The Dallas Journal, Volume 51, 2005 Page: 6
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Remeberance Ceremony for Staff Sgt. Thomas J. Morrow
this time we were all speechless. But there was
more to come.
Peter Celis then brought out another box filled
with plastic bags containing fragments from the
B-24 Liberator bomber which he and his friend
had dug up over the years. The first bag was
presented to Lillian Bierner, T.J.'s sister, and it
contained articles related to his position on the
plane. Since he was a gunner, the bag contained
bullets, pieces of the track which carried the
bullets into his guns, and even pieces of the gun
handles by which he operated the guns. In turn,
he gave a bag to a member of each family of the
crew, with fragments related to their position on
the plane. He even had some of the tools the
navigator used, which he gave to Bob Stone.
This was the most emotional moment of the
day, with tears flowing among many of the
people. There are not words at my command to
express the feelings we had about all these
people had done.
As we left the restaurant, the Belgian people
formed a line to say goodbye to us. As we
passed by each one, we tried to express our
thanks for all they had done for us. But they
would shake their heads and say, "No, we thank
you." We were simply overwhelmed that sixty
years and two generations later, there are still
people in Europe who remember and appreciate
what the Allied military forces did for them
during two World Wars.
The Thirteenth Mission
(Taken from the Remembrance Ceremony
Program- 9 October 2004)
Thomas J. Morrow was born on 14 March 1918.
He grew up near Dallas, Texas. He enlisted in
the United States Army Air Corps on 5 June
1939 and was trained to become an air gunner.
Affectionately called "Pop" by his fellow crew
members because of his age, Thomas was
transferred overseas and joined the 466t Bomb
Group, 8t U. S. Air Force, flying B-24
Liberator bombers over Europe. He became the
Left Waist Gunner in the crew of Lieutenant
William "Bill" Garrett.
After some eventful missions, bad luck really
struck on the 13t operational trip of the Garrett
crew, when they were tasked to take part in a
30-plane bombing raid on the Krupp Works
near Magdeburg, Germany. For this mission, the
Garrett crew was composed of the following
Pilot: Lt. William R. Garrett
Copilot: Lt. Paul E. Crantz
Bombardier: Lt. Beam
Navigator: Lt. Robert D. Stone
S/Sgt William J. McElfrish
Flight Engineer: T/Sgt Paul S. Jones
Right Waist Gunner:
S/Sgt Harold K. Braun
Left Waist Gunner:
S/Sgt Thomas J. Morrow
Ball Turret Gunner:
S/Sgt Antonio M. Martinez
Tail Gunner: Cpl John K. Croft
During the bomb run, at around 12.30 hours,
their aircraft was hit by heavy anti-aircraft
artillery, receiving 3 or 4 direct hits. Several of
the aircraft systems were knocked out; including
one engine and all hydraulics, and the bomber
lost 10,000 feet immediately. S/Sgt Morrow was
killed instantly by the artillery hit, while S/Sgt
McElfrish was wounded at his right hand and
S/Sgt Braun's both legs were broken.
After regaining control of the heavily stricken
bomber, the captain and co-pilot immediately
set course for England, but the aircraft
continued to lose height. Automatic weapons
and small arms fire were encountered on the
entire return route over enemy territory. Evasive
6 Dallas Journal 2005
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Dallas Genealogical Society. The Dallas Journal, Volume 51, 2005, periodical, October 2005; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth186864/m1/10/: accessed December 11, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Genealogical Society.