GUARINO, LAWRENCE NICHOLAS
RIP Aug 17 2014
Name: Lawrence Nicholas Guarino
Rank/Branch: O4/United States Air Force, pilot
Unit: 44th TFS
Date of Birth: circa 1923
Home City of Record: Newark NJ
Date of Loss: 14 June 1965
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 204500N 1043600E
Status (in 1973): Returnee
USA Air Corp - Flew 156 missions in WWII in Sicily, India, China and
Other Personnel in Incident: none
Source: Compiled by P.O.W. NETWORK March 1997 from one or more of the
following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with
POW/MIA families, published sources, personal interviews. Update 2008.
REMARKS: 021273 Released by DRV
SOURCE: WE CAME HOME copyright 1977
Captain and Mrs. Frederic A Wyatt (USNR Ret), Barbara Powers Wyatt, Editor
P.O.W. Publications, 10250 Moorpark St., Toluca Lake, CA 91602
Text is reproduced as found in the original publication (including date and
LAWRENCE N. GUARINO
Colonel - United States Air Force
Shot Down: June 14,1965
Released: February 12, 1973
In June 1965 Colonel Guarino was flying an F-105 fighter plane. He had
received his wings and commission 1943, making him the oldest rated pilot to
be held in captivity. Flying had been his dream since his father had scraped
together five dollars to take him on a flight around the local airport in an
old Jenny. He knew all about pilots and aces of World War I. In fact he says
he read popular aviation magazines "like a crazy man."
At age 19 he signed up for the aviation cadet program. During World War II
he saw service in the North African and Italian campaigns. Later he flew
with General Claire Chennault's Flying Tigers in China. He returned to
civilian life and then was again recalled for the Korean conflict.
Now flying over North Vietnam, his plane was hit. "I had the rotten luck to
land in a village not ten feet from a hut. The people had seen me coming
down in the chute and had vacated the village. Sentries, armed with
automatic rifles, posted on the surrounding hills, kept me under
surveillance." It was then that he describes a unique encounter with Jesus
Christ. "I had to stop packing up my gear because there He was standing
right there. His toes were as high as this room and He was five or six
stories tall. He said "Today I'm going to show you something" and I said
"Lord I know you are." When asked about this experience, Colonel Guarino
speaks warmly and says "I'm telling you, I saw Him standing there!"
Thus was the beginning of nearly eight years of prison during which the Lord
sustained him. His tortures and persecutions were trying - such as no food
for 46 days with his legs in blocks three weeks of that time. He etched a
cross in his small cell and prayed often and fervently. At Clark Air Force
Base the Colonel said "I couldn't have made it if it weren't for Jesus
Christ and being able to look up and see Him in some of the trying times.
Now back with his wife, Evelyn, who was very active in POW/MIA programs, he
is ready to face life with enthusiasm. His son, Allan, Captain, USAF, flew
in the war in 1970. He has a wife and lovely daughter. Son, Tom, served
three years in the Coast Guard and is a professional scuba diver in the
Florida Keys. He is also married. Son, Ray, is married and has twin sons.
Jeff started college in the fall.
It goes without saying that if it were not for the prayers of thousands of
my friends and fellow Americans, some of whom had never heard my name before
they wore my bracelet, I seriously doubt if I could have ever made it out of
Lawrence Guarino retired from the United States Air Force as a Colonel. He
and his wife Evelyn resided in Florida until his death August 18 2014.
And received on July 4, 2001, Independence Day:
Today is the 26th anniversary of my retirement from the USAF. My son Allan
flew over Vietnam while I was a prisoner in Hanoi, retired 2 years ago after
30 years of service. I still hear regularly from my flying buddies of 1943
as we flew against the Huns in Italy, we were only 20 years old then, now I
am 79!! My how time flies, but it is a happy ending with lots of great
memories, I can still get a kick out of thinking how we rammed around the
skies in our Spitfires, our P-51's. F-100s and F-105's. Great days ! Larry.
Memorial for Larry is Saturday, August 23 at 2p at Florida Memorial Gardens
on US1 north of Melbourne. Burial at Arlington 15 APRIL 2015.
and find Evelyn Guarino's Obituary.
Evelyn Guarino, 92 passed away peacefully on July 4th, 2017. Her life began on September 11, 1924 in Newark, New Jersey, where as a teen, she fell for the love of her life, Colonel Lawrence N. Guarino at a church dance. They married on Valentine's Day, 1943,...