b. 17/09/1947 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. d. 25/02/1969 Quang Tri Province, Vietnam.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 25/02/1969 Quang Tri Province, Vietnam.
William David Morgan was born on September 17, 1947, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The youngest son of Welsh immigrant John Samuel Morgan and Helen Morgan. He attended Mt. Lebanon High School in Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania graduating in 1966. He then attended Hiram Scott College, Scotts Bluff, Nebraska, for six months.
Morgan enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve in Pittsburgh on November 18, 1966. He was discharged from the Reserves on January 4, 1967, to enlist in the Regular Marine Corps.
Upon completion of recruit training with the 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina in March 1967, he was transferred to Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, where he completed individual combat training with Company D, 1st Infantry Battalion, 1st Infantry Training Regiment, in April. From May until June 1967, he was a student at the Sea School, Marine Barracks, U. S. Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, Virginia. He was promoted to private first class on June 1, 1967, and to Lance Corporal on February 1, 1968.
Lance Corporal Morgan served a one-year tour of sea duty with the Marine Detachment aboard the USS Newport News (CA-148). In July 1968, he was transferred to the Republic of Vietnam. He served as a rifleman, fire team leader, and squad leader, with Company H, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines, 3rd Marine Division. He was promoted to Corporal on September 1, 1968. While participating in Operation Dewey Canyon, southeast of Vandegrift Combat Base on February 25, 1969, he was killed in action.
President Richard M. Nixon presented his Medal of Honor to his family at The White House on August 6, 1970.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a squad leader with Company H, in operations against the enemy. While participating in Operation Dewey Canyon southeast of Vandegrift Combat Base, one of the squads of Cpl. Morgan’s platoon was temporarily pinned down and sustained several casualties while attacking a North Vietnamese Army force occupying a heavily fortified bunker complex. Observing that two of the wounded marines had fallen in a position dangerously exposed to the enemy fire and that all attempts to evacuate them were halted by a heavy volume of automatic-weapons fire and rocket-propelled grenades. Cpl. Morgan unhesitatingly maneuvered through the dense jungle undergrowth to a road that passed in front of a hostile emplacement which was the principal source of enemy fire. Fully aware of the possible consequences of his valiant action, but thinking only of the welfare of his injured companions, Cpl. Morgan shouted words of encouragement to them as he initiated an aggressive assault against the hostile bunker. While charging across the open road, he was clearly visible to the hostile soldiers who turned their fire in his direction and mortally wounded him, but his diversionary tactic enabled the remainder of his squad to retrieve their casualties and overrun the North Vietnamese Army position. His heroic and determined actions saved the lives of two fellow marines and were instrumental in the subsequent defeat of the enemy. Cpl. Morgan’s indomitable courage, inspiring initiative, and selfless devotion to duty upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
BURIAL LOCATION: MOUNT LEBANON CEMETERY, PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA.
SECTION 8, LOT 44.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE US MARINE CORPS, QUANTICO, VIRGINIA.