Stanley O. Morrion's story is noted on the 100thbg.com site: He flew as a substitute for Louis Grate on the first flight of the Bloody 100th and perished.. Stanley was born in Indiana, was listed as single at the time he entered the military and had a civil life occupation as a salesperson.
Crew #1 Aircraft #42 29986 Blue Bird “K”. M.A.C.R. #269
Capt Oran E. Petrich P KIA 25 June 1943 Bremen 2nd Lt Bluford B. Mullins CP KIA 25 June 1943 Bremen 1st Lt Edward N. Jones N KIA 25 June 1943 Bremen 1st Lt Louis B. Grate B NOC T/Sgt Max P. Brim E KIA 25 June 1943 Bremen S/Sgt Joseph D. Bieu WG KIA 25 June 1943 Bremen T/Sgt Edward J. Zerblis R KIA 25 June 1943 Bremen S/Sgt Henry H. Rutherford BT KIA 25 June 1943 Bremen S/Sgt Pete S. Villalobes, Jr. WG KIA 25 June 1943 Bremen S/Sgt James M. Strong, Jr. TG KIA 25 June 1943 Bremen
A complete and exact sequence of events on this mission, the first flown by the 100th, is most difficult to determine. Of the 30 men comprising crews #1, 2 and 3, only five survived the mission and, of these, Nick Demchak is the only one who could be located by this writer. (James Brown, 100th Historian)Demchak and I agree that the 100th on this day never completed a proper assembly. At the time of leaving the English coast, the 349th, flying low squadron, was perhaps a mile to the rear of the lead squadron led by Major Flesher of the 418th. Both the lead and high squadrons seemed scattered all over the sky and a true Group combat formation never existed. The atrocious weather had a part in this situation, but perhaps a larger role was that of the questionable judgment of the Group leader.
At a point a little north of the East Frisian islands, Crew #1, leading the first element, disappeared into the undercast and was not seen again. No doubt it fell victim to enemy fighters as did crews #2 and 3.
Louie Grate, regular bombardier on this crew, for some reason did not fly this first mission. His place was taken by Lt. Stanley Morrison (KIA) who was the regular bombardier of Crew #29 of the 418th Squadron. No further record of Grate's service with the 100th has been found...job
"That first mission came on the morning of June 25, 1943, when 30 B-17s took off from Thorpe Abbotts for a raid on the submarine pens at Bremen, Germany. By the end of the day, the group had lost three Flying Fortresses and 30 crewmen, including pilot Oran Petrich and his crew, one of the first assigned to the 100th. The group acquired its reputation as a hard-luck unit very early in its operational history, and it would go on to become known as the “Bloody 100th,” a nickname laden with the weight of sacrifice. "
THe 100th Bomb Group also notes: ON THE 100TH FIRST MISSION, 25 JUN 43. LOUIS GRATE, BOMBARDIER OF CREW #1 WAS REPLACED BY LT STANLEY O. MORRISON. THE REASON FOR THE EXCHANGE IS UNKNOWN; AN EXCHANGE OF PERSONNEL BETWEEN SQUADRONS, SUCH AS THIS, WAS RARELY SEEN. MORRISON'S SPOT ON CREW 29 WAS FILLED BY LT WILLIAM F. MOORE WHO BECAME A POW ON 10 OCT 43. http://www.100thbg.com/index.php?option=com_bombgrp&view=personnel&id=3720&Itemid=334
Stanley was awarded an Air Medal and a Purple Heart.
This story is part of the Stories Behind the Stars project (see www.storiesbehindthestars.org). This is a national effort of volunteers to write the stories of all 400,000+ of the US WWII fallen here on Fold3. Can you help write these stories? Related to this, there will be a smart phone app that will allow people to visit any war memorial or cemetery, scan the fallen's name and read his/her story.