Staff Sgt. Charles Thomas Morris

By Vaughan Morris

Charles and Vaughan Morris

Charles T. Morris and son Vaughan Morris stand in front of a B-25 in 2004.

Charles Turner Morris, 88 of Weatherford passed away Saturday morning October 9, 2010. Charles was born November 16, 1921 in Peaster, Texas just outside Weatherford.  He graduated from Weatherford High School in 1938 and was a lifetime resident of Parker County.  He was a member of South Main Church of Christ and an Eagle Scout.  He was the last surviving member of 11 brothers and sisters of the C.V. Morris family.

Charles joined the Army Air Corps in March 1942 after the attack on Pearl Harbor as many of his generation did.  He achieved the rank of Staff Sergeant.  He always wanted to fly but could not pass the eye test to allow him to proceed to flight school after trying twice.  He was sent to Armament school and became a member of the newly formed 418th Night Fighter Squadron that trained in Orlando, Florida before being sent to the Pacific theater.  He was overseas for 2 years beginning October 6, 1943 starting on the East end of New Guinea proceeding across that country through the Philippines where his squadron supply ship was hit and sunk by a Japanese Kamikaze in Mindoro Bay December 1944.  He and his fellow airmen survived the attack, proceeded to the Philippines then to Okinawa where he returned to the United States.  While on Okinawa he saw the white aircraft carrying the Japanese officials heading to the signing of the surrender which ended the hostilities in the Pacific for WWII.  He was honorably discharged on October 5, 1945 after 3 years and 7 months service and returned to Weatherford to his wife and son.

When Charles came back from his tour of duty he went back to the job he left at Montgomery Ward in Fort Worth where he worked until

Charles Morris

Charles Morris stands in front or a restored B-25 in 2004 — the aircraft he helped keep flying.

taking the Civil Service test and becoming a Postman in 1948.  He worked for the Weatherford Post Office as a city carrier briefly then as a rural mail carrier for the rest of his 36 years.  He retired in October 1984 at the age of 64, got his real estate license and sold real estate for approximately 2 years with his wife at Duncan Real Estate.  He returned to the mail business in 1986 by taking a contract rural route in the area of his boyhood home area of Peaster and Poolville.  He performed that duty for another 15 years until his final retirement at age 80 in December 2001.

Charles was an avid outdoorsman.  He spent 30 years hunting big game in Colorado each fall as well as hunting quail, fishing, playing golf and was the consummate vegetable gardener.  He also tried farming for several years on 50 acres close to Garner, Texas.  He was also very active in the Parker County Sportsman Club during the 1960’s and 70’s where he served as president for one of those years.  He served on the school boards of Garner Elementary and Millsap High Schools where his 3 children all went to school.  Charles was of that generation that didn’t say much but did a lot.  He enjoyed life and as many of his family knows had a loud boisterous laugh.  He used to make one of his nephew’s cry every time he laughed.  After his first retirement he loved to play golf with his friends at Live Oak Country Club in Weatherford each day at 12:30pm after carrying the mail to Peaster and Poolville each morning.

Charles is survived by the love of his life Jean McAnally Morris, wife of 68 years and  3 children, Col. Charles Richard Morris and wife Doris McDonald Morris of San Antonio, Jennifer Morris Lewallen and husband Milton Lewallen of Weatherford, Vaughan Morris and wife Margaret Kirk Morris of Willow Park, brother-in-law Marshall Hart of Weatherford, niece Betty Wells of Mineral Wells and brother-in-law Charles McAnally and wife Nell of Weatherford. Charles had 4 grandchildren, 7 great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

Tour of Duty of Charles T. Morris in the Pacific Theater of World War II as a part of the 418th Night Fighter Squadron

Charles Morris' Tour of Duty

Stateside Tour of Duty — Places where Charles Morris was stationed in the U.S. during his service.

