Interview with Dr. Alvia Royce Morrow
of the 52nd General Hospital, Van Dyne
by Sergeant Jim Young, United States Radio Service,
Broadcast on WSYR, Syracuse, NY, August 8,
Transcribed from the original recording by
His Grandson, Daniel H. Weiskotten
Last modified 2/7/2005
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On this page I have a link to a wonderful recording made for WSYR radio
during World War Two. The interviewee is my grandfather, Dr. Alvia
Royce Morrow, of Cazenovia, NY, (1898-1968). At the time of this recording,
made on August 8, 1943, "Deke" Morrow was the Medical Corps Chief of Medical
Services with the 52nd
General Hospital ("The Fightin' 52nd" Van Dyne Unit [mascot "Fitz"]) in England.
He had served in World War I in a surgical unit, and received his medical training at Syracuse University School of Medicine,
where my other Grandfather, Dr. Herman Gates Weiskotten Sr. was the Dean, and at the University of London.
After graduation from school he moved to Cazenovia in 1924 where he
began his family. They lived for many years in the large house on
Albany and Hurd Streets, with his office in the cellar, practicing
small-town medicine and becoming a beloved General Practitioner in
The interview was conducted by Sergeant Jim Young of the United States
Army Radio Service, European Theater, for WSYR radio in Syracuse.
While there is plenty of interesting personal and local reference, much
of the talk is patriotic praise of the war effort, the troops and the "Anglo-American
This recording was originally on a 33 rpm hard paste disc recording
(I do not exactly know what it was, it was almost like bakelite with a
black varnish coating). I made this recording from the original record
about 20 years ago and since that time the original recording has disintegrated
and has been lost.
The recording is 4 minutes 52 seconds.
The file is pretty big (4,672 KB), but click here to hear the .wav file:
or you can hear it in two parts:
1: (1,934 KB) time = 2:00
2: (2,928 KB) time = 3:03
with Dr. Alvia Royce Morrow
the 52nd General Hospital
Jim Young, United States Army Radio Service
on Radio Station WSYR, Syracuse, NY, August
from the original sound recording
Grandson, Daniel H. Weiskotten
Syracuse. Hello WYSR.
This is the United States Army Radio Service, reporting from London. Today we bring you an interview with a former
instructor of Clinical Medicine at the Syracuse University Medical College. He is Major Alvia R. Morrow, Medical Corps
Chief of Medical Services at the 52nd General Hospital in England. He is here to tell us the story of the fine
record achieved by the City of Syracuse’s own medical unit in caring
for the battle wounded since its arrival overseas early in 1943. Tell us Major, who is listening to this
program back home?
I hope that my wife, Mrs. Janette Morrow, and my two daughters Jean and Kathryn
have tuned in.
there any other members of the family in the service?
not at present, anyway. My two girls are
attending Wells College, in Aurora, New York.
Major, I feel sure they are proud to hear about the work their Dad is doing. By the way Major, I believe you were a member
of the Syracuse Medical Unit during the last war. Could you tell us something about this organization?
to. During the last war I served with Hospital
Unit G, of Syracuse Medical Unit under the command of Lieutenant Colonel E.S.
Van Dyne. The unit was attached to Base
Hospital Number 31, a Youngstown, Ohio, medical group.
was it stationed, Major?
Nancy, France. Following the Armistice I attended the University of London before returning to the United States.
what capacity did you serve in the last war Major Morrow?
was an enlisted man working as a Surgical Technician, and believe me I can
appreciate the value of these men for their excellent and unselfish work in the
medical and surgical wards.
the way, Major, did you complete your medical course after the war?
ARM: Yes. On returning home I completed my training at the
Syracuse University Medical College, and after graduation established
a practice in nearby Cazenovia.
tell us more of the connection between the old Hospital G Unit and the 52nd General Hospital, Major.
Colonel Van Dyne’s fine work in organizing Hospital Unit G was a wonderful
inspiration when the time came for the formation of the 52nd General Hospital. As a matter of fact the number 52nd was given
to the Syracuse University Medical School at the conclusion of the last
war in readiness for such an emergency as Pearl Harbor.
Major, will you give us an idea of the achievements of the medical service?
ARM: Certainly. Although the medical cases in our General Hospital have been in the minority, given
the greater prevalence of surgical and orthopedic cased, the medical
department nevertheless was kept quite busy with many cases of pneumonia and a fair
number of meningitis, none of which proved fatal. Of this we are very proud, and it stands as a
remarkable tribute to chemotherapy and penicillin. Fortunately there have been no traces of the
epidemics which so often accompany warfare.
you encountered any traces of diseases amongst the troops who were transferred
from other theaters, Major?
we have. We had expected many types of
tropical diseases from North Africa, but only recurrent malarias have
cropped up, all of which have promptly responded to Atabrine and quinine. I might say here that the lower number of medical
cases is a remarkable tribute to the training, the general vigor and the
natural resistance of the American soldier and the preventive measures he
that’s fine. Today we hear quite a lot
about the Anglo-American cooperation. Could
you tell us something about this cooperation in the medical field, Major?
mutual understanding and fine cooperation between American and British medical men,
I feel sure will go a long way in cementing Anglo-American relations. The British have been very courteous at all
times and have invited several of our staff to lecture at their hospitals and
the way Major, to what do you attribute the remarkable success of the 52nd General Hospital in caring for sick and
true sense of service and a personal pride in this well-equipped hospital are
the contributing factors. And now I must take the opportunity to
personally ____ (part unintelligible) ____ demanded ceaseless and unselfish
work of the officers, nurses and particularly the enlisted personnel for the
grand job they have all accomplished.
now as our time is up, we’ll have to say thank you Major Morrow and good-bye Syracuse and Cazenovia. This
program was especially transcribed for WSYR listeners and featured Major Alvia
R. Morrow, of Cazenovia, New York, Chief of the Medical Service
at the 52nd General Hospital in England. Sergeant Jim Young speaking for the United
States Army Radio Service in the European Theater.