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Interview with Eldon Glenn Morrison [7/30/2002]

Larry Ordner:

This tape is made July 20th, 2002 with Eldon Glen Morrison. He goes by "Glen". He resides at Rural Route 3, Box 165 in Princeton, Indiana. Mr. Morrison is a native of Patoka, Indiana, served in the United States Navy in the AmForce, Amphibian Force with the LST's. He served on the LST-1101. He was a 2nd Class Metalsmith, and his enroll -- his enlistment period was from January 1952 to 1955. Saw service, among other sites, at Great Lakes near Chicago and in Korea. This tape was made before Larry Ordner from Senator Richard Lugar's office. Well, Glen, tell me, you were 19 years old in 1952, and did you enlist or did you --

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

Yes, I enlisted.

Larry Ordner:

Where did you go to enlist?

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

I enlisted in Evansville.

Larry Ordner:

You were living in Princeton, right --

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

Right.

Larry Ordner:

-- or Patoka?

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

Princeton.

Larry Ordner:

Princeton. Okay.

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

And at the old Post Office in Evansville.

Larry Ordner:

Well, now, what was -- for the purpose of the tape, what was the status of the Korean War at that time? Do you know?

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

Well, most of the guys my age that were being drafted were sent right to the front lines with just -- after basic training, and that's the reason that I went ahead, because I always -- I had some relatives that was in the Navy, and I wanted to be in the Navy; so the Navy recruiter, when I went down to sign up he told me, he said, "I'll get you out of here." I said, "The draft is getting pretty close to me." and he said, "I'll get you out of here." and the day that I left to go to Lewisville for my examination, I was supposed to have went to Indianapolis for the Army examination the first day.

Larry Ordner:

So it's very likely had you not been in the Navy, you would have been on the front line infantry, right?

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

Right. Right. That's where most of them were going my age, and that was just right out of high school.

Larry Ordner:

And guys were just being drafted left and right --

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

Right.

Larry Ordner:

-- out of this area, too, weren't they?

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

Right.

Larry Ordner:

As they were everywhere?

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

Yes.

Larry Ordner:

So you then went to Great Lakes?

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

Yes.

Larry Ordner:

For --

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

I had 11 weeks of boot camp at Great Lakes, and then I had a --

Larry Ordner:

Was that really your first time away from home for an extended period?

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

No. I had worked on the pipeline.

Larry Ordner:

Oh.

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

I had a brother-in-law that was a superintendent on the pipeline, and I had been to Pennsylvania and a few places working on the pipeline.

Larry Ordner:

I see. Mm-hmm.

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

And I knew the draft was getting close to me; so I quit my job on the pipeline and came home and ended up enlisted.

Larry Ordner:

Yeah. How rigorous was boot training for you?

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

Well, it was ... it was a change in life because of all of the rules and regulations, I mean, but as far as if a guy kept his nose clean and done what he was told, it was easy. I mean it wasn't too hard on you. But the guys that thought that they knew everything, why, they were the guys that got it rough.

Larry Ordner:

Do you have any recollections of boot training that kind of stick in your mind, some of them more than others?

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

Well ...

Larry Ordner:

Anything you can tell me? I mean you're free to say whatever you want.

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

Okay. The first day in boot camp the chief ... I never will forget him ... our commanding chief over our -- I was in Company 60, and he walked in, and he was a little short guy, and he was a chief torpedoman, and he had been all through World War II, and he had hash marks plumb up his elbow. And he jumped up on a table, and he said, "People, my name is Johnny Horseshit Cameron. By the time this 11 weeks is up you'll know me only by my middle name." And that's the type of guy he was. I mean everything had to be Johnny's way. I mean he was -- he was tough, now. And at one time he caught the guard smoking on the back door, which was against regulations. He had a guard guarding the back door, and he caught the guard smoking; so he put a guard guarding the guard to keep him from smoking. And he said, "If you don't shape up," he said, "we'll have the whole company back here guarding the back door." and that's the type --

Larry Ordner:

So he was going to be a strict disciplinarian, right?

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

Right.

Larry Ordner:

It was going to be his way.

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

And he marched us back one day to the -- he had a hole in the fence back there, and he said, "Now, any of you guys think this is tough, see that hole there? That's the way out, but" he said "if they ever bring you back," he said, "you better hope you never see me." so -- And no one left.

Larry Ordner:

Yeah.

