World War II Honor Roll

Richard L. Morris

Second Lieutenant,
U.S. Army Air Force


528th Bomber Squadron
380th Bombardment Group, Heavy

Entered the Service from: New Jersey
Died: February 19, 1943
Buried at: Central Laurel Hill Cemetery
                  3822 Ridge Avenue
                  Philadelphia PA 19132

SECOND LIEUTENANT RICHARD L. MORRIS was born in Pennsylvania in 1915 to John C. and Elizabeth Morris. The family had moved to Haddonfield some time after 1920, and by 1930 they had owned the home at 230 Redman Avenue. Besides Richard Morris, there were three sisters, Julia, Elizabeth, and Jane. He was a graduate of Haddonfield High School, where he starred in baseball, basketball and football. He had married in 1940, and was living in Haddonfield with his wife, Isabelle Monzo Morris, at 12 Euclid Avenue in Haddonfield, and worked for the Public Service Gas and Electric Company. His wife worked as a schoolteacher in Brooklawn NJ. Both were active in amateur productions of the Haddonfield Plays and Players. He was studying engineering at  Drexel Institute in Philadelphia, now known as Drexel University when he enlisted in 1942.

Richard Morris qualified for flight duty. He trained as a bombardier, and saw duty at Maxwell Field AL, and Santa Ana Army Air Base CA, before being commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in December 12, 1942 at Williams Field, Chandler AZ. He subsequently was stationed at Davis-Monaghan Field at Tuscon AZ, before being sent to his last posting, Biggs Field in El Paso TX.

Richard Morris was killed during a flight from Biggs Field to Roswell NM. The bomber he was in crashed at Roswell on February 19, 1943. Seven other men were killed, including Staff Sergeant Robert J. Donaldson, of Sicklerville, Winslow Township NJ; and and Second Lieutenant Edward L. Games, of Camden. Richard Morris was survived by his wife, parents, and sisters.

2-12-43A. Roswell, New Mexico.  At 0526 MWT, a Consolidated B-24D crashed eight miles northwest of Roswell, New Mexico, killing eight crewmembers. Engineer SSgt Ralph E. King, Onaway, Michigan, was able to parachute to safety and was uninjured.  Killed in the crash were: 2Lt.Charles C. Wylie, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, pilot; 2Lt.Edward L. Games, Camden, New Jersey, co-pilot; 2Lt. Richard L. Morris, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, bombardier; 2Lt.James E. McMullen, East Point, Georgia, navigator; Sgt. George Dickson, Barnsdall, Oklahoma, assistant engineer; SSgt. Robert I. Donaldson, Collingdale, Pennsylvania, radio operator; Sgt. Lesley W. Stinne, Jr., Louisville, Kentucky, assistant radio operator; Sgt. John J. Yauch, Holliday Cave, West Virginia, gunner. Investigators stated, "The mission started out as a four-airplane formation navigation and bombing mission, take-off at 0100.  They were to fly from Biggs Field to Big Spring, Texas, to Amarillo, Texas, at 12,000 feet indicated en route to Alamogordo Bombing Range, New Mexico, drop ten bombs, and then return to Biggs Field, Texas.  The four airplanes flew in loose formation to Big Spring, Texas; three airplanes then turned toward Amarillo; one airplane became separated and did not regain the formation (Liaison radio went out and he returned to Biggs Field).  After reaching Amarillo, the formation turned toward the Alamogordo Bombing Range and started to climb at about 400 feet a minute.  At 17,000 feet, the three airplanes executed an opening procedure placing the airplanes in an echelon to the right.  The number-two airplane then dropped out of formation due to the failure of one of the crew's oxygen apparatus.  The number-three airplane then started to close on the lead airplane, but encountered engine ice and lost altitude until he was about 1,500 feet below the leader.  The pilot then eliminated the ice.  His altitude at that time was about 20,000 feet.  He then started to close up the formation and was going to take the number-two position.  In doing this he began to over-run the leader, so he maneuvered his airplane so that he would stay in formation.  At about 22,500 feet he noticed the lead airplane lose about 600 to 800 feet and then go down rapidly.  The altitude of the leader just before he lost altitude was approximately 23,500 feet or 24,000 feet,  The next time he looked at the leader's airplane he could see two red lights revolving (no green lights were visible).  The airplane then went out of sight under his (port) wing.  The pilot then started to turn to see where (the subject airplane) was going, instead he saw the sky light up and after turning farther he saw a fire on the ground.  "Investigation revealed that the airplane had entered a spin due to the engines quitting because of severe carburetor ice.  When the airplane began spinning to the ground it suffered the catastrophic structural failure and separation of the tail section and the port wing.  The bomb bay doors were found nearly five miles from the main wreckage.  Most of the wreckage was scattered over a three-mile area.  The airplane had exploded into flames upon impact.  The engineer stated that he could not release his emergency hatch because of extreme g-forces.  He also stated that he was either unconscious or extremely disoriented while the airplane continued to spin to the ground.  When the airplane suddenly stopped spinning, he saw that the bomb doors were apparently open so he jumped out and deployed his parachute once clear of the aircraft.  Investigation of the B-24D type airplane revealed that dangerous flight characteristics were exhibited when the airplane suddenly lost power on one or both port engines.

Camden Courier-Post - February 22, 1943

Camden Courier-Post - February 24, 1943