Wally Morgan, a POW in WWII, was honored at a flag raising ceremony held at Gateway Park.
A POW-MIA Flag Dedication ceremony was held in honor of Cpl. Wallace E. Morgan, who was captured on Nov. 13, 1944 by German soldiers while battling in the Hürtgen Forest in Germany during World War II. Morgan is pictured with his wife Janet at the ceremony. To see a video of the ceremony and hear Morgan’s experience of being captured, go to pvvt.com.
The POW-MIA flag is raised while Palo Verde High School band members play Taps.
A POW*MIA Flag Dedication ceremony was held in honor of Army Cpl. Wallace E. Morgan, who was captured on Nov. 13, 1944 by German soldiers while battling in the Hürtgen Forest in Germany during World War II. Palo Verde High School JROTC program organized the event that was held at Gateway Park on Feb. 12, 2011.
BLYTHE - Cpl. Wallace E. Morgan was honored Saturday as Blythe's own living prisoner of war at the POW-MIA Flag Dedication ceremony held at Gateway Park at the corner of Hobsonway and Lovekin, Saturday. The event was conducted by Palo Verde High School's JROTC program.
Morgan, an army machine gunner, was captured on Nov. 13, 1944, while deep in the Hürtgen Forest during one of the longest battles fought in Germany during the Second World War.
He had already seen battle when he and the 28th Infantry Division fought in September against the Germans after marching through Luxembourg by way of Paris, France.
The day of Nov. 13, actually began for Morgan the previous day. Replacements had been sent in to help replenish the hundreds of soldiers that had been killed or injured over the course of 10 days.
He and his division were told to advance to a hill where they would supposedly have the opportunity to gain an advantage over the advancing Germans. Dead American soldiers were everywhere. Overnight, Morgan and two other soldiers assigned to the gun, crossed a dry creek and reached the hill but were unable to test the firearm without giving away their location due to the close proximity to the front lines.
The next morning, as the Germans advanced bringing with them fire power and more dead soldiers, the gunmen went to fire and the gun would not work. As soldiers died around Morgan, some crying out as they were hit, Morgan disabled the gun and looked for cover.
For a brief time he found it among his dead comrades. He was suddenly face-to-face with six to eight enemy soldiers. Morgan realized his day had come.
Morgan and approximately 11 or 12 American soldiers surrendered to the Germans that day. He heard some time later that the official battalion report made on Nov. 14 cited that only 57 soldiers from the battalion had made it back after the two-day battle.
Morgan made it through different parts of Germany on the way to a prison camp in Poland, where he spent the remainder of the war. This is where he spent his 21st birthday on April 29, 1945. He had already spent the winter cutting trees in the forest wearing nothing more than the issued clothing that he received when he was captured and, at times, a borrowed jacket.
Morgan recalled that the vibe had changed in the prison camp for him and the 26 other men who were held captive, as the war drew near an end and was eventually finished.
The Russians came to the prison camp and released the prisoners two weeks after the European leg of the war ended on May 8, 1945. The American soldiers and German guards all headed to the American lines, 45 km away.
The walk to freedom took four days and three nights and at the end of the trek they were met at the Elbe River by the 82nd Airborne.
Morgan eventually was put on a ship back to the United States, where he remained in the United States Army until the end of his enlistment on Dec. 2, 1945, three years to the day of his voluntary enlistment.
Posted: Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Article comment by:
It was an honor to raise the POW MIA flag. It was also a great honor to meet Cpl Morgan. On behalf of the JUnior ROTC program we salute Cpl Morgan and thank him for all he has done
Posted: Thursday, February 17, 2011
Article comment by:
Thomas G. Ratliff
Wallace Morgan, an American Hero, has commented for many years on November 13th, about his time in battle and his capture in the Huertgen Forest on November 13th, 1944. On a previous November 13th posting Wally wrote about crawling into a foxhole between two dead American soldiers, and he went on to say that he was wounded while in that foxhole. He said he could feel the bullets hitting those soldiers on either side of him, and he credits them with saving his life. On November 13th, 2010, Wally told this me about his capture, "It was early morning, dark, about 9 AM and I was so busy watching myself bleed and concentrating on breathing,(staying alive). I do know that those two Americans did save my life by being beside me. And I believe that one of them was your father and I will be forever grateful to him. But it was hell up on that hill." God Bless You Wallace Morgan from the oldest son of Ova W. Ratliff, one of those soldiers. You have helped me understand what really happened to my Dad. Thomas G. Ratliff
Posted: Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Article comment by:
Good Day, I enjoyed with my family very much the short video from Wally Morgan's dedication ceremony. I know Mr. and Mrs. W. Morgan for nearly 20 years, when he came back to my town of Wiltz Luxembourg in Europe. In my town lot's of veterans came the last nearly 40 years to see where they fought in the battle of the bulge in 1944/45. In my town happened also the story from American St. Nick . My adress: Weber Vic. 9, Um Knupp L- 9648 Erpeldange - Wiltz /Postadress: PB.8 L- 9501 Wiltz , My best wishes and regards Vic. Weber