Morgan Allen Powell, USN

Born  2 Mar 1901McHue community south of Batesville
Died  21 Jun 1979(78)Batesville



Retired: 1959


Warship Commands listed for Morgan Allen Powell, USN

USS Gunston Hall (LSD 5)Dock landing ship9 Apr 194510 Dec 1945 (1)

Career information

Morgan Powell was born on March 2, 1901, in the McHue community south of Batesville (Independence County). His parents were John Thomas and Mary Morgan Powell; he had two sisters.

While still a student at Batesville High School, he joined the Army and served in World War I as a signalman. He returned to Batesville in and graduated from Batesville High School. From there he went to the U.S. Naval Academy, where he received a BS degree and was commissioned an ensign with the U.S. Navy in 1925.

Powell served two years in the Navy as a junior officer and then did graduate work at the University of California, American University, and Purdue University. In 1928, he married Martha Coleman Hazen of Dobbs Ferry, New York; they had one daughter, Elizabeth Ann.

In 1941, at the age of 40, he returned to active duty in the Navy. Known as ‘Red’ to his shipmates, he served both in the Mediterranean and in the Pacific. He received the Bronze Star in the Okinawa campaign, a special commendation, and nine battle stars. When he retired from the naval reserve in 1959, he held the rank of rear admiral.

At the end of the war, he became director of engineering development for Vulcan Detinning Company of Pittsburgh. As an officer of that firm, he designed, built, and supervised factories. Until he retired in 1957.

In 1976, as a widower, he returned to his home town and married Mary Beth Terry Griffith, with whom he had served on his high-school debate team 60 years earlier. He became a local history researcher and published six articles in the Independence County Chronicle on topics ranging from biographies to notes on slavery. He died on June 21, 1979, at Batesville and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

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