World War II Marine Corporal Served on 13 Islands in the South Pacific


Amid the jarring sound of gunfire, Marine Corporal Larry Neal delivered ammunition to fellow soldiers in the South Pacific. Larry says, “I made sure everything got there.” 

Larry joined the Marines when he was just 17. The younger soldier within him recalls his World War II experience from 1943-1946 as a time when he didn’t know if he would live or die. He was also fearful of losing his comrades. “I didn’t want to get close to anyone because I knew they may be gone the next day.”

Keeping moving and jumping in fox holes was Larry’s survival strategy as he avoided enemy fire. “We didn’t want them to find us, so we had to keep moving,” he explained. “I had a patriotic heart and I had to keep running for it.” As he ran through the jungles of the South Pacific, he ate the same food every day, including pineapples and bananas he picked from the trees.

Larry’s commitment to serving his country began before the war, with a position as a military police officer in North Carolina and California, and he returned to this role when the war ended.

He job was to protect his Marine base and keep an eye on the soldiers. “When they messed up, I reprimanded them,” he said without hesitation. 

In the years following the war, Larry attended the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff in his home state where he studied welding and auto mechanics. He moved to Minnesota soon after that and worked as a custodian at Macalester College in St. Paul for 65 years. Larry raised three daughters, Renee, Argamese, and Maria. “It takes a real man to make all girls,” he said. “And I have a granddaughter too, Sannia.” 

Larry is patriot who kept his Marine uniform. “I told my kids the truth about the war and taught them that freedom is important. It means everything.” 

We are free today because of your sacrifice, Larry. Thank you for your service. 

Our Lady of Peace would like to express our gratitude to Mike Lindvall and Chaplain Chris Kneen from White Bear Lake VFW Post 1782 for visiting and honoring Larry during his stay at our hospice residence.