S1c Wayne Morgan

Unknown Sailor

S1c Wayne Morgan

Wayne Morgan was born on Valentine’s Day 1919 in Kern County, California – reportedly in Bakersfield – to Elmer Miner Morgan, then a laborer, and Angie Barcellos Morgan, a homemaker.

The family moved about 90 miles west and the son attended elementary and high school in Arroyo Grande, a coastal town of about 1,000 south of San Luis Obispo. The father partnered with a brother-in-law in running a garage and a Ford agency.

The son enlisted in the Navy in March 1940 and was a seaman first class on the U.S.S. Arizona when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.

The news of his death was the lead story in the local newspaper on Dec. 26, above other stories about the war. The front page also featured a drawing of Santa and his reindeer. Many families of Arizona men learned of their deaths that holiday week.


Sources: the Herald-Recorder of Arroyo Grande, California; the San Luis Obispo (California) Telegram-Tribune; California birth index; grave marker; Census; Navy muster roll. 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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