He enlisted in the USAAF at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, on 12 February 1942. He was trained in the maintenance and operation of the .50 caliber machineguns on the B-29 Superfortress. He was serving as tail gunner. On 26 June 1944, a B-29, #42-6323, nicknamed “Eileen,” assigned to 20th Air Force, 444th Bomb Group, 678th Bomb Squadron, crashed on takeoff from the airfield at Chabua, India. The aircraft was a total loss and all of the crew were killed. Some were deemed “killed during an operational flight.” Once the crew remains were recovered, they were buried in the airfield cemetery at Kalaikunda, India. Insufficient identifiable remains were recovered from the crash of the B-29 to deem him killed in action, which resulted in him being deemed, missing in action. Like the remainder of his crew, he was killed in the crash. He is remembered on the memorial wall of the Manila American Cemetery, Philippines.
His brother, Thomas H. Larkins, born 11 June 1907, served in the U.S. Navy from 23 February 1944 to 22 December 1945.