Mr. Larsen was born at Pioche, Nevada, February 29, 1916, and the family moved to Monroe when he was four months old, where they have since resided. He attended Monroe schools, and was active in public speaking, dramatics and athletics, mainly football and basketball. He graduated from South Sevier high school in 1934, and received the achievement medal given for scholarship that year.
He enlisted in the United States Navy in December 1935, and attended the naval school of music at Washington, D.C. for two years.
Mr. Larsen's six-year enlistment had expired on December 5, two days before the attack, and his parents were expecting him home.