Robert John Morris, Jr
United States Air Force
St Charles, Missouri
July 24, 1945 to December 26, 1972
ROBERT J MORRIS Jr is on the Wall at Panel W1, Line 105

Robert J Morris
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Attached are four photos to post on The Virtual Wall:

- - K. Haberstroh, 02-26-2013

Captain Robert John Morris, Jr. wedding photograph from August 5, 1967


Captain Morris with wife Nancy, daughter Cary and son Robert.


From dedication of a B-52 Bomber at Whiteman AF Base July 24, 2009. Captain Robert John Morris, Jr. was the only pilot killed in action from Missouri. A B-52 static display was dedicated to Captain Morris and the crew of Ebony-02 who flew during Operation Linebacker II during the Vietnam War. See full news article and slide show of dedication ceremonies on the Whiteman Air Force Base web site.


Dedication Plaque at Whiteman Air Force Base, Sedalia, Missouri


Captain Robert John Morris, Jr. article from the Sedalia Democrat Newspaper for the July 24, 2009 B-52 dedication of the Ebony-02 at Whiteman AF Base, Sedalia, Missouri.


Frustrated by problems in negotiating a peace settlement, and pressured by a Congress and public wanting an immediate end to American involvement in Vietnam, President Nixon ordered the most concentrated air offensive of the war - known as Linebacker II - in December 1972.

The bombings were not conducted without exceedingly high loss of aircraft and personnel. During the month of December 1972, 62 crewmembers of B52 aircraft were shot down and captured or went missing. Of these 62, 33 men were released in 1973. The others remained missing at the end of the war. Over half of these had survived to eject safely.

One B52D aircraft flown by Captain Robert J. Morris, Jr. was shot down near Hanoi on December 26, 1972. The crew onboard included Captain Michael H. LaBeau; Captain Nutter J. Wimbrow III; First Lieutenant Robert M. Hudson; First Lieutenant Duane P. Vavroch; and Sergeant James R. Cook. The pilot gave the bail-out order and the crew of the aircraft parachuted to safety.

LaBeau, Vavroch, Hudson and Cook were captured by the North Vietnamese almost immediately. Cook had been badly injured. These four spent the next six weeks as "guests" in the Hanoi prison system. Ultimately, they were released in Operation Homecoming on February 12, 1973.

At the time of the incident, General Robert T. Herres, (then Colonel), was the flying unit commander of the 449th Bomb Wing out of Kincheloe AFB, stationed in the Upper Peninsula, Michigan, when he learned that one of his crews, E-21, had been shot down. The North Vietnamese had shot 68 surface-to-air missiles (SAM) that night, resulting in two downed B-52s. Surprisingly, there were not more losses considering there were 120 bombers and 113 support aircraft in a very small piece of the sky that night. Immediately after finding out about the incident, Colonel Herres and his wife Shirley went to visit each of the crewmember's spouses and shared information and prayers with them.

For almost 5 years, the families of Captains Morris and Wimbrow awaited news of the fate of their loved one. Hanoi denied any knowledge of the pilot or his crew member until, in late September 1977, the Vietnamese "discovered" the remains of Morris and Wimbrow and returned them to U.S. control. Disturbing testimony was given to Congress in 1980 that the Vietnamese held the remains of Americans to return at politically advantageous times. Perhaps this was the case for Morris and Wimbrow.

Captain Robert John Morris, Jr. was buried in Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis Missouri. In addition, he has an "In Memory of" marker in the memorial section of Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C.


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