Conflict Period:
World War II 1
Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army Air Forces 1
08 Dec 1911 2
On a ranch near Alva Wyoming 2
16 Aug 1943 2
near Elbeuf, northwest of Paris France 2

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Personal Details

Full Name:
Joseph A Morris 1
08 Dec 1911 2
On a ranch near Alva Wyoming 2
Male 2
16 Aug 1943 2
near Elbeuf, northwest of Paris France 2
Cause: MIA after he dove his P-47D (#42-7990) in pursuit of an enemy plane 2
Buried: Missing in Action or Buried at Sea<BR>Tablets of the Missing at Cambridge American Cemetery<BR>Cambridge, England 1
Death: 17-Aug-44 1
Death Date: 17 Aug 1944 1
Memorial Cemetery: Tablets of the Missing at Cambridge American Cemetery 1
Memorial Country: Cambridge, England 1
Memorial Location: Missing in Action or Buried at Sea 1
State: Wyoming 1
Mother: Mary G Morris 2
Father: Stephen A Morris 2

World War II 1

Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army Air Forces 1
Service Number:
O-022421 1
Air Medal, Purple Heart 1
Headquarters, 353rd Fighter Group 1
Employer: US Army Air Corps 2
Position: First Lieutenant 18th Pursuit Group, 19th Pursuit Sq 2
Place: Wheeler Field, Hawaii 2
Start Date: 01 Nov 1940 2
End Date: 21 Sep 1942 2

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Military history

Pvt. and Pvt 1 cl., A. C. from 17 April to 28   June 1936
Flying Cadet, Air Corps from 29 June 1936 to 30 June 1937
Second Lieutenant, Air Corps Reserve         30 June 1937
Accepted                                     30 June 1937
Active duty from 1 July 1937 to              14 Aug. 1939
Second Lieutenant, Air Corps Regular Army    15 Aug. 1939
Accepted                                     15 Aug. 1939
First Lieutenant, Army of the United States   9 Sept.1940
Accepted                                      7 Oct. 1940
Captain, Army of The United States (Air Corps)1 Mar. 1942
Major, Army of The United States (Air Corps)  1 Mar. 1942
First Lieutenant                             15 Aug. 1942
Captain, Army of The United States            2 Oct. 1942
Major, Army of The United States             21 Apr. 1943
Lieutenant Colonel, Army of The United States
                 (Air Corps)                 16 June 1943

                 Graduate : Air Corps Primary Flying School, 1937
                            Air Corps Advanced Flying School,
                            Pursuit Course, 1937

                    Rated : Senior Pilot

       Lieutenant Colonel Joseph A. Morris, Army of The United
States, was officially reported as missing in action as of
16 August 1943; and since an official determination has been
made, death is presumed to have occurred on 17 August 1944.

              By authority of the Secretary of War :

                                                     J. A. Ulio
                                                     Major General
                                                     The Adjutant General.

Service Assignments

Randolph Field, Texas   4-17-34 to 6-23-36
   67th Service Sq.  AC

Randolph Field, Texas   6-29-36 to 2-24-37
   Cadet Detachment.

Kelley Field, Texas2-24-37 to 7-1-37
   Flying Cadet Detachment
   Airplane Pilot     June 9, 1937

Randolph Field, Texas   7-1-37 to 7-15-37
   13th Att. Sq.

Barksdale Field, La.            7-15-37 to 11-22-39
   20th Pursuit Group, 79th Pursuit Sq.

Moffett Field, Calif.   11-22-39 to 9-9-40
   20th Pursuit Group, 79th Pursuit Sq.

Hamilton Field, Calif.    9-9-40 to 11-40
   20th Pursuit Group, 79th Pursuit Sq.

Wheeler Field, Hawaii   11-40 to 9-21-42
   18th Pursuit Group, 19th Pursuit Sq.

Fighter Comd. School, Orlando, Fla,9-21-42 to 10-3-42

European Theatre of Operations  10-3-42 to 8-16-43

   Authorized to wear the American Theatre Ribbon, Asiatic
   Pacific Ribbon and the E.T.O Ribbon.

   Awarded the Purple Heart posthumously.

