Russell E. Morrow, 93, decorated WWII pilot

Russell E. Morrow
Russell E. Morrow
Posted: November 16, 2013

Russell E. Morrow, 93, of West Chester, a decorated World War II Air Force pilot, died Sunday, Nov. 10, of congestive heart failure at Chester County Hospital.

Mr. Morrow completed 31 bombing missions over Germany and Nazi-occupied Europe with the Eighth Air Force as part of a crew assigned to a B-17. He received flight training at Turner Air Force Base in Georgia.

In recognition of his service, he was awarded the Air Medal with four oak-leaf clusters and the Distinguished Flying Cross.

He returned to Europe as a transport pilot on the Berlin Airlift in 1948. He was sent to active duty in the Korean conflict. Assigned to the Fifth Air Force headquarters in Japan, he served with the Combat Cargo Command.

After his service overseas, he stayed in the Air Force and held several staff assignments, including director of accounting at Air Force headquarters in the Pentagon.

He retired in July 1967 as director of accounting and finance for the Eighth Air Force and was honorably discharged with the rank of lieutenant colonel from Westover Air Force Base in Massachusetts.

Born in Glenolden, Mr. Morrow graduated from Collingdale High School; the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, with a business degree; George Washington University, with a master's degree in finance; and the Air Force Command and Staff College, Montgomery, Ala.

After leaving military service, Mr. Morrow joined the Boeing Co. Vertol Division as chief of budget and field procedure. He worked for the West Chester Area School District as an accountant in the business office and then as transportation coordinator.

He left the job in 1981 and worked as an accountant with the controller's office of Chester County, retiring in June 1987.

"He was my gentle giant," said his daughter, Barbara March, with whom he lived. "He accepted everybody, whatever their rank in life."

He was a member of the Church of the Holy Trinity, West Chester, where he served on the vestry. He was a 32d-degree Mason with the Scottish Rite, a Master Mason with the Naveslink Lodge No. 9, and a Shriner.

He had been married to the former Lois L. Forbis. She died of cancer in 2004.

Besides his daughter, he is survived by five grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, a great-great-granddaughter, and a brother. A grandson died earlier.

A visitation at 10 a.m. will be followed by an 11 a.m. memorial service with full military honors Friday, Nov. 15, at the Church of the Holy Trinity, 212 S. High St., West Chester, Pa. 19382. Interment is private.

Contributions may be made to the church at the address above, or Chester County Hospital, 701 E. Marshall St., West Chester, Pa. 19830.


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