Charles T. Morris sworn in Army Air Corps March 1942

1 – Reported to San Antonio, Texas

Tested for Fighter pilot training

  • Eye muscles allowed one eye to drift when fatigued (bomber escort missions required long flight times
  • Retook pilot test but eyes still reacted the same
  • Was not allowed to pursue pilot training
  • Offered opportunity to test for navigator training
  • Selected armament training

2 – Basic Training – Wichita Falls, Texas

3 – Armament Training – Buckley Field Denver, Colorado

The 418th Night Fighter Squadron was activated April 1, 1943

Overseas Duty

Charles T. Morris’ Tour of Duty October 1943 to August 1945

4 – AAFSAT (Army Air Force School of Applied Tactics) Orlando, Florida – April 1, 1943

5 – Kissimmee, Florida – August 21, 1943 – September 26, 1943

6 – Camp Patrick Henry, Virginia – September 26, 1943 – October 6, 1943

7 – Boarded U.S.S. General John Pope – October 6, 1943 in Hampton Roads, Virginia

Embarked at 15:28 hours (3:28pm)

8 – San Juan, Puerto Rico

9 – Panama Canal

10 – Brisbane, Australia

11 – Townsville, Australia

Operational Stations:

12 – November 2, 1943:  Milne Bay, New Guinea

13 – November 22, 1943:  Dobodura, New Guinea

14 – March 28, 1944:  Finschhafen, New Guinea

15 – May 12, 1944:  Hollandia, New Guinea

16 – June 8 – August 18, 1944:  Insoemoar (Wakde) Islands Detachment

Start of B-25 operations

17 – September 16 – October 5, 1944:  Owi Island, Padaido Island Detachment

Received first P-61 early September

18 – September 28, 1944:  Moratai, Halmaheras

First enemy aircraft destroyed by P-61 October 7, 1944

19 – November 14 – November 30, 1944:  Dulag, Leyte, Philippines Detachment (ground echelon only)

20 – December 15 – December 26, 1944:  San Jose, Mindoro, Philippines Detachment (ground echelon only)

  • Morning of December 15, 1944 LST 738 was hit by a Kamikaze, set on fire and sunk while waiting to unload at Mindoro, Philippine Islands
  • All men abandon ship and were picked up by other ships in the convoy

21 – December 26, 1944:  San Jose, Mindoro, Philippine Islands

22 – June – July, 1945:  Sanga Sanga Island Sulu Archipelago

23 – July 26, 1945:  Okinawa, Ryukyus

Japanese Surrender

24 – August 1945:  Returned to Mindoro, Philippine Islands  from Okinawa for trip home

25 – September 1945:  Seattle, Washington – arrived from Philippine Islands & boarded train to San Antonio, Texas

26 – October 5, 1945:  San Antonio, Texas

Honorable discharge from the Army Air Corp

27 – Returned to Weatherford, Texas where he was reunited with his family, wife Jean and first son Charles Richard Morris which he had not seen

Charles was in the Army Air Corps from March 1942 until October 5, 1945 (3 years and 7   months) and was overseas two years from October 6, 1943 until October 5, 1945

Rank at time of discharge:  Staff Sergeant Charles T. Morris, S/N 18083620 Airplane Armorer Fifth Air Force, 418th Night Fighter Squadron, Fourth Flight

Operational Aircraft:

1943 – 1944:    P-70 & P-70A

1943 – 1944:    P-38F, G & J

1944:                  B-25H

1944 – 1945:    P-61A & B

Enemy Aircraft Destroyed:

P-70:    0/0/0

P-38:    2/2/0

P-61:    18/1/0

No missions were stopped or shortened due to armament malfunctions!

418th Inactivated February 20, 1947 (became 4th Fighter Squadron)

Wartime Commanding Officers:

April 1, 1943 – February 15, 1945:  Maj. Carroll C. Smith

February 15, 1945 – November 5, 1945:  Captain William B. Sellers