Newspaper article

                         ARTICLE FROM THE QUEEN CITY MAIL
 AUGUST 24, 1944


     This week Mrs. Joe Morris received word from the war department that her husband,
Lieut.  Col. Joe Morris, one of Spearfish's favorite fighting sons, who has been missing in
the European theater of war since Aug. 16 of last year, has been declared dead.
     Hopes have been held by relatives and friends that the courageous air corps officer
would show up "somewhere in France" as the battle for the liberation of the enemy occupied
country progressed.  This week as Paris regains it freedom, the message from the war
department reveals the important part Col. Morris, and other young fighters like him,
played in the early stages of the battle for Paris's liberation.
     "Since your husband, Lieut. Col. Joe Morris was reported missing in action 16 August,
1943, the war department has entertained the hope that he survived and that information
would be revealed dispelling the uncertainty surrounding his absence ," the message from
the war department read.
     "However as in many cases, the conditions of warfare deny us such information.  The
record concerning your husband shows that on 16 August, 1943, he was leading a flight of
planes on a bomber escort mission.  Enemy aircraft was encountered near Elbeuf, northwest
of Paris, and he was last seen as he dived his plane in pursuit of an enemy plane."
     "Full consideration has recently been given to all available information bearing on
the absence of your husband, including all records, reports and circumstances.  These have
been carefully reviewed and considered.  In view of the fact that 12 months have now
expired without the receipt of evidence to support a continued presumption of survival, the
 war department must terminate such absence by a presumptive death."
     "We regret the necessity for this message, but trust that the ending of a long period
of uncertainty may give at least some small measure of consolation.  We hope you may find
sustaining comfort in the thought that the uncertainty with which the war surrounded the
absence of your husband has enhanced the honor of his service to his country and of his
sacrifice," the message concluded.
     Little is known of Col. Morris' activities overseas other than the fact that he
commanded a fighter squadron he had trained in the United States himself before being sent
to Europe in June of 1943.  It is known, however, that he was awarded the air medal and oak
leaf cluster for meritorious service in aerial flight in Europe and that he had completed
10 operational flights over enemy occupied continental Europe before his last flight.

     An interesting article concerning Col. Morris and his fighting fliers appeared in an
eastern paper a short time after he was reported missing.  It was a delayed Associated
Press story by Walter Logan describing the squadron's first flight.  It read as follows :
     "For weeks the young American fliers had sat around the huge Nissen hut that was their
clubroom waiting for their first mission.  They were the most impatient men in England.
     "For weeks they had done nothing while other groups went on many sweeps a day or
accompanied Flying Fortresses into Germany.  They had been considered a crack squadron when
they left the United States and their impatience became almost unbearable.  Card games
lagged and the discussions always turned to those magic words 'first mission.'
     "Then it came.  Lieut. Col. Joseph Morris of Spearfish, S. Dak., their group
commander, told them their orders in a calm midwestern voice.  It was to be the real thing.
The Forts were going to attack airfields in France and action was likely -- Jerries will
come up to attack the bombers.
     "The first of fat little Thunderbolts roared down the long runway.  Then came another
and another and another until the sky was full of the powerful fighters circling for the
altitude at which they perform best, and then they were off , across the channel for their
first combat.
     "Later their battle reports began coming in on the radio and you knew they were mixing
it up.  The reports were fragmentary and mostly unprintable.  Someone would say 'get
that-------off my tail' and someone would reply 'why certainly.'  There were references to
the Luftwaffe which would have made Goerring writhe in indignation.
     "Some of them came back singing, 'The Last Time I Saw Paris.'  All of them were nearly
out of gas when they landed.  But they were happy."

     Col. Morris was born near Alva, Wyo.  Dec. 8, 1911.  He was graduated from Spearfish
high school in 1932 and soon after graduation entered the air corps and was sent to
Randolph Field, Texas, for training.
     After he received his commission as lieutenant in the air corps he was sent to
Hawaiian Islands, was stationed there during the attack on the island Dec.  7, 1941.
Shortly after the attack he was promoted to the rank of major.
     He was brought back to the United States to train his own fighting squadron late in
1942.  After eight months he and his squadron were sent to Europe.  He received his
promotion to lieutenant colonel in June of last year.

School athletics

In school, Joe played Football (American), Basketball and Baseball.
Hulett Wyo. high school (Basketball, baseball and track star).
Black Hills Teacher's College (Football star).

His desire to fly airplanes was his goal in life.

He had approached Clyde Ice, the owner and director of the Belle Fourche Air Field,
previously about jumping out of a plane with a parachute and
Clyde agreed to let Joe do it at the July fourth celebration.
When Joe appeared and was ready for the jump, Clyde tried to
dissuade him realizing the risk.  One of his excuses was it
would cost $5.00, which Joe didn't have as that was "real
money" in those days.  "Shorty" Turner stepped forward with
the five and Clyde relented and Joe made the jump, when he
was yet in High School, and not knowing how to maneuver the
chute, escaped with only a skinned cheek.

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