January 28, 1921 (Charleston, WV) – January 10, 1943; 21 years old
Last local address: 16 South Main Street, South Norwalk
Enlisted August 21, 1940
Service number: 2661765
USS Argonaut (SS-166)
Missing In Action (at sea)
Born to John T. (1879-1930) and Nellie E. Hannon Morgan (1887-?). Brother, John (1913-1965). Sisters, Mary E. Morgan Bloom (1913-1983) and Ann J. Morgan Myslinski (1918-2001).
Awarded the Purple Heart Medal.
Pictures of FC3c Thomas M. Morgan’s Purple Heart Medal and WWII medal; contributed by Mark Myslinski
Article from an unknown newspaper provided by Sue France, an employee at Charleston Catholic High School in West Virginia (formerly Sacred Heart High School where Thomas Morgan attended in his senior year)
LOCAL IRISH TAKE THIRD GAME IN SUCCESSION
HADDAD’S RUNS, LUCK CHARM HELP SACRED HEART BEAT IRONTON, 7-0
Irish eyes were smiling Monday at Sacred Heart High School and a story goes with it. It centers around a horseshoe, or to be more exact, a pony shoe. It all started three weeks ago — a few days after the Irish footballers lost their opening game to Charleston High School, 45-0, and cast a pall of gloom over the Irish student body. Tom Morgan, reserve senior end who toiled at a first-string tackle slot last year,m found a pony shoe on his way to football practice after the Mountain Lion loss. The pony shoe gave Morgan an idea. He breezed onto the training field that day dangling a rusted and worn pony shoe before his mates and said: “Fellows, I found a good luck charm — I believe we’ll win this week.” Sure enough, Morgan brought the shoe along when the Irish played Van and the result was a 33-0 victory for the Shamrocks. The following Saturday, Morgan lugged his luck piece to Madison where Sacred Heart was quoted the underdog by two touchdowns, but Morgan had implicit confidence in the shoe and the Irish surprised the Skyhawks, 6-0. Sunday, when Sacred Heart took the field at Kanawha Park against Ed O’Hara’s Ironton Ironmen, hopeful of erasing a 13-6 defeat suffered last year on the Buckeye battlefield, Morgan rushed up to a representative of this corner of the inkpot and said excitedly: “Here, hold this and don’t lose it — if you do, we may lose.” The inkpotter looked askance when he found a half-grown horseshoe in his hand. But once the game got underway, the roving reporter forgot all about the horseshoe and when the game was over with a 7-0 victory for Sacred Heart, Morgan came rushing up breathlessly and inquired: “Did you keep the shoe?” A hasty search revealed the shoe in the reporter’s hip pocket. Morgan smiled and galloped away, but that’s the story of Sacred Heart’s three victories in a row — a novelty at the East Side institution when you consider that the 1937 squad lost seven, won three, and tied one and the Irish basketballers won only one game in 21. And the three victories also explain why Irish eyes were smiling Monday.
The only Norwalker to be Killed In Action on a submarine. Muster roll from the USS Argonaut on December 31, 1942, shows FCM3 Morgan arriving on the sub on November 23, 1942. The sub was lost 48 days later.
The bell that hangs in the steeple of the Submarine Base Chapel, Pearl Harbor, and tolled in remembrance for the fallen each month, was donated from the crew of USS Argonaut right before her last patrol, one from which she would never return.
From The Norwalk Hour February 18, 1943
Thomas Moore Morgan, Fire Controlman Third Class, well known in Norwalk and brother of Mrs. Ann Myslinski of 6 Broad Street and Mrs. Mary Bloom of Meadow Street, has also been reported as “missing in action.” Seaman Morgan was born in Charleston, West Virginia, but spent many years in Norwalk with his sisters. He attended Norwalk High School in 1928 as a sophomore, but at the end of that year returned to his hometown, where later he graduated from Sacred Heart High School. He took an active part in sports at Norwalk High School.
From The Norwalk Hour June 16, 1943
Citation of Thomas Moore Morgan, 22, brother of Mrs. Albert Myslinski of 6 Broad Street and Mrs. Mary Bloom of Meadow Street, who fought on the U.S. submarine Argonaut which continued to fire on Japanese warships off Rabaul until destroyed months ago, was received last night by Mrs. Myslinksi from the Navy Department. The eight officers and 94 men aboard the sub “accepted destruction rather than surrender,” the Navy said, and the commanding officer and the entire ship’s company have received identical letters of commendation posthumously from Rear Admiral Charles A. Lockwood, commander, Submarine Force, Pacific Fleet. Morgan, a Fire Controlman Third Class, was reported missing in action in February. He was born in Charleston, West Virginia but spent many years in Norwalk with his sisters. He attended Norwalk High School in 1938 as a sophomore and was manager of the soph football team, but then returned to his hometown, where he graduated from Sacred Heart High School. After finishing high school, he returned to Norwalk and was employed at local stores. He returned to Charleston in 1940 and enlisted in the Navy. Morgan’s citation, received by Mrs. Myslinksi last night follows:
“The Chief of Naval Personnel is pleased to inform you that your ward, Thomas Moore Morgan, Fire Controlman Third Class, United States Navy, missing in action, had been commended by Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, for his performance of duty which was an important and material contribution to a courageous and determined attack against superior enemy forces. In view of the fact that the permanent citation contains information which is at present, confidential, it will be retained in the bureau until such time as there is no further need for secrecy.”
Capt, USN (Ret)
To the Chief of Bureau
MORGAN, Thomas M, FCM3, 2661765, USN, from West Virginia, USS Argonaut, location New Britain Island, missing, date of loss January 10, 1943 (pm) + MORGAN, Thomas M, Fire Controlman Third Class, 2661765, USN, from West Virginia, Jan-44, Manila American Cemetery (bm) + MORGAN, Thomas, FC3c, USN, Argonaut SM-1, January 10, 1943 (nm) + MORGAN, Thomas Moore, Fire Controlman 3c, USN. Guardian, Mrs. Ann Myslinski (1918-2001), 6 Broad St., Norwalk, Conn)
From history.navy.mil: The USS Argonaut, while operating in the area southeast of New Britain between 5°-15’S and 6°-00’S and west of 150°-50’E during her third patrol, Argonaut (Lieutenant Commander J.R. Pierce) intercepted a Japanese convoy returning to Rabaul from Lae, on 10 January 1943. A U.S. Army plane which was out of bombs saw one destroyer hit by a torpedo, saw the explosion of two other destroyers, and reported five other vessels in the group.
After a severe depth charge attack Argonaut was forced to surface and the destroyers, according to the plane’s report, circled and pumped shells into her bow, which was sticking up at a considerable angle. This action took place in 5°-40’S, 152°-02’E, and further efforts to contact Argonaut by radio were fruitless. It is quite certain, then, that Argonaut met her end in this action. Japanese reports made available since the end of the war record a depth charge attack followed by artillery fire, at which time the “destroyed top of the sub floated”.
Memorialized at the Manila American Cemetery, Tablets of the Missing, 1634 McKinley Rd, Taguig, Metro Manila, Philippines.