|Lyle Morris, framed separately at right.|
Some time ago, I promised Don Evans that I would send photographs of items in the Lucas County Historical Society collection related to his uncle, Lyle H. Morris, who at age 22 was one of the first Lucas Countyans to die in combat during World War II. I've finally done that, so thought I share them here this morning, too.
Don lives on the western Pacific island of Yap, so jumping into the car and driving to Chariton to see these items for himself isn't really an option unless he happens to be visiting his hometowns of Derby and Humeston. His mother was the late Flora (Morris) Evans, Lyle's sister, who donated all but one of these items to the society during 1970.
|Medals awarded posthumously to Lyle Morris.|
Lake Morris, the most easterly and newest of two city-owned lakes east of Chariton that are the source of Chariton's water supply, was named in Lyle's honor by the Chariton City Council by resolution dated May 3, 1943. The lake had just been completed at the time.
|Note from Lyle's parents acknowledging the naming of Lake Morris.|
The older west lake was named Lake Ellis at the same time, honoring the memory of Roy Ellis, also 22, of Williamson.
Roy, a U.S. Army Air Forces radio operator, died June 11, 1942, when the B-24 bomber he was aboard --- on his first mission --- was shot down by Japanese planes over the Aleutian Islands.
Lyle died at his battle station aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise in the Solomon Islands on Oct. 26, 1942, during a Japanese assault on the carrier.
Although the Lakes are identified by signs, neither sign indicates who the names honor --- so Don is working on designs for a sign that could be located at the north-shore public access of Lake Morris to tell more of its history. The Lake Morris sign is a family project, but naturally we think it would be nice to commission a similar sign for Lake Ellis if funding were available --- and would like to locate surviving members of the Ellis family, too.
|Otis Morris's Selective Service medal.|
The island of Yap has been working to conserve and commemorate its World War II history and Don shared this link, so feel free to take a look and learn more.
Also in the society collection, added a couple of years ago, is a pair of combat boots worn by Darold D. Braida, who served during the Korean War. He died May 30 at age 86 and funeral services are scheduled for Friday at Pierschbacher Funeral Home.
I didn't know Darold, although I do know two of his siblings, Jaynane (Braida) Hardy and John Braida, but learned much about him by reading a wonderful obituary posted here to the Pierschbacher Web site. Go read it to learn more about this remarkable Lucas Countyan.
Darold, who spent much of his career as an educator in Hawaii, returned to his home county in old age in order to be near family --- those boots traveled with him to Hawaii in 1957, then back to Chariton when he returned many years later. And now we're proud to have them.
Among other accomplishments, Darold was a master of Haiku. There just aren't many, if any other, Lucas Countyans about whom that could be said.