Help Sought In Photo Search For Local Vietnam Vet


• Family or friends sought for assistance.


Of The Record Staff

Something as simple as a photograph can change a lot of things. For two brothers searching for photographs of service members killed in the Vietnam Conflict such a thing can make those lost troopers truly more than a name on a wall.

Army Staff Sgt. John Daniel Morgan, who was born in Dunn on Oct. 8, 1929, is just such a trooper. Now researchers are asking for family or friends of Staff Sgt. Morgan to come forward and supply the final piece of puzzle that has seen many veterans get recognition they so heartily deserve.

On June 30, 1966, Staff Sgt. Morgan was killed in action in South Vietnam. Reports say he died from multiple fragmentation wounds during combat operations as a member of Bravo Troop, 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry, 1st Infantry Division.

Now for his heroic efforts in a time when soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines were often ostracized for their role in an unpopular conflict, his name sits on panel 08E, line 112 of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C.

At the time of his death, Staff Sgt. Morgan was 36 years old and was in his 18th year in the Army. In addition to serving in Vietnam, Staff Sgt. Morgan also served in the Korean War. At the time of his death he had been in the Viet- See Vet, Page 3

An effort is being made to locate a photograph of Staff Sgt. John Daniel Morgan of Dunn. He was killed during the Vietnam Conflict and now his picture is needed for a memorial that is being constructed in Washington, D.C. This is his grave at Resthaven Memorial Park in Dunn.

Daily Record Photo/Rick Curl Vet

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nam Theater of Operations for only five months.

He earned a great deal of decorations for his service to his country. Staff Sgt. Morgan was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, the Purple Heart with one Oak Leaf Cluster, the Korean and Vietnam Service Medals, the United Nations and Army Expeditionary Medals, the Army of Occupation Medal, the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal(s) and the Good Conduct Medal(s).

Now all that is missing is a photograph to allow him to take his place among his fallen comrades in another memorial. He is among a group of remaining troopers who’s photos have yet to be discovered.

“Myself and a few others in North Carolina are trying to locate all of the photos of the Vietnam War dead,” said Wilmington native Jim Reece, a retired veteran and photo researcher for the Vietnam War. “We have located all of the headstones, but are still looking for 21 facial photos.

“There were over 1,900 fallen from North Carolina. We have been at this since 2005 and we have one soldier from Dunn that we need help with,” Mr. Reece said in reaching out to The Daily Record.

Any relative or friend who has a photograph of Staff Sgt. Morgan is asked to contact Mr. Reece. He can be reached via email at reecejim@ They can also send their information to Daily Record staff

writer Rick Curl and he will pass it along to Mr. Reece. Mr. Curl can be contacted at or (910) 230-2037.

Mr. Reece’s efforts are in conjunction with the new Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C., that broke ground in November of 2012.

“The photos will be displayed once construction starts in 2018 and completes in two years,” Mr. Reece said. “We have been searching for photos of these veterans since 2005 and we need some help. Some of these veterans we don’t have very much information on so we can try and track down a photo.”

Staff Sgt Morgan is the lone remaining casualty from Harnett County without a picture. He is the final face of 23 needed to complete the gallery.

“Keep in mind that we started out with 1,610 and the list has grown to 1,910 because Uncle Sam used their last address as their home of record,” Mr. Reece said. “So if the veteran was born and raised in Dunn, and his last address was his wife’s house in Maryland, Maryland became his home of record. So it takes some digging.”

Mr. Reece hasn’t been slacking in his search for relatives of Staff Sgt Morgan, he just hasn’t had a lot of success.

“We have been looking for John Morgan for a long time,” he said. “I have spoken to the funeral home that interred him, the head of the alumni of the school he attended back in the day and newspapers as far away as Hartford, Conn., where he lived at one time.”

Staff Sgt. Morgan returned home one final time. He was laid to rest in Resthaven Memorial Park in Dunn.

Mr. Reece and his brother, Tom, have spent countless hours searching through every source imaginable in their effort to make sure all North Carolina vets of all kind are remembered.

“We have adopted all born and raised, all that were born elsewhere but called North Carolina their home and all that were stationed at Fort Bragg that were from somewhere else and were deployed out of Fort Bragg to Vietnam,” Mr. Reece said. “Lastly, those that are buried here that we have stumbled on while making cemetery searches.”



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