Morris, William F.B., 1st Lt

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
First Lieutenant
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
AAF MOS 1034-Navigator
Last AFSC Group
Air Crew (Officer)
Primary Unit
1941-1942, AAF MOS 1034, 42nd Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
Service Years
1941 - 1942
USAAFOfficer Collar Insignia
First Lieutenant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
Not Specified
This Military Service Page was created/owned by CMSgt Don Skinner-Deceased to remember Morris, William F.B., 1st Lt.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address
Southwest Pacific

Casualty Date
Sep 08, 1942
Hostile, Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Papua New Guinea
World War II
Location of Interment
Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery - St. Louis, Missouri
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

Meritorious Unit Commendation 1944-1961

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
World War II Fallen
  2014, World War II Fallen

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Navigator Badge

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
United States Army Air Forces (USAAF)11th Bombardment Group, Heavy42nd Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
  1941-1941, United States Army Air Forces (USAAF)
  1941-1941, AAF MOS 1034, 11th Bombardment Group, Heavy
  1941-1942, AAF MOS 1034, 42nd Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1941-1941 Central Pacific Campaign (1941-43)/Attack on Pearl Harbor
  1942-1942 World War II/Asian-Pacific Theater
 My Aircraft/Missiles
B-17 Flying Fortress  
  1941-1942, B-17 Flying Fortress
 Additional Information

Last Known Activity
William F. B. Morris was born in Armel, Colorado around 1914. He was the son of Freeman W. and Velma V. (Matney) Morris. He graduated from high school and attended Pueblo Junior College, but did not graduate. He was employed by the Colorado Fuel and Iron Corporation, working in the coke plant.

He enlisted in January, 1941, and was chosen for training as a navigator. After graduation, he was commissioned and assigned to the 11th Bomb Group. He was serving as navigator on B-17E # 40-2049, "Skipper," and arrived at his new duty station in Hawaii at the same time the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. This was one of a flight of B-17s coming from the mainland. Radar operators picked up the approaching Japanese air strike but confused it with the inbound B-17s.

His aircraft was attacked and damaged by Japanese fighters. The pilot made a forced landing at Bellows Field, and four of the crew survived. The aircraft was determined to be too damaged for repair and was salvaged and used for spare parts.

Morris was assigned to another crew and aircraft and was assigned to the 42nd Bomb Squadron, near New Guinea. His crew was scheduled for participation in bombing raids on Japanese shipping around the Solomon Islands.

Taking off from Gaiacs Air Field on a mission to seek out convoys and bomb them on September 8, 1942, the aircraft found the targets and bombed the ships, hitting at least one. On the return trip home, the aircraft was engaged by a number of Japanese fighters and shot down, crashing on Rendova Island, off New Guinea. All crew members were killed. Natives retrieved the bodies and buried them on the island.

In 1943, an inspection team discovered the bodies, and by identification cards, papers, artifacts from the aircraft, and articles the natives had taken before the burial, the crew was identified, although not individually. The remains were placed in the Manila Mauseleum in the Philippines until 1946 when they were returned to the U.S. and buried in a mass grave at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St. Louis, Missouri. They lie in graves 294-295 in Plot 1009-F.


The aircraft Lt. Morris was on at the time of his death was B-17E #41-9071, nicknamed "Stingaree," from the 42nd Bomb Squadron.

Missing Air Crew Report 16202 applies and identifies the crew as:

Cpt Robert H. Richards     p
1 Lt Robert H. McGhee     c-p
1 Lt William F.B. Morris     nav
Cpl Yon W. Bailey       assistant eng
SSgt Charles E. Bayer      bomb
Cpl Otis O. Black, Jr       eng
Cpl  Peter Charuk     armorer/gun
Sgt Hugh M. Kimg      r/o
Pvt William O. Manoff     gunner

One source gives Morris' rank as Aviation Cadet, but gravestone says 1 Lt.


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