10/10ths cloud coverage I was unable to tell where the flak came from or where Capt. Larsen went down but from the heading we were on I believe he was in the vicinity of Cologne, Germany."

Capt. Larsen's plane was named, "Harvest Moon" and he was from Montana.  He is buried at Plot D, Row 1, Grave 22, in the Ardennes American Military Cemetery and Memorial, Neupre, Belgium.
Reproduced with kind permission of Mr. Robert M. Littlefield from the author's book Double Nickel - Double Trouble

Awards
Memories "I thought I should tell you some about Harry Larsen's family. He had 2 brothers and 1 sister, my mother, Sylvia Eliason."
(Ronald W. Eliason)
Additional Photos

Capt. Larsen and crew at Wormingford (55th FGA)

Capt. Larsen's grave at the Ardennes American Military Cemetery and Memorial, Neupre, Belgium. (Paul Patist)

Capt. Larsen's medals (E. Maier)

Capt. Larsen's medals (E. Maier)

Capt. Larsen in Civilian attire (M. Donoghue)

Capt. Larsen's Passport Photo (D. O'Donnell)

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