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Recollections of Jack Larson
Jack Larson, SOM 3/c



SOM 3/c Jack Larson


    Guess I was lucky in that I can't remember anything about the invasion. The next thing I remember I was on an Army train headed for a hospital in England. When I got there I tried to tell them I was in the Navy, but they didn't believe me at first as my dog tags (among other things) were gone.

    When I got well enough, I went over to a Navy Hospital and they looked up my records after I told them I'd been on the Rich. The worst problem for me now is I can't remember any of the guys I was with. It's all blanked out! I was unconscious for six weeks. When I got back on my feet I went to Belmont, Texas. There I was assigned to The USS Leary DD-879. On our way to Japan, we stopped at Pearl Harbor and I met Furman T. Smith, who was a Sonarman on the Rich, and we really celebrated. The shore patrol picked us up and brought us back to the ship. That's The only name I remember and he is not on the Rich survivor list. Maybe he's gone?

    The war ended on the way to Japan. However, we still had to look out for mines. There were lots of men on board who had seen too much action and were committing suicide. It was rough but we made it. I was discharged and went back to Port Allegany, PA. Met my wife, have two children and worked as millwright in a factory that makes ball bearings for airplanes. 46Th anniversary last September.

From unidentified news clipping:
    In a short ceremony held on the morning of November 18th, Lt. Comdr. H. G. Chase, Aide to the Executive Officer, presented John W. Larson, SoM3/c with a Purple Heart Medal. The medal was awarded to Larson for wounds he received when the DE he was stationed aboard was lost on D-Day plus one. His injuries warranted hospitalization for 3 months in an Army hospital in England. Upon recovery he continued on convoy duty, then after a short leave at home, he was ordered to report to the Fleet Sonar School for further instructions. (The date of the presentation of the award was not clear on the clipping).

Editor's note - From an email from Tom Larson, son of Jack Larson, dated 1/31/2003:

     I am the son of John (Jack) W. Larson who served on the USS Rich with great pride. It is with sadness that I wish to inform you that my father passed away on April 3, 2002. He died of complications associated with Parkinson disease, leukemia, diabetes, and heart problems in Jamestown NY.

 
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