Editor’s note: World War II officially ended Sept. 2, 1945, when the Japanese signed surrender terms. We’re honoring the war’s area veterans over the next several months with these brief profiles.
Johnny D. Morgan
Date of birth: May 2, 1917
Dates of service: March 1941 to September 1945
Lives in: Portales
Theater and location of service: European: North Africa, Italy
Rank: Technician 4th grade
Unit and specialty: 804th tank destroyer battalion; First-aid medic
Veteran organizations: VFW
In his words: Saving lives, even those of the enemy, is a responsibility Morgan took seriously in the battlefields of Europe even though he initially was hesitant about being a medic.
Shortly after beginning his work, he reached a different realization.
“Actually, if I had helped one person to come back home to their loved ones, I thought it was worth it all the time I spent in the military.”
Medics were often in the line of fire.
“When I first got in, I was scared to death. After a while, I got to thinking if I was hit, I’d be hit so I didn’t even think about it (anymore).”
Morgan and a partner were responsible for 165 men.
“I had a little jeep with three stretchers on it,” he said, explaining his job was to treat the men until they were stable enough to be sent back to a field hospital.
“I was lucky — I didn’t get a scratch. We just did what we could. They (the soldiers) respected us and they were glad to see us around.”
World War II profiles are compiled by CNJ staff writer Sharna Johnson. Contact her at 763-6991 or by e-mail: