Morris, Alexander, LCDR

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 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Lieutenant Commander
Last Service Branch
Band Leader
Last Primary NEC
643X-Limited Duty Officer - Bandmaster
Last Rating/NEC Group
Limited Duty Officer
Primary Unit
1953-1955, MU-3854, United States Naval Academy Band
Service Years
1907 - 1955
Official/Unofficial US Navy Certificates
Order of the Spanish Main
Panama Canal
Plank Owner
Realm of the Czars
Voice Edition
Band Leader
Lieutenant Commander

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
New York
New York
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Steven Loomis (SaigonShipyard), IC3 to remember Morris, Alexander, LCDR USN(Ret).

If you knew or served with this Sailor and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Contact Info
Home Town
Manhattan's East Village
Last Address
He died March 3, 1962, at the Naval Academy Hospital. He is buried alongside his wife Rose in Arlington National Cemetery. His three sons, son-in-law and a grandson all became Naval Academy Midshipmen.

Date of Passing
Mar 03, 1962
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

US Navy Retired 30

 Unofficial Badges 

US Navy Honorable Discharge

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Alexander Cecil Morris
Lieutenant Commander, United States Navy

LCDR Morris's 47 year five month career spanned the end of sail, the use of both coal and oil, and the beginning of the nuclear age. He served under Presidents Theodore Roosevelt to Dwight Eisenhower, a full quarter of the nation's history.

Alexander Cecil Morris, a career Navy Musician, became leader of the band in 1946. Born in Manhattan's East Village on January 21, 1889, he was orphaned at age three and grew up at the St. Vincent's School for Boys in New York City. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on November 17, 1907, and served on board the training ship USS Constellation. Eighteen years later, he was selected to be "third leader" at the newly formed U.S. Navy Band in Washington D.C. and also held the position as bandleader on board the Presidential Yacht "MAYFLOWER," serving Presidents Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, and Franklin Roosevelt. In 1931, he was promoted to "second leader" at the U.S Navy Band. His transfer to the Naval Academy Band as second leader came in 1938. Notable events during his tenure include the beginning of a weekly radio show, marching in the WWII Victory Parade, inaugurating the annual tradition of a combined performance of Handel's "Messiah" in the Naval Academy Chapel with the chorus from Mt. Hood College, and the first performance of the band on television. In 1953, Congress amended the law governing the Naval Academy Band to permit the Secretary of the Navy to prescribe the grade of the leader. Lieutenant Morris received promotion to Lieutenant Commander. Congress also established that the proportionate distribution among the ratings of the enlisted men would be the same as in the U.S. Navy Band, Washington, D.C. In August 1954, at the request of the Superintendent, a board of officers selected by the Chief of Naval Personnel conducted an inspection of the Naval Academy Band. This board's report covered every facet of the Band's operation, and recommendations were made to increase the size of the band and provide adequate facilities, musical instruments, and equipment. In March of 1955, nearly all of the band's instruments and equipment were replaced. The value of this material was $35,000, but a majority came from surplus stocks on hand which were purchased in anticipation of a large expansion for the Korean War. Additional space was acquired to expand the music library and office space needed for increased administrative requirements. Mr. Morris retired in March 1955 after 47 years and five months of continuous service and was the first Band Leader to be honored by the Naval Academy as the Reviewing Officer at a Dress Parade, as well as by the State of Maryland with Senate Resolution No. 42, congratulating and commending him for his services to the state and the Navy.

LCDR Morris retired from the Navy on March 31, 1955 with 47 years and 5 months service. Only Fleet Admirals William D. Leahy, Ernest J. King, and Chester W. Nimitz- always considered on active duty- exceeded his tenure. LCDR Morris was the last active member of the Great White Fleet. He had advanced from apprentice seaman, through Musician 2nd Class, Musician 1st Class, Bandmaster (temporary), Bandmaster (permanent), Warrant Officer, and Lieutenant, to Lieutenant Commander.
Other Comments:

When the Navy's Bureau of Personnel, Bupers, was converting personnel records in the early '50s, they started with the most recent and ended with the earliest. LCDR Morris's leather-bound personnel jacket showed he had the most continuous service of anyone in any of the armed forces, and by several years. It listed his first station as the USS Constellation. Bupers presented the pouch to LCDR Morris as a memento. In his biography, written by his son, LCDR Morris' permanent rate was Chief Musician; he reinlisted eleven (11) times (eleven hash marks) and retired as a Lieutenant Commander.

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 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1907, Recruit Training (Newport, RI)
 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
US NavyCNO - OPNAV(MU) Musician A SchoolUSS Rochester (CA-2)
Navy School of Music (Staff) Virginia Beach, VAUnited States Navy BandUSS Arizona (BB-39)United States Naval Academy Band
  1908-1908, USS Constellation
  1908-1909, Musician, USS New Hampshire (BB-25)
  1909-1909, MU-3803, CNO - OPNAV
  1909-1910, MU-3803, (MU) Musician A School
  1910-1911, MU-3803, USS New Hampshire (BB-25)
  1911-1916, MU-3803, US Navy Bands
  1917-1918, MU-3851, USS Pennsylvania (BB-38)
  1918-1920, MU-3853, USS Pennsylvania (BB-38)
  1920-1922, MU-3853, Brooklyn Navy Yard, NY
  1921-1928, MU-0000, USS Mayflower (PY-1)
  1922-1923, MU-3852, USS Rochester (CA-2)
  1924-1925, MU-3852, Navy School of Music (Staff) Virginia Beach, VA
  1924-1930, MU-3853, United States Navy Band
  1931-1931, MU-3853, USS Arizona (BB-39)
  1938-1947, MU-3854, United States Naval Academy Band
  1947-1953, MU-3854, United States Naval Academy Band
  1953-1955, MU-3854, United States Naval Academy Band
 Reflections on Service
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 Other News, Events and Photographs
  BIOGRAPHY OF: A.C. Morris, 10th Leader of the Naval Academy Band1
  MINI BIO; background details for Alexander Morris.
  Eleven (11) Hash Marks1
  Jan 23, 2020, General Photos
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