WWII Soldier Comes Home After 78 Years

WWII Soldier Comes Home After 78 Years

A ceremony with all the pomp and circumstance of full military honors was held last March in Spanish Fort, Alabama, for PFC Bill Morrison, who was killed in action on November 8, 1944, in the Huertgen Forest near Simonskall, Germany, at the age of 29. This is his story.

Morrison was born in Birmingham, Alabama, on December 23, 1914. He was the oldest of three children. He enlisted in the U.S. Army at Fort McPherson, Georgia, on Oct 23, 1941, at the age of 27. After basic training, he would go on to serve in the European Theater of WWII with Co. G, 2nd Battalion, 110th Infantry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division.

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In November of 1944, his unit was engaged in the efforts to drive German forces out of France and Belgium. It was some 6 months after the landings at Normandy. On November 8th, his unit came under a fierce counterattack in the Huertgen Forest near Simonskall, Germany. It was there that he fell.

Morrison's body was not recovered during or in the immediate aftermath of the battle. His remains would be discovered by a German civilian in 1946 and were later buried as "Unidentified" in the Ardennes American Cemetery in 1950. His remains were disinterred in 2019 by the Defense Department POW/MIA Accounting Agency that then performed DNA studies. As a result, he was officially identified and accounted for on July 9, 2021.

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Fast forward to last March, when, under crisp blue skies at the Alabama State Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Spanish Fort, Alabama, he was brought home to be honored as an American hero who gave his last full measure in defense of liberty in the bitter struggle against the tyrrany that was Nazi Germany.

At the ceremony, Col. Pat Downing spoke for the nation when he paraphrased President Ronald Reagan's comment about United States Marines, saying, "Some people go through their whole lives wondering if they had made a difference in the world, (but veterans) don't have that problem." Downing went on to say that, "Bill Morrison was one of those soldiers who helped save our country and save the world."

The Veterans Site honors the memory of PFC Bill Morrison. Welcome home, good soldier. Rest in peace in your native soil.


Dan Doyle

Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site Blog.

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