MORRIS, DONALD DURWOOD
MORRIS, DONALD DURWOOD
Rank / Branch:
PFC E-3 U.S. ARMY
FIRST CAVALRY DIVISI
Date of Birth:
NON-HOSTILE DIED OTH
Awards & Decorations:
See Alphabetical list
list by County
DONALD DURWOOD MORRIS, PRIVATE FIRST CLASS, U. S. ARMY, ODESSA, ECTOR COUNTY, TEXAS
AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Purple Heart, Army Commendation’s Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal
Donnie was born in Odessa to Edna Joyce Marsh and James "Buck" Pierce Morris. He attended Odessa schools and last attended Permian High School. He is an honorary member of the Class of 1966. His parents divorced and he lived with his grandmother in Plains, Texas finishing high school there. His father was living in Levelland and his mother was living in Houston.
He enlisted in the Army in the summer of 1966 from Houston, Texas. He completed his basic and infantry AIT training at Fort Polk, Louisiana. He departed for Vietnam on February 3, 1967 and was assigned as an infantryman with Company A, 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry (Garry Owen), 1st Cavalry Division. He was killed by a faulty grenade on June 19, 1967 while in the field. The pin had worked its way out of the grenade and Donnie was carrying on his web harness. The grenade armed itself and Donnie attempted to defuse the grenade when it exploded, killing Donnie and injuring two other men who were close by. He was 19 years old at the time of his death.
He was buried with full military honors in a family plot in Plains, Yoakum County, Texas. His father passed away June 5, 2004 and rests next to him. His paternal grandmother indicated that Donnie had told her before departing for Vietnam that he would not come back alive and that he wanted to be buried in Plains, next to his uncle and that he wanted a granite headstone like his uncle. When the funeral services were being planned by his mother, she ordered a flat bronze headstone from the Army. When the headstone arrived and was set, his paternal grandmother wanted to honor Donnie's request. She enlisted the aid of the Yoakum County V.A. representative and a replacement granite headstone was ordered and paid for by the grandmother. In the paper work, it indicated that the original headstone was to be returned for destruction upon receipt of the new headstone. In the paperwork in Donnie's mortuary files, it shows that the original headstone had been returned and was destroyed in accordance with Department of the Defense regulations. It appears that this was not done, the orginal headstone was removed and placed at the foot of his grave and was covered with gravel. Over the course of time, the gravel was displaced and a part of the headstone was visible. After the remainder of the gravel was swept away, the orginal headstone is now visible.
Plains' City Cemetery, Plains, Texas