Sunday, July 29, 2001
Glens Falls Post Star
POWs reunited at
GRANVILLE -- Earl
Morrow and Gerome Silverman were sitting in the back of a German automobile
after being captured when their planes were shot down in World War II.
One of the two Germans who was sitting up front reached back to take any valuable possessions away from the prisoners of war.
Silverman parted with his watch without a fight, but Morrow would not part with a wings pin so easily.
"You're gonna get us killed, you jerk. They have guns," Silverman said, recalling the words he said that day more than 50 years ago. "But he got away with it, and they backed off."
The story was one of many recollections shared Saturday afternoon at Morrow's home as about 40 people gathered to celebrate his 80th birthday.
Three other World War II veterans in attendance, including Silverman, were special guests.
"We thought it was important to get them all together," said Jessica Brand, Morrow's daughter, who planned the day.
Morrow, a pilot, and Silverman, a navigator on a different plane, met when their planes were shot down over Germany. The squadron they were part of saw many casualties, with nine of its 12 planes destroyed.
Morrow, Silverman and Sam Lisica, Morrow's bombardier, who also attended the party, were POWs together. Silverman and Lisica even shared a room for about two months in a German POW camp.
Also in attendance Saturday was Clarence Dart, who served as a pilot with the Tuskegee Airmen. Dart did not know Morrow during the war but met him at a veterans meeting about 15 years ago.
"We guys that fly, we can seek each other out," Morrow said.
Since meeting, Morrow and Dart, a resident of Saratoga Springs, get together three or four times a year. Silverman, who lives on Long Island, was visited by Morrow last year.
Lisica, who lives in Pittsburgh, said he had not seen Morrow in about seven years.
But Lisica and Silverman had not seen each other since they were together in Germany, and they spent some time together discussing how each recalled the events of the war.
"I'm getting things straightened out, you could say," Silverman said. "It's not easy when you don't have anyone around to confirm what happened."
The day was centered around a barbecue lunch of chicken and pork, but before the meal was ready, a few people in attendance, including Brand and Silverman, partook in a small roast of Morrow.
"You know you're 80 when you sit in a rocking chair and you can't get it going, and when most of the names in your address book start with 'Dr.'," Brand said.
As Silverman slowly went in front of the crowd to retell the story of his and Morrow's capture, Morrow jumped at the chance to jest back at his friend.
"He's a navigator, so it takes him awhile to figure out where he's going," Morrow said.
Morrow's birthday actually was June 21, but the celebration was pushed back to accommodate visitors and Brand, who recently had her second child.