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

I mean he was strictly by the book, Johnny was.

Larry Ordner:

So you feel he got you guys ready?

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

Right. Yeah. He was really a -- he was top in his class.

Larry Ordner:

What was the mood at that time, say in the Navy in terms of getting guys ready, not only just for service really but for wartime conditions? I mean was there a little more emphasis placed, would you say, on the training, since it was a wartime situation?

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

Well, not from talking with other guys that I knew that had been in there. I mean this was all guys from World War II about the same, what I mean, but they run them a little bit -- through a little quicker in World War II than what they did us. That 11 weeks, that's a long time.

Larry Ordner:

Mm-hmm. Well, after the 11-week boot training, where did you go then?

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

I came home on a 15-day leave, and then I went back to Great Lakes, and then they assigned us to ships. And about -- I think there were five out of my company that went to board the 1101 at the same time I did. And then we had a company upstairs, and they went -- there was about five out of that company went to the same ship. And there was about 10 of us went at San Diego, California, and they put us on a troop train and that --

Larry Ordner:

From Chicago, right?

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

From Chicago. And that troop train traveled -- they would switch us off, change engines and all of that stuff, but we stayed in our same cars and we didn't get off until we got to San Diego, and then they would -- they had --

Larry Ordner:

What time of year was that?

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

That was in the springtime. But I remember going through the mountains, and they put on an extra engine because the snow was right up -- when we went through, the snow was right up even with the windows on the train, and they put an extra engine on. And they said -- some of them said it was one of those snowblowers on the front of the -- going through the Rockies going out to California.

Larry Ordner:

So when you got out there then, then you went directly to the ship?

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

Yeah, and there was -- there was a boat. A BP boat was waiting at the dock for us, and they picked us up and took us right to the ship. And they assigned us quarters, and I went on as a deck hand, and I stayed as a deck hand for ... I don't know ... a couple of months or three.

Larry Ordner:

Yeah.

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

And then I decided that I didn't like all of that scraping and painting; so I thought, well, there's different things to do aboard this ship, so I asked to be transferred to Engineering Division. So they put me in the engine room, and I done about everything in the engine rooms. And one day they asked if someone wanted to go to -- if they had any welders aboard the ship, and they was going to need a welder. They wanted to know -- Of course, this was after I had come back from overseas, but they wanted to know if I would be willing to go to school to be a welder; so I did go three months to San Diego there to welding school. And that consists of sheet metal and blacksmithing and gas welding, electric welding, and blue print reading; so I had three months of school at the Navy, and that's -- after I got out of the Navy that's what I did.

Larry Ordner:

When you -- After you had initially had your boot training and you went out west on the train --

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

Yeah

Larry Ordner:

-- what was your -- where did you go first? You were on the 1101 at that time?

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

Right.

Larry Ordner:

Tell me, for purposes of the tape, can you -- and there are going to be a lot of people listening to this, and maybe even 50 years from now somebody's going to listen to this tape.

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

Yeah

Larry Ordner:

And they're going to want to know what an LST is.

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

Okay.

Larry Ordner:

Can you tell us in your own words what typical duties an LST performed out there?

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

An LST is a workhorse of the Navy. We carried tanks, we carried ammunition, and in Korea we carried rice. We'd carry anything to be hauled on the tank deck, I mean gasoline, ammunition, and that LST also carries troops. There's berthing areas for extra troops aboard an LST. And we'd run right up on the beach, and they -- my job aboard the ship for a long time was to drop the stern anchor when we went in on the beach. I ran the big winch that dropped the anchor, and that's what pulled us off of the beach. And a lot of times whenever we would be on the beach there would be -- the water might be five or six blocks behind us when the tide went out, and we'd be sitting high and dry up on the beach, but that way they'd let the bow ramp down, and then they unloaded our cargo, whatever we were hauling. And it's -- it was one of the workhorses of the Navy.

Larry Ordner:

Typically how many men might be on a ship like that?

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

Anywhere from 75 to 125 men and a capacity of maybe 10 to 12 officers. Mostly you had a lieutenant for a captain, and they -- It's not a very big ship. It's 328 feet long, 50 foot wide, but it could haul a large capacity of goods.

Larry Ordner:

Mm-hmm. Give me an idea of the kinds of duties you performed, that the 1101 performed when you were there.

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

You mean during the --

Larry Ordner:

During the Korean Conflict.

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

During the Korean Conflict? We would load up supplies in Japan, and our motto, we had a -- on our jackets we had a round plaque, and it had a turtle with a tank sitting up on its back tied with a ribbon, and it had a .45 in each hand, had a sailor's hat on this turtle, and the motto was "You Call - We Haul - LST-1101". And we'd haul anything and everything to the troops in Korea. And we hauled -- one time we had 100-ton of rice in sacks on the cargo deck -- or on the tank deck, and they off-loaded it, and then we took it down there, and that was for the ROK soldiers. That was their rations was strictly rice. Now, I mean we had 100 ton of it on that ship, and they loaded it on there with forklifts, and then we took it to an island down there, and they off-loaded that hundred ton. But we hauled -- we hauled troops. We went in -- one night we went in behind the lines above the 38th Parallel, and we picked up a division of Army, and I can't remember what division they were, but those guys were ragged. I mean they were -- hadn't shaved, and they had on big long overcoats, and it was in the wintertime, and that winter is rough over there.

Larry Ordner:

Really?

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

And they had pushed them back, and there were two or three of us LST's landed, and they -- we loaded those guys. And any time we moved in the waters over there our orders were all sealed, and then when we'd get out to sea, they'd open our orders to tell us where we was going. And when we went that time, we noticed that we took on more fresh water. They took on -- every available tank that we could get with fresh water, they took it on. We took on extra rations. And we couldn't figure out where we was going, but we went out and we picked this division of Army up, and we took them out to sea, and as soon as we backed off the captain announced on the PA system, he said, "The galley is open. You men can -- as soon as you --" he said -- first thing he said the showers. He said, "Get in them showers, and take a shower and clean up and shave." And them guys had lice on them. They were -- I mean they were rough. Now, them guys, they had it rough. And he said, "There's hot coffee in the galley." and he said, "You go through the galley," and he said, "You're not going to eat just regular chow. You go through, you tell the cooks what you want to eat," and he said, "They'll fix it for you." and man, you never saw guys standing in showers and -- like those guys did. Now, they were tickled to be out of there. I mean to tell you that. That's rough. Now, I don't know -- the time I was in there my ship got three battle stars, and I don't know whether that was one of them or not, but I remember one that I got one battle star for sure, but I can't remember which ones the other two were.

Larry Ordner:

Battle stars are usually awarded for what purpose?

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

Well, that's either in a battle or when you're under fire.

Larry Ordner:

Okay.

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

And one time we went up above -- there was a radar station up above the 38th Parallel, and we supplied that island up there. And when we would go up there, we loaded in Pusan, Korea. We loaded the main deck with 55-gallon barrels of high octane fuel for our helicopters, and the tank deck was loaded with .40- millimeter ammunition. And we went up -- And everywhere we went in Korea, our guns, we didn't have big guns on this thing ; .40-millimeter was as big as we had, but everywhere we went we had a British cruiser that was our escort. They went everywhere that we went. They were our cover.

Larry Ordner:

Mm-hmm.

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

And we run up on this beach to unload all of this fuel and ammunition, and we were at battle stations, and a shore battery opened up on us and fired on us, and they was getting -- they were walking down, trying to get range on us, and they was throwing sand up on the main deck of this LST. And if they had ever hit us, it would have been --

Larry Ordner:

Do you remember what you were carrying then?

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

Yes. From the ammunition and high octane fuel, see, if we had ever took a round, we would have been ... would have been gone.

Larry Ordner:

Wow!

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

And we was wondering where is these -- where's the Limeys at back here, our backup? And pretty soon -- while they were firing on us the Limeys were picking up a range on them, and pretty soon that cruiser opened up on them, and they just leveled that mainland over there. I mean there wasn't nothing left, and that's the last we heard of it. And that was one battle star that I know that we got. But we hauled anything and everything over there, I mean.

Larry Ordner:

Did you have any ... any thoughts, I guess, about how that conflict was progressing based on what you were carrying?

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

Yeah. We -- It makes you a little nervous to haul that much ammunition and high octane fuel all mixed together, what I mean.

Larry Ordner:

Like would fuel have been in barrels?

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

Yeah, it was in 55-gallon drums --

Larry Ordner:

My goodness.

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

-- just sitting on the main deck, see. And then all of that tank deck, these .40-millimeter round ammunition boxes are -- they're about ... oh, they're about, I'd say about 14 by 16, and that ammunition was all in these metal containers, and that was just stacked. The whole tank deck down there was stacked with them.

Larry Ordner:

Could you imagine if you guys would have been hit?

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

Oh, yeah. We would have never knew what hit us.

Larry Ordner:

Right.

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

I mean it would have just been one of them things, I mean.

Larry Ordner:

Yeah.

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

And like one time when we was going overseas we hauled civilian automobiles from San Diego. The guys that had -- were stationed in Hawaii, we'd haul their civilian cars over there. We had the whole tank deck loaded with civilian cars. We had Buicks, we had everything on there. And we off-loaded them, and they loaded that whole tank deck down there with Dole pineapple, and we took that to troops overseas. We had a whole cargo load of Dole pineapple, pineapple juice and ring pineapple. So we did -- anything they wanted to haul, we were the guys that --

Larry Ordner:

And that was really -- and that was really the only way that supplies could actually get in?

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

Right. Right.

Larry Ordner:

I mean did some supplies come in by air at that time?

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

Not very many.

Larry Ordner:

Not too many?

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

Now, some did, but not very many. Back then, I mean that's like the helicopters. We would sit out there in Inchon. Inchon's got a 32-foot tide. When the tide goes out in Inchon Harbor, I mean you've got miles out there with nothing but mud flats. And when that tide would go out, why, that -- then you'd see tanks and stuff out there that had been dropped overboard out there in the harbor or sunken ships and all like that. It was just all kinds of stuff like that, and I mean that tide is something else there in Inchon. But boy -- And then during the night when you'd be there, you could tell -- The helicopters that they had back then had the guys strapped on each side whenever they'd come to the hospital ship, the wounded. And there was a hospital ship there in the harbor, and you could tell how rough the fighting was when you got up in the morning if you looked out there at the hospital ship and it looked just like mosquitoes circling the hospital ship waiting to land with wounded, and you could tell if they had had a rough night on the front lines.

Larry Ordner:

So you really had to look for indirect signals to kind of get a feel for how the war was going --

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

Right. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Larry Ordner:

I always heard, and from anything I've always read it just seemed like you guys were being flirted around with like "Well, there's going to be a truce", and then it would be the other way --

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

Yeah.

Larry Ordner:

-- And it just went on for an eternity.

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

Yeah.

Larry Ordner:

Were you there during that particular time period when the talks of a truce were attended and the peace talks were going on? It was very slow, wasn't it?

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

Yes, it was very slow. And one day they'd say they was going to do it, the next day it was back they were fighting heavy again. I mean it was just one day -- And also during -- I was on the big switch and the little switch of prisoners, my ship was at the -- when they did sign the truce, we hauled 500 communists. The Seabees came in at ... I don't remember whether it was Inchon or Pusan. We made so many ports, we were just in and out, but anyway the Seabees came in, and on the tank deck they built -- they built ... we called them "chicken coops". And they'd build it up with new lumber up about ... oh, I'd say about four-foot high, and then they'd put chicken wire head up to the overhead, and then they put a door on it, and there were so many cubicles. And then we hauled 500 communists a load down there to trade. And the guys that came back, our prisoners of war came back on clean ships. They sent clean ships and LST's down there to pick up our men, but we had the duty of taking the communists down there.

Larry Ordner:

So this in effect, then, is like a prison ship?

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

Right. Yeah. And they had -- Special Troops came aboard, Special Division. The MP's that came aboard, they had chrome-plated helmets, they had chrome-plated bayonets, they had white leggings, white guard belts, and had green scarves on their neck, and they had white guard belts, and I mean they were sharp. And they had gas, and everyone had to carry a gas mask while we had those troops aboard, because if the communists were to ever start something, then they could gas them and get them under control. And so therefore, they issued to everyone a gas mask, and if you got up and went to the head overnight, you better have that gas mask with you, because if you got caught, you got so many demerits for not having that gas mask with you. But we hauled those prisoners on the big switch and little switch of prisoners.

Larry Ordner:

Where was the 1101 built?

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

At Evansville, Indiana.

Larry Ordner:

So for being so close to Evansville, that was probably kind of a good feeling to know?

