Request assistance re: Jack G. Morgan, Bombardier, B-17 possibly 388th Bomb Group, or 563rd Bomb Sq

Discussion in 'Heavy & Very Heavy Bombers' started by Jim Morgan, Mar 17, 2017.

  1. Jim Morgan

    Jim Morgan New Member

    My dad, Jack G. Morgan, was approx. 20 y.o.a when serving as a B-17 Bombardier in Europe. Dad became ill in 1971 and died in 1973. Unfortunately, I did not have the opportunity to learn much about his service. My attempt to obtain records from the National Personnel Records Center has been futile so far, as his records were lost in a 1973 fire. I would appreciate any assistance that I could receive toward reconstructing his service. I know that he left Texas A&M about 1943. In my discussions with him prior to his death, I believe that he received training at either Lackland or Kelly Field, Texas, Peterson Field, Colorado, and was discharged from Lowry, Denver, Colorado. I believe that he arrived in England late in the war - maybe Spring 1945. americanairmuseum of Britain lists a Jack G. Morgan, a B-17 Bombardier, in the 388th Bomb Group and 563rd Bomb Squadron. I do not have confirmation of that. Any help in obtaining the complete service records would be appreciated. PS After WWII, he returned to Texas A&M and graduated, obtain his law degree from UT Austin, raised a family, became an expert in real estate title law, and was a pillar in the community- like so many "Vet's" have been. Respectfully, Jim Morgan, Son #2
     
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  2. Lucky Partners

    Lucky Partners Well-Known Member

    Jim, welcome aboard. You've presented quite a challange but hopefully someone here will be able to assist in your quest. For starters, you've told us what you don't have, can you tell us what you do have? Do you have any photos of your father while he was in service? Did he save any of his documents, orders, award citations, his discharge papers? Any letters he wrote home from England that might have a return address? Any possibility he kept a diary?

    In your conversations with him did he mention the names of any of his crewmates? Name of a pilot would be most helpful. Did he mention any of his mission targets? Type, serial number, tail number of any aircraft he flew on? Anything about any really bad missions he flew? Is there anything besides the listing at the AAM that leads you to the Bombardier position? Since you attempted to obtain his military personnel file you must have his Army Serial Number, ASN. Can you share his date of birth and where he lived when he enlisted? Sometimes it is a seemingly insignificant detail that provides the clue we need to sort these things out.
     
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  3. Jim Morgan

    Jim Morgan New Member

     
  4. Jim Morgan

    Jim Morgan New Member

    Dear Lucky Partners: Thank you for your reply. After my post, I accessed the 388th Bomb Group site and learned that a Jack G Morgan, who was a Bombardier, was assigned to a crew commanded by a pilot named "Gray". That crew flew sorties over Germany, France, and the Netherlands in April and May 1945. That Jack G Morgan (perhaps my father) is Serial Number O-555639. I have all of the documents kept by his late mother. There is no DD-214 or the like, no diary, no envelopes with return addresses. I remember that he was commissioned as a 2LT, but may have later received the rank of 1LT or Capt. I do have a couple of photos of my Dad, which I will attach. I have his "wings" and "bombardier" pins. He never mentioned any crewmate names. He mentioned sorties involving the bombing of a church or cathedral (perhaps in Germany), and flying over fields of tulips. Dad was born Jack Garrott Morgan, on 10-03-24, in Long Beach, California. His mother was living on Woodland or Sherman Dr, in Denton, Texas, during WWII. He was at college at Texas A&M, College Station, Texas, prior to enlistment. I do not know whether his address at enlistment will show either of those two towns, or other relatives in Memphis or Childress, Texas. Dad lost his biological father (Robert Bushong Morgan, Jr.) at 7 months. His mother, Margaret Roberts remarried later, to Lt. Col. Standlee Roberts, USA. Upon returning from the war and eventually obtaining a law degree, he was licensed to practice before the U.S. Court of Military Appeals. He died in November, 1973, and is interred in Oaklawn Cemetery in Decatur, Wise County, Texas.
     

    Attached Files:

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  5. Airwar

    Airwar Well-Known Member

    Attached Files:

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  6. RSwank

    RSwank Well-Known Member

    A couple of comments on the third photo you posted. He is wearing the distinguished unit citation (with a device? hard to tell). The 388th had received the DUC twice. On the other side he has his bombardier wings and under it the European Campaign ribbon (EAME) with one "battle" star. The ribbon is actually upside down (which was a common error).

    Do you have any idea how many missions he flew? He may not have earned an Air Medal (usually 5 missions) as he arrived too late.

    He was in the class 44-11 at Carlsbad. His hometown is listed as Denton, TX. His photo is in the Carlsbad class book on page 36.

    Go to the aafcollection.info site. Click on view items, then in the drop down "choose action" select Browse by Airfield. In the next drop down box which has changed to "For" select Carlsbad. Then find the class book 44-11. You can download the whole book if you wish.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2017
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  7. Lucky Partners

    Lucky Partners Well-Known Member

    From the sounds of it you have been hard at work on this. Here are a few links that you may have already seen. clearly the links to the 388th BG are based on the assumption that this is the right person. The first link shows all his mission as well as the entire crew he flew with and the aircraft flown. There are a bunch of hot links in this list for further info on each mission, the aircraft flown, and the individual crew men.

    http://www.388bg.info/servlet/Controller?pageType=detail&id=388-I-MOR06-09&dataType=Person

    Next link is to a very brief listing on find-a-grave:

    https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/...l=in&GSdyrel=all&GSob=n&GRid=44009525&df=all&

    And finally for the moment following the link on the f-a-g page we get this photo of his gravestone.

    http://www.wisecountytexas.info/cemeteries/images/Oaklawn-7/Oaklawn-4362.jpg
    http://www.wisecountytexas.info/cemeteries/images/Oaklawn-7/Oaklawn-4362a.jpg

    Here is the direct link to the Carlsbad books that Rolland referred to but I don't see class 44-11 listed. Perhaps I've missed something.

    http://www.aafcollection.info/items/list.php?act=lx&ch=series&obj=58&pkg=lx!title!!621!4!title!up!20
     
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  8. RSwank

    RSwank Well-Known Member

    Not sure why 44-11 does not show at first on Hal's link, but if you change the "list items" to "browse by airfield" and then select "Carlsbad" in the 2nd drop down box, you will find it.


