Colonel Alvin “Al” Morgan is a Life Member of the Military Officers Association of America and has been a member of the Black Hills Chapter dating back to the early days when the organization was known as the “The Retired Officers Association” (TROA).
|2LT Al Morgan-1947|
Born 92 years ago in Seymour, Indiana, the family moved to Wisconsin when he was 10 years old. Al graduated from high school in Sheboygan in 1946 and enlisted in the Army. His basic training was at Ft. Belvoir, Virginia.
Private Morgan was selected for OCS and spent the next six months at Ft. Benning, Georgia, where he was commissioned a 2LT in June of 1947. He was 19 years old. After further Corps of Engineers officer training back at Ft. Belvoir, he was assigned in 1948 to an organization dubbed SCARWAF, (Special Category Army With Air Force). In the summer of 1948 his unit worked three months lengthening runways at Goose Bay, Labrador.
|CPT Al Morgan - 1956|
After returning to the U.S., in 1949, while on leave in Sheboygan, he married Fay Nack, to whom he has been married for 71 years! But he was soon in Canada again, as SCARWAF engaged in engineering projects along the Defense Early Warning (DEW) Line near the Arctic Circle.
In 1950, 1LT Morgan was on his way to England for a four-year tour of duty, extending runways at RAF bases for larger and heavier aircraft. Fortunately, Fay was able to accompany him on this assignment. Their son, Lawrence, and daughter, Sara, were both born in England.
After England, CPT Morgan was stateside again. The SCARWAF organization was terminated in 1956, then he was off for a one-year unaccompanied tour as an advisor with the South Vietnamese military. Mainly, his unit helped in the recovery of U.S Engineer equipment left behind by the French military after the close of the war in 1954.
“There were bulldozers, air compressors, cranes, and much more, classified and sent to various depots in the Far East for repair/rebuild,” Morgan remembers.
His next duty station was at Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri, for two years, followed in 1959 by a four-year “accompanied tour” in France. His assignment to the Engineer Supply Control Agency there in Orleans involved handling the inventory of Army Engineer equipment and repair parts for bases throughout the European theater.
|LTC Al Morgan - 1965|
Returning from France as a MAJ in 1963, he spent the next two years at Granite City Army Depot in Illinois, just across from St. Louis – then a two-year tour with the U.S. Army Advisory Group in Seoul, Korea, as a LTC, in 1965-66.
A voluntary assignment to South Vietnam in 1967 was next. As a Post Engineer, he oversaw repair, maintenance of utilities and minor construction supplies, carried out by civilian contractors, who were comprised largely of U.S., Korean, and Filipino workers. This is in the north – near the coastal city of Qui Nhon. The support was given to some 65 different U.S. installations and a Korean Army Division.
LTC Morgan returned to the states and spent his remaining years with the U.S. Army Advisory Group in South Dakota until he retired as a COL in 1972.
His Army assignments were many and varied – and he is reluctant to choose any one that stood out beyond the others.
“I enjoyed them all. It’s really what you want to make it.”
Colonel Morgan is the recipient of numerous awards and decorations, including two presentations of the Legion of Merit, the second highest award for achievement not involving valor. The first came following his 1967 tour in South Vietnam. The second was just prior to his 1972 retirement.
|70th Wedding Anniveersary|
Colonel Al Morgan and wife Fay
A longtime Christian, Colonel Morgan has taught the Bible for over 50 years. He has served in The Gideons International for some 55 years. Other memberships include the American Legion, Association of the U.S. Army, and – of course – the Military Officers of American Association (MOAA). He has served as Chaplain for the Black Hills Chapter longer than most of us remember!
Alvin and Fay live at Primrose Retirement Community in Rapid City, enjoying their long marriage of 71 years.
“We are both quite well for our ages and as active as possible in various forms of service. We are thankful to the Lord for long and fruitful lives!”
And MOAA-Black Hills Chapter members are thankful for having Colonel Al Morgan and Fay as members of our chapter “family”!