Coleman Worldwide Moving, agent for Allied Van Lines, continues to have the privilege of relocating thousands of veterans and active duty service men and service women. Recently, the company was presented the opportunity to relocate Medal of Honor Recipient, Col. Leo Thorsness. Coleman quickly placed the Colonel’s shipment on high priority and presented him with a jacket (pictured above) as a gesture of gratitude for his service and a token to commemorate this most recent relocation.
President Richard Nixon awarded the Medal of Honor to then United States Air Force Lt. Col. Thorsness after a 1967 mission. The mission tasked the unit with helping to eliminate surface to air missiles occupied by enemy fighters. While successful, the operation forced 2 crewmembers to abandon their aircraft. Thorsness was able to relay his fellow crewmembers’ location to mission control and assist the rescue effort that involved defending a rescue craft reach a tanker as it was low on fuel despite his own F-105F aircraft being low on fuel.
Twelve Days after the mission, he operated another mission near Hanoi. During this mission, Col. Thorsness was forced to eject from an aircraft. He was then captured and held in captivity for nearly six years along with three other members who were captured during both the primary and rescue missions. During that time, he faced brutal torture and solitary confinement due to his unwillingness to cooperate with his captors. All four captives were released between February and March of 1973.
After military life, Col. Thorsness served in the Washington State Senate. He also served as the Director of Civic Affairs for US Defense contractor Litton Industries between 1979 and 1985. In 2008, he published an autobiography that detailed his time in captivity titled: Surviving Hell: A POW’s Journey.
Col. Thorsness’s remarkable life story represents the high capacity for work ethic, patriotism and perseverance amongst all the men and women who have served the United States for nearly 240 years. To all United States veterans, Happy Veterans Day and thank you for your service!
For more on Col. Thorsness, please visit the following links:
The Colonel’s 2008 Autobiography,
Surviving Hell: A POW’s Journey can
also be purchased here.