“Bud” – Edward Charles Morse was a seaman second class on the U.S.S. Arizona when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941. His father, Edward J. Morse, a veteran of World War I, re-joined the Navy after his son died and served two more years.
“Bud” Morse was born Aug. 25, 1919 in Battle Creek, Michigan. His mother, Dorothy, was a homemaker. Bud graduated from Battle Creek High School in 1939, then worked in the maintenance department of the local schools until he enlisted in Detroit on Oct. 8, 1940.
His body was recovered and identified in 1949, when his remains were returned to Battle Creek. AMVETS Post 66 in Battle Creek was named in his honor. He is buried at Hicks Cemetery next to his uncle, Wilfrid, a Seabee who died in a Navy hospital in California in 1943.
Bud’s dad had been a seaman on convoy ships in the Atlantic during World War I. In August 1942, at the age of 45, he took a leave of absence from his job as the clerk of Calhoun County, Michigan, to serve as a recruiter in Detroit and later in Kalamazoo. He died in 1986.
Two of Bud’s brothers also served in the Navy in World War II. Richard, who was a year younger, enlisted in 1942 and served until late 1945. Jack, who was four years younger, enlisted in 1943 and served until 1946.
Sources: Special thanks to Bud’s niece (Jack’s daughter) Sally Simkins for much of this information and the photograph. Other sources include: Battle Creek (Michigan) Enquirer; Headstone Application for Military Veterans; Veterans Affairs death files; Navy muster roll. Wilfrid Morse’s first name is spelled as Wilfred in some documents. His headstone says Wilfrid. This profile was researched and written on behalf of the U.S.S. Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona.