F2c Eugene Elvis Morley

Unknown Sailor

F2c Eugene Elvis Morley

Eugene Elvis Morley was born July 28, 1921 in Arkansas. 

By 1930 the family lived in Madison County in southwest Illinois. His mother, Stella Rash Morley, was a homemaker and his father, Claude Morley, a puddler at a coke furnace. The couple had six children, including a son who was five months old when he died in 1937.

Eugene Morley attended Madison High School. The spring 1940 Census said he’d completed one year but was no longer enrolled. He worked 52 weeks in 1939 at a tavern in Madison, earning $600.

As for most families during the Great Depression, times were difficult for the Morleys. The father was unemployed for 36 weeks in 1939 and labored the other 16 weeks for the Works Progress Administration, a federal jobs program. He earned $160. The oldest child, William, worked the full year as a marker at a rolling mill and earned $1,017. The combined income of the father and two sons supported a household of seven.

Eugene enlisted in the Navy on Sept. 26, 1940. Mr. Morley was a fireman second class on the U.S.S. Arizona when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.

His brother William served in the Coast Guard during the war.


Sources: The St. Louis (Missouri) Post-Dispatch; the St. Louis Star and Times; Census; Navy muster roll; grave markers; U.S. Veterans gravesites; U.S. Department of Defense. Navy photograph. This profile was researched and written on behalf of the U.S.S. Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona.

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