    Something is not right in the way the 388th selects "Morgan" for the crew lists. It is listing two different Morgans, J W and J G. It looks like J G Morgan flew 7 missions, starting on 15 April, 1945. If not all of these were considered "combat" mission that might explain why he did not receive an AM (if in fact he did not have one).

    The ChowHound missions started May 1.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operations_Manna_and_Chowhound

    There is a line in the wiki write-up which says:

    "At least one B-17 crew received battle recognition despite having no guns for their humanitarian mission, as a result of German flak."

    That suggests to me that most crews did not receive a "combat mission" credit. The last 3 of the 7 missions Jack flew, #308, #309 and #310 look like they were Chowhound missions to the Amsterdam area.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2017
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  9. Lucky Partners

    Lucky Partners Well-Known Member

    Ah, I see what went wrong. I started under C in the main index and only found titles named Carlsbad. But as I've mentioned to others in the past not all publications go by the name of the location. In this case there are books about Carlsbad titled 'Bombs Away'. So there I am, hoisted by my own carelessness. Thanks Rolland.

    NEW direct link:

    http://www.aafcollection.info/items/detail.php?key=503&pkg=bf!field!16!503!1!title!up!20

    And here is the page with his photo. Don't know the meaning of the "2nd" penciled next to his picture. Could be second in his class??
    EDIT: Going through the pictures many are marked 2nd and others FO. Obviously reference is to their rank.


    morgan.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2017
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  10. pathfinder504

    pathfinder504 Member

    To correctly sequence the photos you listed...the first one should be your #2 showing him with the big prop and wing on his hat. That is an Air Cadet insignia indicating he was in school. The second would be your #1 in the tan (khaki) uniform showing him with wings and LT bars. Perhaps taken concurrent with receiving his wings and officers commission.

    Your #3 with ribbons is in the correct position..late war or after discharge. He is wearing the Distinguished Unit Citation (DUC) with oak leaf Cluster (OLC) indicating a second award of the Citation. He was not necessarily present and on duty with the unit when it was issued..he is entitled to wear it as a now current member of the organization...just as members of let's say, the current members of 506 Parachute Infantry are entitled to wear the DUC earned by that unit 73 years ago.
     
  11. Lucky Partners

    Lucky Partners Well-Known Member

    Jim,

    Two more things. I have taken the liberty of adding the picture you posted above to his Find a Grave page at the link I posted above.
    Second, one of our senior members frequently mentioned that when men came home from the war it was strongly suggested that they file a copy of their Discharge papers at the local county courthouse where they lived. If you can figure out where it was that your father came home to after the war it might be worth a visit to the local courthouse. Reason? His discharge papers would include his ASN, if it matches that posted on the 388th BG web site you'll have your positive connection.

    Well, then along comes another piece. This appears to be your father, born in 1924. Here is his original enlistment record from the National Archives. The ASN shown here would have been changed to an Officer ASN when he was commissioned so this number is no help. But this shows he enlisted in 1942 into the Reserves so there is more history to be uncovered.


    morgan.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2017
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  12. pathfinder504

    pathfinder504 Member

    LP:

    Jim didn't mention any connection to California( OOPS!!! born there!!!)--I think he did mention Memphis, TN(?). And an assignment to the Field Artillery? I would expect a washout from AAC to go to the FA rather than a wash out from the FA to go to the AAF...

    He also specified Denton County not Hall...

    Jim mentioned his father leaving college in 43 so there might have been a deferred induction from 42, but it seems more likely to me that he left school in 43 and his time from induction to finishing bombardier school, operational training and overseas movement to arrive in ETO in late 44=-early 45 is most probable.
     
  13. pathfinder504

    pathfinder504 Member

  14. Lucky Partners

    Lucky Partners Well-Known Member

    PF,

    The enlistment was to the Reserves, I think the FA designation was just a parking spot, just like my father going to Panama to paint rocks before beginning AAF training. Possibly a spot in ROTC while in college is what led to the AAF?
     
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  15. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

    Last edited: Mar 18, 2017
  16. RSwank

    RSwank Well-Known Member

    His photo appears as a freshman in the Texas A & M yearbook for 1942 and a sophomore in the 1943 edition. Neither picture is very clear. It "almost" looks like they may have used the 1942 picture in 1943.
    TexasA&M1042.png TexasA&M1943.png
     
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  17. Airwar

    Airwar Well-Known Member

    Two Jack Morgan articles
     

    Attached Files:

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  18. pathfinder504

    pathfinder504 Member

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  19. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

    Good find Jaap! Your second article post #17 confirms the 388BG for "our" Lt. Jack G Morgan.
     
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  20. Airwar

    Airwar Well-Known Member

    Jim when your father was involved in Operation Chowhound you can send an email to Hans Onderwater,writer of the book
    Operation Manna. Hans having an great archive of this operation with names,photos ec.
    Send you an PM.

    Jaap
     

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