One of the legendary warriors of the Guadalcanal battle, Lieutenant Harold H. “Swede” Larsen was definitely tough, and many of the men serving under him resented his leadership style. No one doubted his personal courage.
After all of squadron’s planes had been shot down or bombed into wrecks at Guadalcanal, he ordered that a new “Frankenstein” plane be assembled from the destroyed Grumman Avengers.
He was the first man to fly it against the Japanese.
By most accounts Swede Larsen mellowed after his active combat service. He retired from the navy as a captain in 1965. Happily married until his wife’s death, they raised five children. He passed away in 1994.