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Gen. Henry Louis Larsen Dead at 71

Oct. 2, 1962 - Lieut. Gen. Henry L. Larsen (pictured in 1945), a much-decorated retired Marine Corps officer, died of a heart attack at his home in Denver, Co., today. He was 71 years old. General Larsen retired from the Marine Corps in 1946 after 33 years, and then for 10 years he was Colorado’s Civil Defense director. The phrase “fighting Marine” applied to nobody more forcibly than to Henry Louis Larsen. He was in the first Marine Corps detachments to leave the U.S. for combat duty in both World Wars. During World War I, he served in every major action in which the Marines participated, yet was the only officer of the Third Battalion to escape being wounded. Promoted to major on the battlefield, he led the battalion in the clearing of Belleau Woods, a critical battle of the war. In World War II, General Larsen was named military governor of Guam, supervising its development into a major base for the Pacific war while at the same time directing the rehabilitation of native life on the island. In “peacetime,” he saw action in Mexico, the Caribbean, and Nicaragua, where he helped pursue the guerrilla leader Gen. Augustina Sandino. He earned 12 combat ribbons and decorations from four countries. His own country awarded him the Distinguished Service Medal twice, the Navy Cross twice, the Army’s Silver Star three times, the Medal of Merit twice, and the Bronze Star. France gave him the Croix de Guerre with palm and the Legion of Honor ribbon.


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