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Morrie Smith - Vietnam War

As a young boy of ten Morrie Smith began wearing a POW braclet for Captain John Borling, who was shot down over North Vietnam in 1966. He faithfully wore it for the next three years until he discovered Captain Borling had been released. (He learned of that by seeing Borling's photo in the newspaper.) In 2016, Morrie had the opportunity to meet General Borling when the General gave a presentation at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum.

Interview Links

Feature Excerpt

"A POW bracelet"

Abstract

Interview Session (Audio)

Related Materials

See Also

The interview with General John Borling, where he talks extensively about his experiences as a POW in the Hanoi Hilton from 1966 to 1973.


Photos

Caption

Morrie is all smiles in 1970 while he sits with brothers Scott and Jerry Smith at their Maple Park home. Note the POW bracelet on Morrie’s right wrist.

Where:

Maple Park, Illinois

When:

1970

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Morrie Smith wore this bracelet for three years, from 1970 to 1973, and prayed for Captain Borling’s safety and release every night. He took it off only when he showered, and had it soldered when it broke.

Where:

Unknown

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Photo by Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library

Caption

Eleven year old Morrie and his brother Scott display their trophy after a day at the Kankakee River in April, 1971. Morrie’s POW bracelet is clearly seen on his right wrist.

Where:

Illinois

When:

April, 1971

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Morrie proudly holds his catch after a day of fishing in the Kankakee River in April, 1971.

Where:

Illinois

When:

April, 1971

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Morrie Smith learned that Captain Borling had been released in the spring of 1973 when he saw this AP photo in the newspaper. Morrie kept the photo along with the POW bracelet until the two met in 2016. Note the General’s inscription.

Where:

Illinois

When:

1973

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Morrie Smith purchased a copy of General Borling’s book ‘Taps on the Walls’ at a presentation the General gave at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in September, 2016. Borling was happy to personalize the book for Morrie.

Where:

Illinois

When:

September, 2016

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo



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