A recording of my WWII presentation at the LSU Military Museum

March 19, 1944 – Not a single spot on Anzio Beachhead is safe from enemy gunfire
March 19, 2024
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A recording of my WWII presentation at the LSU Military Museum

This presentation, “At First Light: How a Teenager Became a WWII Hero” was delivered at the William A. Brookshire LSU Military Museum in October 2023 as their first-ever in their Military History Lecture Series. It was originally presented on Thursday, October 26, 2023, the night a special exhibit on my father opened. The presentation was not recorded, but in February 2024 I recreated and recorded it for you. I hope you find it entertaining and educational.

My and Mike Yorkey’s best selling book, “At First Light: A True World War II Story of a Hero, His Bravery, and an Amazing Horse,” is a story about my father’s exploits and heroics on the “forgotten Southern Front” in Europe in WWII. He was the youngest-ever graduate of the Army’s Officer Candidate School at 17 years of age, the youngest commissioned Army officer in WWII, and one of the most decorated front-line officers in WWII. You can watch the presentation, “At First Light: How a Teenager Became a WWII Hero,” by clicking here.

Here’s a synopsis of the book and the presentation:

What makes 2nd Lieutenant Phil Larimore’s story special is what happened in World War II’s closing days and the people—and horses—he interacted with in this Forrest Gump-like tale that is emotional, heartbreaking, and inspiring.

Growing up in the 1930s in Memphis, Tennessee, Phil Larimore is the ultimate Boy Scout—able to read maps, put a compass to good use, and traverse wild swamps and desolate canyons. His other great skill is riding horses.

Phil does poorly in school, however, leading his parents send to him to a military academy. After Pearl Harbor, Phil realizes he is destined for war. Three weeks before his eighteenth birthday, he becomes the youngest candidate to ever graduate from Officer Candidate School (OCS) at Fort Benning, Georgia.

Landing on the Anzio beachhead in February 1944, Phil is put in charge of an Ammunition Pioneer Platoon in the 3rd Infantry Division. Their job: deliver ammunition to the frontline foxholes—a dangerous assignment involving regular forays into No Man’s Land.

As Phil fights his way up the Italian boot, into Southern France and across the Rhine River into Germany, he is caught up in some of the most intense combat ever. But it’s what happens in the final stages of the war and his homecoming that makes Phil’s story incredibly special and heartwarming.

An emotional tale of courage, daring, and heroism, At First Light will remind you of the indomitable human spirit that lives in all of us.

Learn more about the book or order it here

The William A. Brookshire LSU Military Museum is located in Memorial Tower on the campus of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The museum is a repository for artifacts and memorabilia reflecting the university’s rich military history and heritage.

© Copyright WLL, INC. 2024.

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