Morgan, Bruce, IC2

Interior Communications Electrician
 
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 Service Photo   Service Details
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Current Service Status
USN Veteran
Current/Last Rank
Petty Officer Second Class
Current/Last Primary NEC
IC-0000-Interior Communications Electrician
Current/Last Rating/NEC Group
Interior Communications Electrician
Primary Unit
1967-1969, IC-0000, USS Tallahatchie County (AVB-2)
Previously Held NEC
00-0000-Unknown NEC Rating
Service Years
1965 - 1969
Official/Unofficial US Navy Certificates
Order of the Shellback
IC-Interior Communications Electrician


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 Official Badges 




 Unofficial Badges 




 Military Association Memberships
USS Forrestal Association
  2000, USS Forrestal Association [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  2001, USS Tallahatchie County LST-1154 / AVB-24


 Additional Information
What are you doing now:
Not Specified
   
Other Comments:
Not Specified
   

 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
Click here to see Training
  1965, Recruit Training (San Diego, CA), 6754
 Duty Stations
RTC (Cadre/Faculty Staff) San Diego, CAHQ, Service School Command (Faculty/Staff) San Diego, CAUSS Forrestal (CVA-59)USS Tallahatchie County (AVB-2)
  1965-1966, 00-0000, RTC (Cadre/Faculty Staff) San Diego, CA
  1966-1966, 00-0000, HQ, Service School Command (Faculty/Staff) San Diego, CA
  1966-1967, IC-0000, USS Forrestal (CVA-59)
  1967-1969, IC-0000, USS Tallahatchie County (AVB-2)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1967-1967 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase III Campaign (67-68)/USS Forrestal (CVA-59) Fire3
 Military Association Memberships
USS Forrestal Association
  2000, USS Forrestal Association [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  2001, USS Tallahatchie County LST-1154 / AVB-24

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Reflections on PO2 Morgan's US Navy Service
 
 Reflections On My Service
 
PLEASE DESCRIBE WHO OR WHAT INFLUENCED YOUR DECISION TO JOIN THE NAVY?
I quickly figured out that I was not cut out for college so I had to find something to do with my life. I lived 5 miles outside of a very small (1,200 people) town in Indiana. There was no place to work except for farming and no way to get into that. My brother was already in the Navy so figured I would join him. So, just before Thanksgiving in 1965 I joined the Navy.
WHETHER YOU WERE IN THE SERVICE FOR SEVERAL YEARS OR AS A CAREER, PLEASE DESCRIBE THE DIRECTION OR PATH YOU TOOK. WHAT WAS YOUR REASON FOR LEAVING?
I went to San Diego, CA for Boot Camp. This was unusual as most everyone from the Midwest that join the Navy actually went to Great Lakes. But since I was joining in November I didn't want to spend the winter in Chicago. I graduated from Book Camp in February of 1966 and took leave and went home. Was nice to see mom & dad again but I was ready to go back to San Diego for IC "A" School. I graduated from IC "A" School and then I attended Motion Pictures Operator School. At this time, all movies show on board US Navy ships were 16mm so we had to learn how to show movies, maintain the projectors and repair the film. After MPO School, I was off to the USS Forrestal CVA-59. My brother was already on board the Forrestal and he was an IC man also. So we worked together. The day I walked on board the ship I took the Military Requirements test for Fireman. I later learned that I had passed it and was granted permission to take the ICFN test. That I passed also. Six months after I made E3 I took the tests for E4 and passed both of those. Then we learned that the USS Forrestal was going to Vietnam. So in June of 1967 we headed east to get to the west coast. The Ship went around the southern tip of Africa and up to Vietnam. We were on our 5th day of flight ops launching planes against North Vietnam when a missile misfired and started a fire that I'll never forget. This was the worst disaster for the US Navy since WWII. We lost 134 of our shipmates.

We only spent the 5 days on the line in Vietnam but we did earn the Vietnam Service Medal. This one ribbon was the one that means the most to me. I know, and my family knows, that I paid my price to help serve this country in our time of need and helping another of our worthy nations. The fire on board the USS Forrestal will always stand out as a memory that I will never forget. I live it every day.

On the way back to the US I made E5. Now my brother and I both were E5 on the same ship and in the same Division. It was great duty.

After the Forrestal returned to the US I was transferred to the USS Tallahatchie County AVB-2 that was home ported in Naples, Italy. This was great duty. During my time on the Tallahatchie County I returned home to get married and my wife returned with me to Naples.

I got out of the Navy in August 1969.
IF YOU PARTICIPATED IN ANY MILITARY OPERATIONS, INCLUDING COMBAT, HUMANITARIAN AND PEACEKEEPING OPERATIONS, PLEASE DESCRIBE THOSE WHICH WERE THE MOST SIGNIFICANT TO YOU AND, IF LIFE-CHANGING, IN WHAT WAY.
I was not really in combat. But I was on board the USS Forrestal CVA-59 off the coast of Vietnam on July 29, 1967 when the Forrestal experienced a fire on board that took the lives of 134 of our shipmates This was really significant as it change my life forever. I now suffer from PTSD and depression all caused by this event. I am getting help from the VA but not to my level of expectations.
OF ALL YOUR DUTY STATIONS OR ASSIGNMENTS, WHICH ONE DO YOU HAVE FONDEST MEMORIES OF AND WHY? WHICH ONE WAS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE?
The time on the USS Forrestal was my fondest. I was able to work with my brother and a number of other men that I have kept in touch with all of these years. I attend all of the Forrestal reunions each year. These are always a great time. We get to see all of our friends from times gone by and relive all the ole memories.

