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Larson Medal USA 1995

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Mary S Taylor

Joined: 27 Nov 2007
Posts: 28018
Location: Fresno, CA

PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 4:37 am    Post subject: Larson Medal USA 1995 Reply with quote

Pacific Grove Beacon, CA July 14, 1995
Russians give medal to P.G. Veteran of WWII
By Bob Bates
The photograph shows a smiling, slender young soldier, just turned 21, his seeming innocence marred only by the business-like .45 automatic pistol strapped to his side. The year is 1942 and Edwin C. Larson of Pacific Grove, California, is a part of the Persian Gulf Command, U.S. Army. “It was the job of the command to supply our Russian allies with war materials, trucks, airplanes, the stuff of war, so that the Russian army would remain involved in the conflict against the Germans.” In order to keep the Russians supplied, convoys of merchant ships had to be sent to them from Allied ports to Norway. The loss of ships to German submarine packs was too costly. Another solution had to be found. In Iran, with its common border with Russia, hundreds of German technicians and other personnel were involved in helping the Iranians in the oil fields there. “The British and the Russians told the then, Shah of Iran to get the Germans out of Iran, or they would come in and kick them out. “The Shah refused. He was willing to send the military personnel packing, but, wanted to hold-on to the technicians who were helping his country technologically. “So, the Russians moved in from north and the British from the south and then we were sent in to help supply the Russians in their war effort against the Germans.” Almost half-a-century later, Larson was amazed to learn that the Russians had awarded him a medal, the Commemorative Medal of “The 40th Anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War (WWII). In a letter dated May 3, 1993 under the letterhead of the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the USA, Larson was awarded the medal.”Dear Sir,” the letter begins, “on behalf of President Boris Yeltsin and (the) entire Russian people I am pleased and honored to inform you that you have been awarded the…medal. “This award is a token of recognition of your outstanding courage and personal contribution of the Allied support of my country which fought for freedom and humanity against Nazi Germany. “Please accept my heartfelt congratulations and wishes of good health, well-being and every success.” The letter is signed, Most Sincerely, Yuli M. Vorontsov. The medal, accompanied the letter. The ribbon attached to the medal represents the Order of Glory, previously known as the Order of St. George. Larson is a member of the Persian Gulf Command Veterans Organizations. “We were a little known operation (during WWII), never more than 30,000 strong. “We turned in one of the great jobs of the war. Unfortunately, we never got credit fro the colossal assist in the destruction of a large part of the German army. The Soviet government made a few references to aid from the west (after the war) and with the advent of the Cold War, the US government didn’t want to refer to it either. “I was certainly a casualty of the Cold War. I was always a bit embarrassed when people asked where I was in WWII. “When I replied that I served in Iran bringing war supplies to the Russians, I generally got a strange look of surprise or distain. “But, with the apparent end of the Cold War, I appreciated that the new Russian government, although belatedly, has recognized our contribution to the war effort of 1941-45.” - Ed Larson
Copyright (c) 2012 The Monterey County Herald
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