Airman from WWII Reunites with Crewmate’s Sister

WWII Airman Victor Morris was fortunate to survive when his bomber, a B-29, fell to gunfire near the end of the war in 1945. Most of the bomber’s crew was not so lucky, and as a result Morris has had a fear of meeting with their surviving families. Survivor guilt is not uncommon, especially in the face of military strategy such as those seen in WWII. Now, almost seventy years later, the airman seems to have conquered his fear.

One of the gunners on the B-29 was a young man by the name of Andrew Kierein, and Morris has shown incredible character by finally becoming able to sit down and talk to the sister of his deceased brother in arms. Morris has corresponded with the family before, though it was so long ago that it had completely slipped his mind. The greeting card he sent them for Christmas on the year of Kierein’s death is just one of many pieces of memorabilia that Morris and Frances Corona perused during their meeting. Some of the other items that the WWII airman and his friend’s sister checked out were letters, bits of newspaper publications, and family photographs.

Corona was touched by the stories her deceased brother’s officer had to share, tales of bravery and camaraderie. She was also quite relieved to know that the end of his life was not completely full of turmoil. Not long before Kierein’s death, the airman and his comrades were granted a Hawaiian vacation. Morris also shared tales of rare moments of relaxation during WWII, even simple things such as eating ice cream at the base.

Of course, not all of the discussion was light-hearted. Close to the end of WWII, Kierein had flown a number of operational missions and was close to qualifications for honorary discharge. The young airman died not long before he would have become able to return home. Despite her brother’s bittersweet end, Corona is not bitter at all toward the surviving Morris, who was interned in a prison camp until the end of the war following the crash. A religious woman, she believes Morris to hold no responsibility for what happened that day, the reports.

Morris is glad that he finally met with the sister of his fellow WWII airman after she had tried numerous times unsuccessfully to arrange for such a meeting. He had expected their rendezvous to be much more uncomfortable, but in fact he felt it was a nice experience to talk about old times once again. The retired WWII airman is now able to move forward with the rest of his life peacefully, no longer feeling ashamed for having survived such a horrible tragedy.


Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE