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Harry Simmon Morris
Chief Torpedoeman's Mate - Navy
Harry Morris

Highest Rank: Chief Torpedoeman's Mate
Foreign Service Length: 41 Years
Continental Service Length: 14 Years
Location of Service: 41 different ships during varied and colorfol service.
Gender: male
Basic Training: Newport, Rhode Island
Service Related Injury: Broken back.
Military Position: Chief Torpedoeman's Mate
Date Deceased: 06/1975
4/3/1903 - 1/31/1958
Honored by Zach Wooten, Military Buff


My War Stories
1903 Chief Torpedoeman Harry S. Morris enlisted at Newport, Rhode Island on 3 April 1903 as an Apprentice 3rd Class. After 11 months of Newport, he boarded the Revolutionary war frigate Alliance for his training cruise. This same sailing ship was the one used by Benjamin Franklin when he made one of his visits to France in Colonial days. From the Alliance, Morris went to the West Indies on the USS Topeka.
1905 In 1905, Morris was aboard the USS Dixie which made a cruise to Algeria to photograph the total eclipse of the sun. It was the first American man-of-war the Arabs had seen. Electricity and ice produced by the ship was also another first for the Arabs, who were astounded by the light which could be turned off and on and ice, which was something out of their world.
1906 During his time in the military, Chief Morris believed that he was the only enlisted man ever to receive the honor of a seven gun salute intended for an American consul. In 1906 when an earthquake demolished most of Kingston, Jamaica, his ship the USS Kearsarge was ordered there with food and medical supplies for the many victims. While ashore on a rescue mission, Morris' ship got underway without him. He later received word to telegraph to report to the American consul for duty until he could meet his ship once more. Upon reporting to the consul he found him undergoing treatment for a broken back suffered during the earthquake. For 11 months Morris was the consults right-hand man. When Secretary of the Navy Victor H. Metcalf arrived at Jamaica aboard the U.S. gunboat Yorktown, Morris in the consults boat started out to meet him. Upon seeing the American consular flag flying from the approaching boat the Captain of the Yorktown immediately ordered the traditional seven gun salute which this important personage rated. It isn't recorded whose face was the redder, the captain's or Morris, when the latter enlisted man stepped aboard in all his glory.
1907 Morris also served in the "Great White Fleet" from 1907-1908, a US Navy program fostered by then President Teddy Roosevelt. The "Great White Fleet" was a worldwide round the world cruise performed by 16 US Navy battleships of the Atlantic Fleet. Later, Chief Morris was the founder of the "Great White Fleet" Association which held annual reunion dinners to commemorate the cruise at the U. S. Grant Hotel in downtown San Diego.
1919 Promoted to Chief Petty Officer.
1937 In 1937, Morris was classified as an "old timer" in the U.S. Navy, in which he would continued to serve another 20 years.
1942 From December 1941 to February 1942, Chief Morris helped in the salvaging and raising of all but two vessels lost during the Japanese attack on 7 December 1941. This Salvage Division labored hard and productively for over two years, represented one of history's greatest salvage jobs. Chief Morris was 55 years of age.
1/31/1958 Chief Morris retired on January 31, 1958 at the age of 70. He had served 55 years in the Navy and spent 41 of those years on sea duty, a record which cannot be surpassed under current regulations. Morris had been awarded medals from nearly every country in the world and had been stationed aboard battleships, cruisers, torpedo destroyers, and submarines. Morris was the last living apprentice boy entitled to wear the apprentice "knot" on his uniform.

