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September 15, 2022 3:01 am
On this episode of Our American Stories, it’s time for another one of Roger McGrath’s “Hollywood Goes To War” stories. So far we’ve heard the stories of Clark Gable, Jimmy Stewart, and Tyrone Power. Today McGrath will be treating us to the story of Hollywood’s strapping, steely-eyed, leading man, Wayne Morris.
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And we continue with our American stories, and now it's time for another one of Roger McGrath's Hollywood goes to war stories today. McGrath will be treating us the story of Hollywood strapping steely eyed leading man Wayne Morris hears McGrath with the story of Wayne Morris Morris was born and bred in California. We didn't think about growing up. You look like something created full-screen stardom was tall, athletic and handsome. He was also intelligent and good-natured. It wasn't until college so they got the acting bug, then the 6 foot 2 1/2 and will build 200 pound Morris began taking acting lessons and appearing in place. The blonde haired blue-eyed college boy was soon signed to Warner Bros. contract course. The nine movies. By the time he was 27 years old and starred in most of them including the box office and critical smash hit kit Galahad. He then walked away from Hollywood and stardom to serve as a Navy fighter pilot in World War II. Wayne Morris is born. Duane Morris Junior in February 1914 in Los Angeles. His father, Duane Morris Senior as New England roots by way of the upper Midwest and Nebraska. There is a Morris ancestor who fought in the Revolutionary war as an officer. Wayne Morris's mother is the former Anna Fitzgerald from Texas. There is a Fitzgerald ancestor who fought in the Revolutionary war as an enlisted man Wayne Morris. While our younger brother Richard Morris also becomes a pilot in World War II when Duane Morris is still a little boy.
The family moved to San Francisco and remains there before returning to Los Angeles when he is almost 17, Morris graduated from Los Angeles high school in 1932 and begins college only a few miles away and Los Angeles city College theory becomes a theater arts major and start study with her then famous Pasadena Playhouse begins appearing on stage and attracts the attention of a talent scout from Warner Bros. studio gives him a screen test. The camera loves him and he signed a contract. Morris makes his screen debut in 1936 in China clipper store in battle. Brian and Humphrey Bogart a fictional account of Pan-American airlines establishing the first transpacific commercial flight service the movie as Morris plena navigator on the Martin M1 30 seaplane making the move gets Morris interested in aviation's next seven movies, Morris has only two substantial rules.
But even as minerals market for stardom in 1937 in kin Galahad gets his chance for the big time with the rule of a heavyweight boxer kit Galahad's costars are Edward G. Robinson, Betty Davis and Humphrey Bogart in that tough company Morris holds his own and his character makes the fevered of audiences.
A film is a major success in Morris is elevated to leading man more stars in a variety of roles in his next 20 movies all weekend making the movie flight angels in 1940 begins taking flying lessons. He soon a licensed pilot flying regularly and lugging many hours of flight time with Japanese aggression in the Far East in the Pacific increasing Morris joined the Naval reserve unit in 1941 in his commission and ensign following Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, the Navy activates Morris consents of flight school. By late summer 1942. He has his wings desperately wants to fly fighters in the Pacific, but the Navy wants a miracle as an instructor so we can also make public relation appearances.
Moreover, the Navy considers them too big to cram himself into the cockpit of a grown wildcat the Navy's fighter. At the time. Now Lieut. JG Morris is less than thrilled when is ordered to a Navy airfield at Hutchison Kansas as a primary flight instructor begins his assignment with resignation rather than enthusiasm. But the plot is about to thicken. Morris is married to Patricia O'Rourke, a beautiful young actress. Her mother has a younger brother, David. The Campbell Campbell is Lieut. Cmdr. a combat veteran and one of the Navy's top pilots, one David Campbell happens to fly in Hutchison on a cross-country trip Morris greets uncle Dave and pleads with him to pull some strings and get them into a fight in the Pacific. Give me a letter since my Campbell.
Campbell was able to push Morris's letter request through the chain of command and get Morris transferred.
However, Morris now finds himself dreaming in Jacksonville, Florida in the PB why seaplane the Navy still thinks Morris is too big for fighters. Morris reckons he will now make it to the Pacific, but as the PB why pilot you will be flying reconnaissance and rescue missions to Morris's rescue comes uncle Dave a second time commander my Campbell has been tasked with forming a fighter squadron and again tells Morris to give him a letter of request, but Campbell says he picks only those men who have a burning desire to fly fighters in combat, but Campbell squadron designated the F-15 will be flying the new Krugman hellcat which is a far superior fighter in every way to the wildcat but it doesn't have much more cockpit room and pilot still have to sit on top of their parachute packs. It will be a very tight fit for Morris in the spring of 1944, after many months of intense training. The Campbell squadron is assigned to the carrier Essex by May S6 arrives in the Marshall Islands now being used by the Navy as a staging area for the invasion of the Marianas while waiting for the invasion Essex launches raids against Japanese held Marcus and wake islands. This gives Lieut. Morris his first taste of combat Morris and the others encounter new aerial opposition from Japanese fighters, but are met with intense antiaircraft fire several American planes are lost in nearly all including Morse's suffered damage during June, the Campbell's voice. "Giving Saipan in the Marianas. Morris is integral hellcat, but the story several seaplane ramps and nearly a dozen seaplanes on the ground that more sites of Mavis Scott airborne Mavis is the U.S. Navy's identification code for the colonies. She seaplane a large four engine plane with a crew of nine, initiate his arm to 430 caliber machine guns and 120 mm cannon and you're listening to Roger McGrath over story of Wayne Morris water story in the Perez family roots in battle go back to the Revolutionary war. Not one family member who goes to LA city College studies acting in the end becomes historically Galahad makes him a huge star. What does he do joins the military, like so many other stars and are an ironic twist to pull strings to get into battle not to get out of not just any battle he wants to get into the year and this is the most dangerous of all positions when we come back more Hollywood goes to war and more of Wayne Morris's story here on our American store that we continue with our American stories and with Roger McGrath's Hollywood goes to war stories, this time capturing the story of Wayne Morris. Let's return the McGrath more of the story Morris dies in the big bird and opens up with us hellcat 650 caliber Browning machine guns 50 caliber slugs walk the Japanese seaplane and gossip to rule out a control. It plummets into the ocean, Morris as his first aerial victory is next action comes a week later, in the great Marianas turkey shoot which is what Navy pilots call the airborne phase of the battle of the Philippine Sea Morris and others of the F-15 are flying cover for torpedo planes and I box with four zeros drop out of the clouds above and begin to run on the bombers Morris takes on the lead zero hellcat zero each bank and dive in rule, but it's Morse's machine gun fire that takes effect the zero begin smoking noses over and plunges straight down thousands of feet into a layer of clouds. Morris follows it down once he emerges below the clouds. Zero is nowhere to be seen.
Morris soon spies and oil slick on the water, indicating the zero must've plunged into the sea. However, since he didn't actually see the zero crash into the ocean can only count what was surely an aerial victory as a probable for the next two months Morris and the rest of the F-15. It targets not only on Saipan but also on nearby Guam and Tinian. Most of the time a BOMB and strafe their enemy's antiaircraft fire after the turkey shoot the skies over the Marianas and the newly cleared of Japanese planes so more aerial victories will have to wait in September, Essex and other American carriers begin launching strikes against the Palau Islands, especially callaloo Kimberly's first week. Neither he nor any of his pilots or even land actual totals because they catch the Japanese planes on the ground. They destroyed dozens of men under Navy and Marine Corps regulations on the plane stored in the air, skills. After several days of pounding the Palau Islands, Essex, and other carriers are ordered to seal west of the Philippines and strike in Mindanao airfield on their first sweep over Mindanao Morris and two other via 15 pilots spotted Japanese patrol plane and blow it out of the sky later in the day on the second sweep Morris sends a burst of machine gun fire into autopsy the Navy's codename for Mitsubishi twin engine troop transport plane the transports starboard wing tank works in flames and soon the entire plane is ablaze and spiraling to the earth. It's Morse's second confirmed aerial victory. Several days later, over Negro silent Morris spies, zero: as Morris dives and banks to get in behind the 00 goes into a steep spiral dive probably to the Japanese pilot surprised Morris is able to put us hellcat into an equally tight spiral dive and fire several verse in the 00 explodes in a ball of flame and Lieut. Morris as his third confirmed kill later the same day Morris and Ensign Ken Flynn jump in late.
