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Sgt Cornelius Neal Larkin

Sgt Cornelius Neal Larkin

Bronx, Bronx County, New York, USA
Death 16 Jul 1991 (aged 66)
Bronx, Bronx County, New York, USA
Burial Calverton, Suffolk County, New York, USA
Plot 69, 0, 1685
Memorial ID 902648 · View Source
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This bio was written by Neal's brother Maurice 'Bud' Larkin on April 26, 2005.

Neal enlisted in the U.S. Navy in WW2 on December 26,1942 - at age 17 - his Navy duty stations were: Great Lakes; Armed Guard School, Gulfport Miss; SS James Longstreet; Naval Hospital, Jacksonville Fla.; Armed Guard Center, New Orleans La.; SS Arthur M. Huddell; SS Nathan Clifford; SS Joseph T. Robinson; SS Lot M. Morrill; SS Hawaiian Shipper. (the above order may not be correct).

He saw action as a gunner in the Naval Armed Guard in Africa, Russia and the North Atlantic. He was wounded in the arm while firing at a German Stuka plane attacker in the North Atlantic. His ship was credited with shooting it down. He had 2 ships sunk out from under him and was hospitalized in Florida after his ship the Longstreet was sunk, his ship the 'Lot M. Morrill' went down in a storm in Sept. or Oct. 1943 off Long Branch Long Island, he was hospitalized for exposure in Florida.

Neal received the following medals for WWII; the European, African medal w/ 1 star; American Theatre Ribbon; Victory Medal; (he never applied for Purple Hearts).

When the opportunity came he was allowed to transfer to the U.S. Marine Corps. He was discharged from the Navy on January 11, 1946, took leave and enlisted in the U.S. Marine corps on February 1, 1946 and served until November 6, 1947. He served in the Asiatic Pacific area from September 7, 1946 to May 1, 1947 and served in occupation of China from October 2, 1946 to January 18, 1947 all during the communist uprisings after the war.

He was a career marine enlisted man specializing in machine gun (he was an instructor in his specialties) and later mainly demolitions. Neal then received the following additional medals; World War II Victory Medal; Navy Occupation service medal; China Government service medal. He was discharged from the USMC on November 6, 1947, had civilian jobs and reenlisted in the USMC on September 15, 1950. He served until January 31, 1954. He served in combat in Korea and was wounded three times: February 25, 1952, shrapnel left hand and right thigh; March 15, 1953, shrapnel upper lip and nose (he refused the Purple Heart for this as 2 Purple Hearts then took you out of the action); and March 21, 1953, shrapnel wounds with compound fracture of left tibial plateau and right ankle, multiple wounds of right thigh, buttock and leg, also multiple wounds in the back. He was awarded the Bronze Star with Combat V for action on December 24, 1952 for rescuing a wounded marine in an exploding mine field. He was severely wounded on March 21, 1953. Had he accepted the Purple Heart for February 25th he would have been pulled off the line and not have suffered the serious later wounds. A mine field he and others were clearing on March 21 exploded, he was flown to a Danish hospital ship for surgery and later to St. Albans Hospital Queens N.Y. While in Korea he was also in charge of setting the explosive charges and preparing to blow up the Freedom Gate Bridge if the Chinese tried to attack when the peace talks broke down.

Neal received the following medals for Korean service: National Defense Service medal; Korean Service medal w/2 stars; U.N. Service medal; Purple Heart medal; Bronze Star medal w/combat 'V'; Gold star in lieu of 2nd Purple Heart.

While Neal was recovering from his wounds at St. Albans Naval Hospital in Queens, N.Y., he was chosen for a full front page photo in uniform by the New York Daily Mirror newspaper to commemorate the signing of the Korean Armistice Agreement. After he was retired from the Marine Corps and it is believed he may have worked for the CIA during the Vietnam war. It is believed he was also wounded (shot) in Vietnam possibly during the Tet offensive attack on the U.S. Embassy. Neal was in WW2, the China wars, Korea and in Vietnam many times as a civilian employee of the U.S. Government.

Neal was buried in his Marine uniform with full military honors - 10 man Marine honor guard, taps and a 21 gun salute.

A fitting Memorial for Neal;


I am that which others did not want to be.
I did what others did not want to do,
I have gone where others were afraid to go,
I have lived times that others would say were best forgotten,
I have cried, laughed and pained,
and experienced the sweet taste of a moments love.
I have been criticized, demonstrated and turned away...
But still I can say what others were afraid to say...
that I am proud to be a Soldier.

Family Members



MAR 3 1925
JUL 16 1991


  • Created by: Tim Larkin
  • Added: 25 Feb 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 902648
  • Tim Larkin
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Sgt Cornelius Neal Larkin (3 Mar 1925–16 Jul 1991), Find A Grave Memorial no. 902648, citing Calverton National Cemetery, Calverton, Suffolk County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Tim Larkin (contributor 46787161) .