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Morton Katz: Reflections of a 103-year old WWII Veteran

Monday, March 20, 2023 at 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Join us for an in-person event to celebrate Morton Katz, Avon resident, who has released a new memoir, From Paratrooper to Public Defender: Reflections of a 103-year-old World War II Veteran.  This memoir is based on a series of interviews and some of his previous writings and photographs. Morton has an incredible memory and only retired as a public defender at the age of 100.

Say hello to Morton, talk with Aaron Elson, who helped with the book, and celebrate this Avon resident’s accomplishments!

Please register so that we can set the Community Room up with appropriate spacing.

More from Aaron Elson, about this project:

“From Paratrooper to Public Defender” began as a Facebook post. David Glass, a renowned baker, was looking for someone to interview his 103-year-old uncle, a World War II veteran. He received more than 1,000 responses, including one from oral historian Aaron Elson. A few days later Elson was in Avon, Connecticut, where Morton talked for three hours about his youth, his career in the military, and his second career as an attorney and public defender, from which he didn’t retire until he was 100 years old.

But the interview didn’t stop there. Morton had a lot more to say, so Elson returned for two follow-up interviews. He fast-tracked the transcription and “From Paratrooper to Public Servant” was born. There may even be a sequel, as Morton has many more pictures and stories he’s been telling his family for decades.

Morton served as a first lieutenant in the 509 th Parachute Infantry Battalion of the famed 82 nd Airborne Division. He fought in Algeria, Morocco, Sicily, Italy, Southern France, the Battle of the Bulge, and Central Germany, and was present at the liberation of the Wobbelin concentration camp. He was awarded the Bronze Star for heroism on the Anzio beachhead, later served on the veterans staff of Connecticut Governor Ella T. Grasso, and reached the rank of colonel in the Connecticut National Guard. Elson, who lives in New Britain, has been recording the stories of World War II veterans ever since he went to a reunion of his father’s tank battalion in 1987. His work has served as source material in more than a dozen documentaries, including “Patton 360” and “The Color of War,” as well as many popular
books about the war. He is the author of “Tanks for the Memories: The 712 th Tank Battalion in World War II”; “Up Above the Clouds to Die,” an oral history of a spectacular air battle; and “Semper Fi, Padre,” which he co-authored with John Caruso of Avon, about John’s brother Mathew Caruso’s tragic heroism in the Korean War. He also hosts the podcast War As My Father’s Tank Battalion Knew It. “Morty” was a frequent patron of the Avon Free Public Library until he had to give up driving.


Monday, March 20, 2023
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
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860-673-9712 ext 4
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281 Country Club Road
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