My War Pictures
Served aboard the U.S. Navy's most venerated vessel, the USS Constitution 'Old Ironsides' in the early 1900's. Served aboard the U.S. Navy's most venerated vessel, the USS Constitution 'Old Ironsides' in the early 1900's.
Chief Morris served aboard the USS Maryland from 1915-1916. Chief Morris served aboard the USS Maryland from 1915-1916.
Assigned to the USS North Dakota in 1914. Assigned to the USS North Dakota in 1914.
Assigned to the USS Pittsburgh in 1914. Assigned to the USS Pittsburgh in 1914.
Assigned aboard the USS Colorado, 1913. Assigned aboard the USS Colorado, 1913.
Served aboard the USS Alert, 1912. Served aboard the USS Alert, 1912.
Served aboard the USS Independence, 1912. Served aboard the USS Independence, 1912.
Chief Morris served aboard the USS Kearsarge from 1907-1909. Chief Morris served aboard the USS Kearsarge from 1907-1909.
Served aboard the USS Dixie, 1904-1906 Served aboard the USS Dixie, 1904-1906
Served aboard the USS Topeka on Jan 1, 1904. Served aboard the USS Topeka on Jan 1, 1904.
Served aboard the USS Columbia sometime during the early 1900's. Served aboard the USS Columbia sometime during the early 1900's.
First ship he served aboard during his training cruise, aboard the Revolutionary War frigate, USS Alliance in 1904. First ship he served aboard during his training cruise, aboard the Revolutionary War frigate, USS Alliance in 1904.
Page 6 of Chief Morris' service record. Page 6 of Chief Morris' service record.
Page 4 of Chief Morris' service record. Page 4 of Chief Morris' service record.
Page 2 of Chief Morris' service record. In the far right column you can see the rates. "App 2c" is Apprentice Second Class, "OS" is Ordinary Seaman, and Bugler. These are of course (except for Bugler) archaic rank designations. The Apprentice rank would have been when Chief Morris was in the "Apprentice Program". He appears to have been designated "OS" when the program was abolished. Then for a time served as a Bugler. This was not uncommon as buglers were the announcing system for the old ships before the advent of "PA" systems (the 1MC as we know it today). Yes, the Bosons Call was used, but there were many bugle calls in use also and the bugle actually has a "longer reach". Page 2 of Chief Morris' service record.  In the far right column you can see the rates. "App 2c" is Apprentice Second Class, "OS" is Ordinary Seaman, and Bugler. These are of course (except for Bugler) archaic rank designations. The Apprentice rank would have been when Chief Morris was in the "Apprentice Program". He appears to have been designated "OS" when the program was abolished.  Then for a time served as a Bugler. This was not uncommon as buglers were the announcing system for the old ships before the advent of "PA" systems (the 1MC as we know it today). Yes, the Bosons Call was used, but there were many bugle calls in use also and the bugle actually has a "longer reach".
Page 1 of Chief Morris' service record. Page 1 of Chief Morris' service record.
Picture of Chief Morris from a newspaper article written about him in 1948. Picture of Chief Morris from a newspaper article written about him in 1948.
Chief Morris' Medals. Top Row from Left to Right: Navy Good Conduct Medal (WWII era), China Relief Expeditionary Medal (Navy), & World War I Victory Medal. Middle Row: Cuban Pacification Medal (1908), American Defense Service Medal, & the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal. Bottom Row: World War II Victory Medal, Philippine Liberation Medal, & Philippine Independence Medal. Throughout Chief Morris' long and illustrious career, he was awarded medals from nearly every country. But in existing photographs, he is oftentimes only shown wearing some of his awards, when undoubtedly he was authorized to wear many more. Chief Morris' Medals. Top Row from Left to Right: Navy Good Conduct Medal (WWII era), China Relief Expeditionary Medal (Navy), & World War I Victory Medal. Middle Row: Cuban Pacification Medal (1908), American Defense Service Medal, & the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal.  Bottom Row: World War II Victory Medal, Philippine Liberation Medal, & Philippine Independence Medal.  
Throughout Chief Morris' long and illustrious career, he was awarded medals from nearly every country.  But in existing photographs, he is oftentimes only shown wearing some of his awards, when undoubtedly he was authorized to wear many more.
Chief Morris' Ribbons: From Top to Bottom, Top Row: Presidential Citation & Presidential Unit Citation (Navy), Second Row: Navy Good Conduct Medal (WWII era), China Relief Expeditionary Medal (Navy), & World War I Victory Medal. Third Row: Cuban Pacification Medal (1908), American Defense Service Medal, & the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal. Bottom Row: World War II Victory Medal, Philippine Liberation Medal, & Philippine Independence Medal. Chief Morris' Ribbons: From Top to Bottom, Top Row: Presidential Citation & Presidential Unit Citation (Navy), Second Row: Navy Good Conduct Medal (WWII era), China Relief Expeditionary Medal (Navy), & World War I Victory Medal. Third Row: Cuban Pacification Medal (1908), American Defense Service Medal, & the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal. Bottom Row: World War II Victory Medal, Philippine Liberation Medal, & Philippine Independence Medal.
An Ex-Apprentice Boys ‘Figure-of-Eight Knot Distinguishing Mark. Enlisted men who have held the rating of Apprentice in the Navy shall wear a mark consisting of a "figure of eight" knot. Chief petty officers shall wear it on the coat sleeve below the rating badge. Other men shall wear it on the breast of the jumper, 2" below the "V", neck opening. An Ex-Apprentice Boys ‘Figure-of-Eight Knot Distinguishing Mark. Enlisted men who have held the rating of Apprentice in the Navy shall wear a mark  consisting of a "figure of eight" knot. Chief petty officers shall wear it on the coat sleeve below the rating badge. Other men shall wear it on the breast of the jumper, 2" below the "V", neck opening.