Navy Badge
  • Name: Paul Oliver Larson
  • Location of Birth: Trout Lake Township, Itasca County, Minnesota
  • Date of Birth: January 9, 1927
  • Date of Death: February 18, 2011
  • Parents: Nels Larson & Alma (Hermanson) Larson
  • High School and Class: 1944 Greenway High School, Coleraine, Minnesota
  • College: 1948 Itasca Junior College, Coleraine, Minnesota
    1950 University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, North Dakota - degree in Electrical Engineering
  • Highest Rank:
  • Branch: Navy
  • Other Branch:
  • Date Sworn In: 1944
  • Place Sworn In:
  • Date of Discharge:
  • Place of Discharge:
  • Military Awards:

  • Military Highlights:
    WW II Draft Registration Cards – 10/16/1940 – 03/31/1947
    State: Minnesota
    Name: Paul Oliver Larson
    Race: White
    Age: 19
    Birth Date: January 9, 1927
    Birth Place: Trout Lake Township, Minnesota, USA
    Residence Place: Grand Rapids, Itasca, Minnesota, USA
    Registration Date: July 9, 1946 (registered after discharge from active duty)
    Employer: Unemployed
    Weight: 155
    Height: 5-11
    Complexion: Light
    Eye Color: Blue
    Hair Color: Brown
    Next of Kin: Nels Larson, father, Route 2, Grand Rapids, Minnesota

    Newspaper article: January 1945 – “Paul Larson, S 1/c arrived home Sunday from the Great Lakes Naval Training Station to spend his boot leave with his parents. Paul will take up radio technician work.”

    Newspaper article: January 1946 – “Paul Larson arrived at Okinawa on the carrier Ticonderoga some time ago. There they transferred to small ships for the trip to Shanghai, China. Paul is a radio man.”

  • Wars Involved:
    World War II
    Korean War

  • MIA / POW:

  • Civilian Life:
    Paul Larson married Annie Makedonsky in 1948. His career with General Motors took him and his family to many locations including Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Santa Barbara, California; Detroit, Michigan; and San Jose, California. He began his career with General Motors Corp in 1952 in basic research in the field of inertial guidance, which included engineering and program direction of the development of guidance and navigation systems for ballistic missiles, Projects Mercury through Apollo, commercial aircraft and Air Force space boosters. He led GM’s development of the Lunar Rover; was Program Director for GM’s newly formed Mass Transit Division; became Chief Engineer for GM’s Truck & Coach Division; then was President of G & F Corporation – a joint venture between GM and FMC Corp. He was awarded the Ballistic Missile Systems Division Commander’s Award for his contribution to the Titan II program and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom award for his efforts in procedures that led to the safe return of the Apollo 13 astronauts. He received the U of ND Sioux Award in 1965. He retired to Pebble Beach, California.

    Paul died in Benicia, California and is buried in San Carlos Cemetery, Monteray, California. He is survived by his daughters, Nancy (Patrick) Roetzer and Peggy Larson; one granddaughter; sisters, Annabelle O’Malley and Helen (Roger) Hughes; and cousins, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife, Annie; five infant children; his parents; sisters, Mabel and Louise; and brother Norman.

  • Tribal Affiliation(s):