Lenny Kravitz's Hero Uncle and Other Lesser Known American Heroes
Lenny Kravitz’s Hero Uncle and Other Lesser Known American Heroes

Lenny Kravitz’s Hero Uncle and Other Lesser Known American Heroes

Khalid Elhassan - August 18, 2020

Lenny Kravitz’s Hero Uncle and Other Lesser Known American Heroes
Tombstone of Larry Thorne and his South Vietnamese comrades in Arlington National Cemetery. Wikimedia

1. The Only SS Member Buried in Arlington National Cemetery

In the years after Larry Thorne’s disappearance, there was considerable speculation about his fate. Some figured that the legendry hero had survived and walked away, while others suspected that he had been captured and finally turned over to the Soviets, who locked him up somewhere. NVA defectors were shown photos of Thorne, to find out if any recognized him. On the anniversary of his disappearance every year thereafter, Thorne’s comrades would down a toast in his honor, “wherever he may be“.

In 1999, Thorne’s downed helicopter was finally located. His remains were intermingled with those of three South Vietnamese servicemen who had been with him in the chopper. Following a ceremony in Hanoi, attended by Secretary of State Madeline Albright, the remains were sent to the US. In 2003, the remains were formally identified as those of Thorne. He was memorialized on the Vietnam Wall, and on June 26th, 2003, Major Larry Allan Thorne, along with the South Vietnamese servicemen who had died with him, were buried in Arlington National Cemetery under a single headstone. He is the only former Waffen-SS member to end up in America’s most hallowed burial grounds.

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Where Did We Find This Stuff? Some Sources and Further Reading

Army News Service, March 18th, 2014 – Lenny Kravitz Honors Uncle, Medal of Honor Recipient

Badass of the Week – Larry Thorne

Business Insider, July 2nd, 2015 – The Crazy Story of the Man Who Fought For Finland, the Nazis, and US Army Special Forces

Cleverly, Michael J. – Born a Soldier: The Times and Life of Larry A Thorne (2008)

El Paso Herald Post, September 26th, 2017 – El Paso World War I Hero: Private Marcelino Serna

El Paso Times, May 29th, 2016 – Marcelino Serna, American Hero

Encyclopedia Britannica – Alvin York, United States Military Hero

Encyclopedia Britannica – Culper Spy Ring

New York Times, September 3rd, 1964 – Sergeant York, War Hero, Dies; Killed 25 Germans and Captured 132

New York Times, December 15th, 1985 – Remembering a Master Spy at Home

New York Times, November 13th, 2017 – When New York City Was a (Literal) Battlefield

Study.Com – The Role of New York in the American Revolution

Tablet Magazine – Lenny Kravitz’s Jewish Uncle Honored: Private First Class Leonard M. Kravitz Awarded Posthumous Medal of Honor

Tablet Magazine – Obama to Award Jewish Veterans Posthumous Medal of Honor

Texas State Historical Association – Serna, Marcelino

Vintage News – The Most Decorated US WWI Veteran From Texas Was Actually a Mexican Immigrant

War History Online – The US Special Forces Major Who Fought in the SS

Wikipedia – Culper Spy Ring

Wikipedia – Lauri Torni

Wikipedia – Marcelino Serna

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