CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Last Tuesday, at the age of 97, George Silvas passed away. A true hero to our country, Silvas was the oldest WWII veteran in Corpus Christi.
Silvas was born in Houston but enjoyed his childhood in Corpus Christi, falling in love with boxing at a young age. He was known as the "Leopard Street Larrupper." Winning 25 of his 31 fights mainly by knockout or technical knockouts.
At age 20, Silvas joined the United States Army and was deployed to Sicily, where he took part in the Occupation of Rome. Throughout the rest of the war, Silvas was a paratrooper for the 101st and 82nd Airborne Division. He took part in major campaigns such as Operation Dragoon and Battle of the Bulge. Silvas was wounded in France, later receiving the Purple Heart.
During Silvas' time in the Army, he was also able to utilize his boxing skills. Training many All Army, Inter-Service and Pre-Olympic boxing teams.
Later on, Silvas was deployed to the Dominican Republic and served two tours in Vietnam.
He retired from the Army as a Sergeant First Class and later worked for the Corpus Christi Army Depot.
"He was a very noble man. It's a sad day. It's a sad day for us. It's a sad day for our community, our state and our nation, because we lost a hero," said Edward Salazar, chairman of the 82nd Airborne Division Association of South Texas.