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

Right. I told a guy the other day, he asked me something about it, and I said when I went up in the wheelhouse this plaque that I knew -- that paper that I gave you to read, when I went up to the wheelhouse and I read that plaque up there where it was built at Evansville, Indiana, even though I was in San Diego I felt like I was back home because it really --

Larry Ordner:

Hometown hands had made that ship, then?

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

Yeah. And me being a welder, I'd notice welds over the ship. And then like if there was a gusset in a side plate here where they welded in a gusset, whoever welded that gusset in would take a welding rod, and he'd write his name in weld there. And then after I came out of the Navy I was a steamfitter for several years out of the Evansville Local down there, and I worked with guys that had worked on them ships. And I said, "Well, if I would have knew you then, I could have probably saw your signature somewhere aboard that ship", because I would run across a lot of guys that worked for shipyards. And they're bringing an LST back to Evansville next summer, and I'm going to be one of the guys probably that will be down there showing --

Larry Ordner:

I was thinking that they originally reported it was going to be this summer --

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

Yeah.

Larry Ordner:

-- but it is next summer?

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

Yeah. They -- Well, when they had the Her -- or the days down there ... what do they call them?

Larry Ordner:

Freedom Festival.

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

... Freedom Festival, I was with part of the committee down there during that. We had a tent set up out there at the airport, and they said it will definitely be here sometime next year, but they don't want to have it during the Freedom Festival because that would pull too many people away, but they want to get it in between, and it's going to be there for two weeks.

Larry Ordner:

Wow!

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

So, and they want to have -- the LST Association out of Indianapolis is going to furnish people that will have certain stations aboard that LST to tell you what it's about and --

Larry Ordner:

Well, that will be great --

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

Yeah.

Larry Ordner:

-- and there will be thousands of people come to that.

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

Oh, yeah. That's like down here the other day one of the ladies, they had -- we had a bunch of posters back there that had the -- and had a worksheet on it, and this lady come around there, and she said, "That's my worksheet." she worked as a welder, and she helped build the P-47s down there, and she was amazed. And they had her paycheck, and she drawed $101.00, I think, for -- and she said that was for 60 hours' work; so that --

Larry Ordner:

Well, a lot of people in this area, if they weren't serving, they were really involved in the war in many, many ways.

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

Oh, yeah. Right.

Larry Ordner:

Anything else you'd like to tell me about your time in, that you can think of? And you really did shed a lot of light on the roles of the LST's.

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

Well, it's just like I always thought it was comical whenever they asked about -- they asked at quarters one morning there in San Diego. I went up for quarters. They had it at 8:00 o'clock when they raised the flag every morning and all like that, check everybody in. And the chief asked if anyone had any welding experience, and I had done very little gas welding, but I had a little experience; so I stuck my hand up. He wanted to know if I would like to go to welding school, and I told him, "Yeah, I'd like to go"; so they transferred me to welding school. So you was supposed -- to get into school you were supposed to have some experience at welding; so they had these little booths about this big that you go in, and they were all metal, and there was welding rods, and there was an electric holder there. And boy, I had that rod stuff all over everything but what I was supposed to weld, and this chief came in there and he said -- shook his head, and I thought, boy, I'm in trouble now. And he said, "Well," he said, "I'll tell you one thing," he said, "you're not a welder." and I said, "No, sir, I'm not." and he said, "Well, that's all right." he said, "I'll give you credit for one thing." he said, "You lied to get into school," and he said, "I'll tell you something else." he said, "I can make a welder out of you, but" he said "them guys out there that think they are welders," he said, "I'll have a heck of a time with them." and the old chief, he would come in there and he would help me more than anyone, and I graduated third out of my class.

Larry Ordner:

Did you, really?

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

Yeah. And he came in there one day, and he said, "What are you going to do when you get out of the Navy?" and I said, "Probably be a welder." and he said, "Well," he said, "you're going to have to start learning to weld with your left hand, then." and I said, "Why weld with my left hand?" he said, "If you get that right hand cut off," he said, "you can still make a living with this left hand." And I never thought about it, but I gave that a shot, and I learned to weld with either hand. And when I got on these powerhouses I built all -- I've been on all of these powerhouses around here. And you can get a pipe up in a corner, and you can see around one side, but when you get around there with that left hand and try and get -- or right hand trying to get in there, well, them guys never could figure it out, but I'd take my left hand, and I could reach around there and I'd weld that thing, and that chief was really -- now, that's like what I said before - if you listened, them people would help you, I mean, and that was one thing that really helped me in life.

