• Sgt. James R. Morley

    Sgt. James R. Morley

    Our museum is proud to have and display the Sgt. James R. Morley "killed in action" military collection. It is a fitting tribute to a brave young serviceman who made the ultimate sacrifice in the battle against communist aggression.
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Rochester Michigan resident James R. Morley enlisted in the US Army on 9-7-60 after leaving high school after 10th grade.  He finished his high school work in the army and after completing his basic training he became a member of Company B. 2nd Battalion of the 28th Infantry Division based in Fort Riley Kansas.  He was later assigned to service in Korea and spent two tours there totaling 29 months of service.

On August 16, 1965, he arrived in the Republic of South Vietnam as a member of the 5th Cavalry Regiment of the 1st Cavalry Division.  Upon arriving in Vietnam, he ran into some health issues and had to battle two bouts of malaria as well as a broken foot sustained in a helicopter crash.

From 9-14-65 to 3-6-65 he participated in 25 helicopter missions over hostile territory and received the Air Medal for meritorious achievement in aerial flight.

He continued to participate in aerial operations as a member of C. Company 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment.  On August 15, 1966, he was killed in action by gunshot wounds at the age of 23.  At the time of his death, he was participating in “Operation Paul Revere II”.  His outfit was in intense combat with enemy troops who were in a series of prepared bunker positions on hill 534.  His unit was able to defeat and dislodge the enemy from their positions on the hill but suffered 17 fatalities during the intense battle.

His death came as a tragic blow as he would have been eligible to leave Vietnam on the next day August 16.   His death deeply affected his wife and family.  His sister Karen had been particularly close to him and penned the following poem after his death.


The Sadness Never Ends

K. Morley

A Vietnam lifetime ago
The sadness never ends

One year, it won’t be long
One year, we count down the days
One year, the time will fly, we write every day
Promises kept, promises broken
The sadness never ends
The last day

Time to come home
Last mission
Sniper fire
23 years old, 21 gun salute, full military honors
My brother, a lifetime ago
The sadness never ends

Thank You

We would like to thank his sister Karen for entrusting us with the Sgt. James R. Morley military collection.  It is a fitting tribute to a brave young soldier who gave his life in the fight against Communist aggression.