The Navy's codename for the Nakajima fighter. The knee is a Japanese army's equivalent to the Japanese Navy's zero Morse's first burst causes Nakajima to begin smoking Flynn follows with a burst that causes the already badly damaged fighter to erupt in flames and roll into a spiral dive that ends in the ocean. Minutes later, Morrison, Flynn go after zero is on the tail of hellcat Morris fires in the zero explodes in a ball of flame.
It's number four for Morris.
Seconds later, Morris finds himself flying directly into an oncoming Nakajima Anthony with a single burst before banking steeply. In the meantime, Flynn circles behind the neat and finishes off the already crippled fighter during the rest of September.
Morris gets no more aerial victories, but together with his wingman and other pilots is credited with putting a Japanese submarine out of action and sinking to freighters in several patrol boats. Then in October and strike in Okinawa.
Morris dives on a Kawasaki fighter, Japan's most modern fighter the Tony as U.S. Navy code identifies a plane as an in-line liquid cooled engine at the Japanese copy from the Daimler-Benz engine. The powers of German enmeshment fighter Kawasaki fighter pricing outmaneuver Morris by turning inside him. Morris is able to stay behind the Tony and poor fire into the Kawasaki shakes and smokes and loses else to rapidly enhance the ocean and cartwheel spectacularly, before sinking Morris now has three of Japanese fighters Mitsubishi zero, Nakajima K, 57, in the Kawasaki Key 61 but can't Galahad is also an ace later in October 1944, comes the epic battle for Leyte Gulf did the gambling's boys are active in the year over the Sheboygan Sea Morris gets 10 easily while making a high pass, giving him six confirmed aerial victories later in the same day Morris fires at two oncoming zeros, but as rounds either. Ms. or have no effect.
Even banks deeply to come around and try again but finds zeros turning with them.
He doesn't think much of its chances in tight turns against two zeros, and ducks into a cloud instead of going through the cloud and emerging on the other side Morris circles inside the cloud and comes out where younger, just as he is hoped he finds a Japanese fighters weeding form on the clouds other side. This allows Morris to come up behind the zeros a burst from Morse's machine gun since 10 spiraling into the sea and the other story for home. Morris is in no condition to pursue his hellcat has been riddled with bullets. The engine is coughing and hydraulic fluid is running into his cockpit. Nonetheless, he now has seven confirmed aerial victories by the end of November. Air group 15 completes a steward and Morse's war is over. He returns home with three rows of ribbons on his chest, among other decorations has been awarded the distinguished flying Cross four times in the air medal two times when Morse's audit was only a Civil War. He had no easy pace through the hellcats he flew were so badly damaged by Japanese fire. They were stripped of their serviceable parts and pushed overboard yet.
Said Morris wasn't the jabs I feared my own shipmates were done they showed a picture board Essex. I was scared to death to be one of my that's something I never could've lived down back home. Morris serves in the Naval reserve unit has promoted to the tenant commander. He also restarts his movie career in 1947, after a six-year interruption will appear in 36 movies and the casting dozens of television shows over the next 13 years. In September 1959 is World War II commander and his wife's uncle David Campbell thou Capt. McKim takes command of the carrier Bodenheimer Chartres while the ship was in San Francisco Bay. The Campbell invites Morris and some other former squadron mates to come aboard for short cruise into the Pacific where the curator will conduct air exercises on the way back in the San Francisco Bay. He climbs a series flatters to the carriers bridge for good view of the passage under the Golden gate Bridge. He reaches the ship's bridge and collapses a helicopter flies in Oakland Naval Hospital but it's too late is pronounced dead of a massive coronary. He was only 45 years old Hollywood lost one of her stars, U.S. Navy lost one of races in America lost one of her heroes and a great job by Greg Hendler is always on the production of a piece and a special thanks as always Roger McGrath offer of gunfighters and vigilantes.
Also, US Marine and former history professor at UCLA. The story of Wayne Morris here on our American story