My least favorite, at the time, was my time on the USS Tallahatchie County. I hated this ship. It was old and it seemed like all the men on board were disenchanted with the US Navy and were getting out. Even the lifers were getting out. Some even before they qualified for their pension. Now that I look back on my time on the Tallahatchie County, it was great duty. I still keep in touch with about 5 or 6 of my shipmates and attend all of their reunions.
FROM YOUR ENTIRE SERVICE, INCLUDING COMBAT, DESCRIBE THE PERSONAL MEMORIES WHICH HAVE IMPACTED YOU MOST?
The fire on board the USS Forrestal CVA-59 on July 29, 1967 off the coast of Vietnam.
OF ALL THE MEDALS, AWARDS, FORMAL PRESENTATIONS AND QUALIFICATION BADGES YOU RECEIVED, OR ANY OTHER MEMORABILIA, PLEASE DESCRIBE THOSE WHICH ARE THE MOST MEANINGFUL TO YOU AND WHY?
I received the Vietnam Service Medal for my time that I spent on the USS Forrestal CVA-59 off the coast of Vietnam in July 1967.
WHICH INDIVIDUAL(S) FROM YOUR TIME IN THE MILITARY STAND OUT AS HAVING THE MOST POSITIVE IMPACT ON YOU AND WHY?
My brother had the most impact. I have always admired my brother and when I actually got the opportunity to work on the same ship and in the same division it was great. We spent 15 months working together. We are still very close even though he still lives in Indiana and I live in Florida.
CAN YOU RECOUNT A PARTICULAR INCIDENT FROM YOUR SERVICE WHICH MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE BEEN FUNNY AT THE TIME, BUT STILL MAKES YOU LAUGH?
While on board the USS Tallahatchie County we used to cruise to Souda Bay, Crete and pull up onto the beach. The Tallahatchie County was a converted LST. Since there was nothing to do n Souda Bay the ship set up a tent out in front of the ship and sold beer. So if you were not in the duty section you could go to the beer tent and have a few. If you were in the duty section then the beer tent was off duty. Well, one night all of the IC men on board was at the beer tent drinking. Our Department head, came out and caught us. He didn't say a word. The next morning at muster he asked me who was on duty last night. I told him I was. All he said was, "don't let it happen again!" It was scary at the time but all of us laugh about it every year at the reunions.
WHAT PROFESSION DID YOU FOLLOW AFTER YOUR MILITARY SERVICE AND WHAT ARE YOU DOING NOW? IF YOU ARE CURRENTLY SERVING, WHAT IS YOUR PRESENT OCCUPATIONAL SPECIALTY?
I worked for the Telephone Company in Washington, DC and Florida for a number of years. Then I went to work for Lockheed Martin. I retired from Lockheed Martin in 2002 and am now enjoying doing nothing in my retirement years.
WHAT MILITARY ASSOCIATIONS ARE YOU A MEMBER OF, IF ANY? WHAT SPECIFIC BENEFITS DO YOU DERIVE FROM YOUR MEMBERSHIPS?
I belong to the USS Forrestal CVA/CV/AVT-59 Association and the USS Tallahatchie County LST-1154/AVB-2 Association.

I really enjoy keeping in touch with my fellow shipmates and meeting others that were on the same ships that I was on. It is interesting to see the changes that took place either before or after we left the ships.
IN WHAT WAYS HAS SERVING IN THE MILITARY INFLUENCED THE WAY YOU HAVE APPROACHED YOUR LIFE AND YOUR CAREER? WHAT DO YOU MISS MOST ABOUT YOUR TIME IN THE SERVICE?
The military (US Navy) has really influenced the way that I approached my life and career. Since I suffer from PTSD this is the main reason that I left my job in Washington, DC and Florida. It is also the main reason that the last 4 years with Lockheed Martin was not on the same advancement track as the first 12 years.

The military gave me a lot of things that I am grateful for but it also took a part of me that I will never get back.
BASED ON YOUR OWN EXPERIENCES, WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO THOSE WHO HAVE RECENTLY JOINED THE NAVY?
From the time after the fire on board the USS Forrestal off the coast of Vietnam in July 1967 I hated everything about the US Navy. Now that I am out and have had time to reflect on everything, I wished I had stayed in and made a career of it. My life would have probably been a lot better and I know it would have been a lot more rewarding.
IN WHAT WAYS HAS TOGETHERWESERVED.COM HELPED YOU REMEMBER YOUR MILITARY SERVICE AND THE FRIENDS YOU SERVED WITH.
Bruce Morgan, IC2 - In what ways has TogetherWeServed.com helped you remember your military service and the friends you served with.
TWS and the US Navy
TogetherWeServed allowed me to put all of these memories in one place. Now I can see the big picture of everything that I did for the 3 yeas and 9 months that I served in the US Navy.

Thank you!

DB 10/21/2016

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