In every battle there comes a time when even prodigious amounts of guts and bravery cannot save the ship. Such was the saga of the destroyer whose star shone bright during her brief-but-spectacular wartime career.
Fifty-two destroyers were lost in the Pacific during World War Two. Of the 52, 21 were sunk by Japanese aerial attacks. Few suffered a more devastating attack, in such a short period, as did the USS Morrison (DD-560).
Promptly opening fire on a group of 40 to 60 Japanese planes that attacked her radar picket station off Okinawa, the USS Morrison fought off her attackers and shot down seven to nine aircraft before they could
complete suicide dives. Morrison maintained a steady barrage against the overwhelming force and gallantly
continued in action despite severe damage from four suicide planes and two bombs that struck her in rapid succession.
She sunk by the stern just after the last hit. USS Morrison earned eight battle stars and two Navy Unit commendations in her short 1.5 - yr of service. Destroyer men everywhere may recognize parts of her history as typical of their own experiences. She was but one of many of the “small boys” that were the destroyers of the United States Navy in WW II.
Ladies and gentlemen....this is “her” story
MORRISON'S LAST STAND
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