When Jack Morrow left Kittanning, Pennsylvania to fight in WWII, he was a seventeen year-old volunteer. “I wanted to go into the military,” he says, “and my parents gave me their permission.” This was 1943.
After basic training, Jack was sent to radar school and then to the Pacific. The war effort desperately needed replacements, especially for the impending invasion of Okinawa. Jack eventually made it to the battle-scarred island so crucial to the planned invasion of Japan. “I went ashore about a month after the Marines landed on Okinawa,” he says. By that time the Japanese were desperate. The kamikaze planes were in full force, targeting the ships supplying the island with men and ammunition.
“While on a work detail to the island, I happened to look up and saw a kamikaze hit the USS Birmingham (CL-62).” That was May 4, 1945—the last day of the battle. After that, things quieted down. “We weren’t very busy,” Jack recalls. But the Marines remained ready to take the fight to the Japanese mainland. When they heard about the atomic bomb, they knew the end was near.
On May 16, 2015, we filmed our 6th episode of Veterans and Their Stories at MCA-TV in Moon Township, Pennsylvania. On this day, WWII veterans Jack Morrow (Marines) and Ron Potter (Army) joined us to share their stories of serving in the military.
Veterans and Their Stories is a production of Moon Township Community Access Television. The talk show features interviews with veterans from Moon Township and surrounding communities. Veterans and Their Stories is hosted by Moon Township resident Beth Feather, who is also the MCA-TV community producer for this program. This program is co-produced with the Veteran Voices of Pittsburgh Oral History Initiative, in partnership with the Veterans Breakfast Club.