Larry Ordner:

Mm-hmm.

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

I think that chief done me a favor whenever he told me that.

Larry Ordner:

When you got out, did you use your G.I. Bill in any way for additional training or anything?

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

No. No. No, I went right back on the pipeline, and I traveled the pipeline. I was a pipeline welder for ... Well, when I got out of the Navy, there was two kinds of welding. On the pipeline they start at the top on a piece of pipe, and they weld from the top to the bottom, "downhill" they call it. In the Navy you start at the bottom and weld uphill. Well, when I got out of the Navy, I didn't know how to weld downhill like they did on a pipeline; so by me having a brother-in-law that was superintendent, he sent me to a nonunion down in Little Rock, Arkansas and -- or Jackson, Mississippi to a nonunion job, and he put me with two or three welders, and that's all they done was teach me to weld downhill, and then I went back and got my union book, and then I welded on the pipeline. And I had a chance to go to Alaska on the Alaskan pipeline, and I turned it down because I had just went to work for -- I'm a retired coal miner, and I just went to work for Old Bend Coal Company at Petersburg. And I had a family; so I thought, well, I'm better off here than going to Alaska. But I really enjoyed welding, but after I got up to the coal mine and they had them 300-foot booms I didn't like to climb that boom; so I saw a dozer sitting up there and guys sitting in them dozers with them cabs on them and the heaters, and I could run a dozer; so I bid off, and I run a dozer for about 15 years for Old Bend Coal Company.

Larry Ordner:

I see. Well, looking back at your time in the Navy, particularly in the LST's, how do you look back and feel about your service and what was accomplished during that time?

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

Well, you talk to an Army guy and they'll say, oh, they done it all; but if it hadn't been for us, them guys wouldn't have had the supplies. Somebody had -- they had to get the supplies to them, and somebody had to put them there, and that's the Navy's job, to take them and put them there and then supply them while they are there, and that was the biggest thing, I think, about the Navy. That's their job and their duty.

Larry Ordner:

I've always -- any time I've talked to anybody who served in the Navy they always speak of the sense of loyalty for their ship.

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

Oh, yeah.

Larry Ordner:

And I take it you still have that feeling?

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

Oh, yeah. I talked to a guy last Saturday morning that I hadn't talked to in 40 ... 40-some-odd years, and we got on the internet, me and my nephew, and we found the -- brought up the LST-1101. And this guy from New York had asked the question, "Where is the LST-1101?"; so we -- my nephew e-mailed him and told him. Well, it was Joe Morales, one of the cooks aboard ship, and I had served all that time with him aboard ship, and he called me last Saturday morning, and I talked to him probably 45 minutes, I guess, and he was just tickled to death to hear from somebody aboard the ship.

Larry Ordner:

How many of those LST's are still around, do you think? Do you have any idea?

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

According to the -- according to the -- the World War II like the type I was on, there's only about three of them left out of -- they made 1,051 is how many they made.

Larry Ordner:

And they were all just scrapped or sold?

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

And they were scrapped, and they were sold. Like the one I was on, see, it went to the -- it went to Germany, and they -- it was a mine -- laid mines over there in the German Navy. And then the Germans sold it to ... Gosh, I have to look here. I don't know where it did go, but anyway they scrapped it. It went to the German Navy where it was a minelayer and served as Bottrop N-121 until September of 1971. In December 1972 she was sold to Turkey where she served in the Turkish Navy as Bayraktar, and then they -- from the last I heard of it, now, the Turks have scrapped it; so that's what's happened to all of them. And the one that they brought back from -- they went to Turkey and picked up that old 5-something number along it, but it wasn't built at Evansville. It was built -- I believe it was built in Baltimore. And they're bringing it. That's the one that will be in Evansville.

Larry Ordner:

Well, Glen, thanks so much for telling your story.

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

Okay.

Larry Ordner:

I appreciate it very much.

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

All right

Larry Ordner:

Good stories.

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

Like I said, since I got -- I told my nephew I never had been interested in the internet, but boy, after I spent two days up there with him and we got interested in this stuff I'm going to have to buy me a computer, that's all there is to it, because it's really something now.

Larry Ordner:

Well, let's step outside and let me get your picture for the file.

Eldon Glenn Morrison:

Okay. [END OF AUDIOTAPE RECORDING.]

 
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  October 26, 2011
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