Detachment Torni was formed by then-Captain Lauri Alan Törni as an informal light infantry unit during the Continuation War in 1943. They served with extreme efficiency giving the Soviet Red Army a black eye at every turn, and earned Captain
Törni the Finnish Mannerheim Cross for extreme combat gallantry. He saw later service with Nazi Germany as a less than willing member of the Waffen-SS, joining strictly in the interests of preserving Finnish sovereignty in the latter stages of the Second World War. Seeing the Nazi cause as faulty, he surrendered willing to British troops but promptly escaped from prisoner of war camp. He return to a Finland that had maintained it's sovereignty against Soviet aggression, only to be captured by Finnish State Police for his relatively limited collaboration for the now widely denounced Nazi regime.
After a stint in prison at the conclusion of the war, Törni continued his fight against international communism as a US Special Forces soldier donning the legendary Green Beret in Vietnam. Under the anglicized name "Larry Thorne", his legendary service would continue until his untimely death in October 1965 during a helicopter crash. He would be awarded a posthumous Distinguished Flying Cross for gallantry as a special forces operations officer and promoted to Major. This was in addition to a Bronze Star w/ "V" device and two Purple Hearts, rounding off a resoundingly interesting life that was tragically cut short.
The body of Major Törni was recovered in the 1990s by a joint Finnish-American team after many decades of being missing in Vietnam and returned to the United States. As his unique prior service in the Waffen-SS was not political and only a temporary measure given Finland's pseudo-cooperation with Nazi Germany during the Continuation War, he became and remains the only Waffen-SS member to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
This patch tribute to Major Törni and his legendary fighting reputation and gallantry through three armies, and three brutal wars.
Produced in the standard 2x2" size with hook velcro backing, similar in specification to milspec unit patches.
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