Date of Interview
Walter T. Larson was born on 26 January 1923 in Danbury, Wisconsin, and graduated from Webster, Wisconsin, High School in 1940. After briefly working at providing fuel for wood-burning stoves, in December 1940 Walter joined the Navy. After Basic Training at Great Lakes Naval Training Center in Chicago, Walter was sent to Seattle, where he joined the crew of the USS Nevada (BB-36) in the Electrical Division. The Nevada was stationed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and was badly damaged and beached in the Japanese attack of 7 December 1941. Uninjured, Walter was transferred to the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga (CV-3), which was torpedoed and damaged in August 1942 at Guadalcanal. In February 1943 the Navy shipped Walter to Washington, D.C., for Electrical Intercommunication School (EIC); upon completion of the school in July 1943 Walter was transferred to the amphibious force and assigned to the USS LCI 455, a troop carrier equipped with ship-to-shore rockets for landing support. The ship participated in several Pacific island invasions during 1944 and 1945. After more than one and a half years on LCI 455, Walter was transferred to the aircraft carrier USS Bunker Hill, joining the ship in May 1945 at the naval base in Bremerton, Washington. With VJ-Day in August 1945, however, the Navy was quickly downsized and many men discharged. Walter spent the time until his discharge in November 1947 working at Bremerton, with Sub-Group One, decommissioning ships as part of this process. After the Navy Walter held a number of positions for Northwest Bell, retiring in 1983 with thirty-five years of service. At the time of this interview (September 2001) Walter lived in Rogers, Minnesota.
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Saylor, Thomas, "Oral History Project World War II Years, 1941-1946 - Walter Larson" (2001). Oral History Project: World War II Years, 1941-1946. 139.