George Walfred Larson
April 23, 1915-May 1, 2009
by George A. Larson, LtCol USAF ret, Rapid City
After Pearl Harbor in 1941, he started working at the .50-caliber machine gun ammunition plant in Ankeny, IA, as a production shift supervisor until joining the United States Navy in 1944. After completing basic training and gunnery school at Camp Waldron, Farragut, ID, he was assigned to Pearl Harbor, pending assignment to the Pacific combat zone.
He was assigned to the 135th United States Naval Construction Battalion, referred to as Seabees. He worked on the four main Boeing B-29 Super fortress bomber runways on North Field, Tinian Island, on the runway finishing crew. Two B-29s assigned to the 509th Composite Group used North Field to take-off, dropping the two atomic bombs on Japan, ending the war in the Pacific.
After leaving Tinian he was assigned to the island of Okinawa, building a large U.S. Army hospital in preparation for wounded, in preparation for the amphibious invasion of Japan. The 135th was assigned to be part of this invasion force, but the war ended on August 14, 1945, before his unit went into training for the invasion of Japan.
Note: Lt.Col George A. Larson (USAF ret) made his father the subject of his book The Road to Tinian as presented to us in earlier meetings. He has been working on a second book on his father as well. See more about George A. Larson under the "Military History" link above.