Book of War Experiences Praises Forgotten Jewish Veteran

“I wish I could find that Jew Norosoff—I don’t know his first name, I always called him ‘that Jew’ and he always called me ‘that Irishman.’ Norosoff took a very important message for ammunition from the front line back to battalion headquarters. He just had a charmed life! The shrapnel never got him. I think Norosoff deserved being decorated for carrying that message through the barrage.”

This was the statement made yesterday by John Lewis Barkley, the corporal in the Infantry Intelligence who was decorated with the Congressional Medal of Honor because he set up a machine gun in an abandoned tank and held a German advance single-handed at the Meuse, in a talk at the “Dug Out,” a clubhouse and workshop for disabled ex-service men. During the war, Mr. Barkley said, his “buddies” were “two Indians, an Irishman, an Italian, a Jew and a Syrian”—”an honest-to-goodness American gang.”

“Norosoff and I always bunked together,” declared Mr. Barkley. “He never smoked, chewed or drank. Very clean in his habits. Just a nice kid. But he would take cigarettes and give them away. He said his father runs a ‘hock shop’ in New York, so I guess Norosoff is in the city too because when a Jew once gets to New York he never leaves it. I wish I could find him.”

In his autobiography “No Hard Feelings,” which has recently been published and which relates his war experiences, Mr. Barkley describes Norosoff as follows:

“Norosoff was a queer little chap, with big Jew nose, light complexion and curly black hair. He spoke a strange sort of lingo; Tom told us it was ‘Brooklynnese.’ But he was a good soldier. When he started anything he finished it. When he saw anything he could do to help out, he went and did it. The fact that he didn’t have to never stopped Norosoff. He’d volunteer. Time after time he carried Mike’s messages for him when the little Italian was down and out. He was gassed once, but he always got through.”

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