Larry Carrigan was born in 1940 in Tucson, Arizona. He was commissioned a 2d Lt in the U.S. Air Force through the Air Force ROTC program on June 1, 1962, and went on active duty beginning July 22, 1962. Lt Carrigan next completed Personnel Officer training at Greenville AFB, Mississippi, from July to September 1962, followed by service as Chief of the Personnel Accounting Branch and as Assistant Combat Intelligence Officer with the 4641st Support Squadron at Beale AFB, California, from October 1962 to July 1963. He served as Assistant Director of Personnel with the 4629th Support Squadron at Luke AFB, Arizona, from July 1963 to March 1964, and then attended Undergraduate Pilot Training at Williams AFB, Arizona, from March 1964 to March 1965. After completing advanced survival training, Lt Carrigan attended F-4 Phantom II Combat Crew Training and then F-4 pilot systems operator training from April to September 1965. His next assignment was as an F-4 pilot systems operator and then pilot with the 40th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Eglin AFB, Florida, from September 1965 to May 1967, followed by service as an F-4 pilot with the 497th and then 555th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Ubon Royal Thai AFB, Thailand, from May 1967 until he was forced to eject over North Vietnam and was taken as a Prisoner of War on August 23, 1967. After spending 2,030 days in captivity, Capt Carrigan was released during Operation Homecoming on March 14, 1973. He was briefly hospitalized to recover from his injuries and then completed pilot recurrency training and F-4E Combat Crew Training before serving as an F-4E pilot with the 32nd Tactical Fighter Squadron at Soesterberg AB in the Netherlands from March 1974 to January 1977. Maj Carrigan attended Armed Forces Staff College at Norfolk, Virginia, from January to June 1977, and then attended F-104 Starfighter transition training from June 1977 to March 1978. He then served as an F-104 pilot, Assistant Director of Operations, and then Director of Operations in the German Air Force advanced training program with the 69th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron at Luke AFB from March 1978 to March 1980, and as Commander of the 69th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron from April 1980 to March 1981. LtCol Carrigan next served as Director of Operations for F-104 Operations with the 58th Tactical Fighter Training Wing at Luke from March 1981 to March 1982, and during his time in the training program he was awarded German Command Pilot Wings. He attended Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, from March 1982 to June 1983, and then served as Director of Inspections in the Office of the Inspector General with Headquarters 12th Air Force at Bergstrom AFB, Texas, from July 1983 to June 1984. During this time he checked out in and flew the A-7 Corsair II. His next assignment was as an F-4 pilot and Director of Operations with the 35th Tactical Fighter Training Wing at George AFB, California, from June 1984 to March 1986, followed by service as Commander and Professor of Aerospace Studies with the Air Force ROTC detachment at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona, from April 1986 until his retirement from the Air Force on September 1, 1990.
His Silver Star Citation reads:
On 28 August 1967: This officer distinguished himself by gallantry and intrepidity in action in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force while a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam. Ignoring international agreements on treatment of prisoners of war, the enemy resorted to mental and physical cruelties to obtain information, confessions and propaganda materials. This American resisted their demands by calling upon his deepest inner strengths in a manner which reflected his devotion to duty and great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.