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Larry Thorne (Törni)

Finnish: Lauri Allan Törni, Russian: Лаури Аллан Тёрни
Also Known As: "Sven Kornie", "Lauri"
Birthplace: Viipuri, Finland
Death: October 18, 1965 (46)
Phuoc Son District, Quang Nam province, Vietnam (Viet Nam) (Chopper accident)
Place of Burial: Section 60, tombstone 8136, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Hjalmar Törni and Rosa Maria Törni
Brother of Unto Sven Törni; Salme Kyllikki Rajala and Kaija Iris Mikkola

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Larry Thorne

Lauri Törni a.k.a. Larry Thorne is one of the most legendary Finnish soldiers ever. He is known as "The soldier who fought under three flags": First Finnish, then German, then Finnish again, then German again, and finally, under the Stars and Stripes.

// Soldier under Three Flags.

Suffice to say, he got a good start for being a major badass given that the first Finnish Olympic Medalist in the art of boxing, Sten Suvio, lived as their tenant in Viipuri.

During the Winter War his major feats were in fighting against besieged Russians in the Lemetti Region.

After the Winter War, he enlisted in German Waffen SS along with thousands of Finns to fight the Russians in the SS Wiking Division. However, his career in Waffen SS was short, because the Germans preferred to recruit soldiers over the officers.

He returned to Finland, and participated in the Continuation War of 1941-1944. In 1943 a unit informally named Detachment Törni was created under his command. This was an infantry unit that penetrated deep behind enemy lines and soon enjoyed a reputation on both sides of the front for its combat effectiveness. Finns were happy, Soviets notso hotso. One of Törni's men was future President of Finland Mauno Koivisto. Törni was such a badass that the Soviets put a 3 million Finnish Mark bounty on his head, the highest bounty the Soviet Union ever placed on anybody.

Törni was 144st to receive the Mannerheim Cross of Liberty in 1944.

// of Detachment Törni.

After the Continuation War he escaped back to Germany to fight the Russians, and the returned to Finland, only to be jailed for treason. However, he was respected, he escaped the prison a few times, and later was pardoned by the president Juho Kusti Paasikivi in 1948.

In 1950 Törni travelled to the USA, seeking an asylum. He jumped off a ship near Mobile, Alabama, and swam to shore. Now a political refugee, Törni traveled to New York City where he was helped by the Finnish-American community living in Brooklyn's "Finntown" in Sunset Park. There he worked as a carpenter and cleaner. In 1953, Törni was granted a residence permit through an Act of Congress that was shepherded by the law firm of "Wild Bill" Donovan, former head of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS).

In US Marines Törni was known as Larry Thorne. It took him several years, and a 'Lex Torni', for him to join the US Marines in 1953. Then he returned to being a badass. In 1963 he was deployed to South Vietnam and, amongst everything, or because of that, he become a major character in Robin Moore's classic book, The Green Berets, the first chapter of which concentrated on "Sven Kornie."

In 1965 he and his outfit went to Laos, and Törni, preparing for everybody else's secure leaving first, stayed behind in a raising storm, and once the other ones were saved, Törni's chopper was not.

In 1999, Thorne's remains were finally found by a Finnish and Joint Task Force-Full Accounting team and repatriated to the United States following a Hanoi Noi Bai International Airport ceremony that included Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Ambassador Pete Peterson. Formally identified in 2003, his remains were buried on 26 June 2003 at Arlington National Cemetery, section 60, tombstone 8136, along with his Republic of Vietnam Air Force casualties (Bees) of the mission recovered at the crash site. He was memorialized on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Panel 02E, Line 126.

Even before his death, Thorne's name was legendary in US Special Forces. His US memorial is the Larry Thorne Headquarters Building, 10th SFG(A), Fort Carson, Colorado. 10th Group honors him yearly by presenting the Larry Thorne Award to the best Operational Detachment-Alpha in the command. The Special Forces Association Chapter 33 in Cleveland, Tennessee is named after him. In 2010 he was named as the first Honorary Member of the United States Army Special Forces Regiment and in 2011 he was inducted into the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) Commando Hall of Honor.

It is pretty safe to say he deserves to belong to the ranks of a Major Badass.


О Лаури Аллане Тёрни (русский)

Лаури Аллан Тёрни (фин. Lauri Allan Törni), по американским документам Ларри Алан Торн (англ. Larry Alan Thorne; 28 мая 1919 — 18 октября 1965) — финский военный, известный по службе в армиях трёх стран — Финляндии, Германии и США. Участвовал в Зимней войне и последующей «войне-продолжении» против СССР в составе финской армии в звании капитана; некоторое время служил в Ваффен-СС и сражался в составе финских эсэсовцев против СССР на Восточном фронте Второй мировой войны; в составе Армии США служил в рядах «Зелёных беретов» и участвовал во Вьетнамской войне.

Тёрни погиб в результате крушения вертолёта во время одной из миссий Вьетнамской войны. Он был произведён посмертно в звание майора, однако его останки обнаружили только в 1999 году, идентифицировали их в 2002 году и торжественно перезахоронили в 2003 году на Арлингтонском национальном кладбище. Тёрни является единственным членом Ваффен-СС, который похоронен на этом кладбище.

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Larry Thorne's Timeline

May 28, 1919
Viipuri, Finland
October 18, 1965
Age 46
Phuoc Son District, Quang Nam province, Vietnam (Viet Nam)
June 26, 2003
Age 46
Arlington National Cemetary, Section 60, tombstone 8136, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, United States