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[Page 705]

They Fell on Guard

[Page 707]

Morris Leve (Lew)

Jewish Morning Journal, Sept. 17, 1944

Ben and Chava Leve were justifiably proud of their son Morris, a twenty year old lieutenant and fighter pilot with the U.S. Army Air Corps. Morris had always been an exemplary son. As a young boy he had excelled in cheder and then continued his religious studies in Talmud Torah. He was also an excellent student in secular subjects and was planning to study dentistry. His studies did not insulate him from the world. Indeed, Morris was keenly aware of current events and was extremely concerned that the world was spiraling down into darkness. He was especially troubled by the rising power of Hitler's Germany. When war broke out he approached his father to say, “I must go to do my duty for my country.” Ben Leve, who had served heroically in World War I, understood his son's attitude. Consumed with parental love and concern, he hugged his son and said, “May G-d bless you and watch over you.” The morning after receiving his father's blessing, Morris left for the service. He volunteered and was selected to be a pilot cadet in the Air Force. Upon completion of training, Morris was commissioned a second lieutenant. At about that time news reached him of the wholesale slaughter of Europe's Jewish population. In particular, he learned of the fate of his father's native town of Ciechanowiec. Over 5,000 of his father's landsleit were herded to Treblinka and murdered. Morris was aghast and vowed that his airplane would be a vehicle of revenge. “I will be among the first to get even with the butcherous enemy.” He kept his word. Morris flew the skies of occupied Europe and inflicted heavy damage on the Nazi war machine. After many missions, his fighter plane was shot down over Holland on January 31, 1944.

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