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The Airmen's Stories - F/O E J Morris

 

Edward James Morris was born on 6th April 1915 in the Transvaal, South Africa and educated at Michaelhouse, Natal. He joined the RAF on a short service commission in June 1937.

He was posted to 6 FTS Netheravon on 18th September and on completion of the course was posted to the Home Aircraft Depot at Henlow on 7th May 1938 as a pilot in the Parachute Test Flight.


In January 1939 Morris joined 79 Squadron at Biggin Hill. Still with the squadron in 1940, he shared in the destruction of a He59 on 28th August and destroyed a He111 by ramming on the 30th. The Heinkel was on its way to attack Farnborough when Morris engaged it over Reigate. They collided. Morris baled out, unhurt, landing at Dorking. His Hurricane, P3203, crashed on Lodge Farm, South Holmwood, Brockham. The Heinkel crashed at Swires Farm, Capel and exploded.

 

 

The next day Morris was wounded and crashed on landing at Biggin Hill, after being damaged by a Me109 during an attack on Do17's over the airfield. In this action he damaged a Do17.


Morris was posted to 238 Squadron at Chilbolton in January 1941 as a Flight Commander. He shared in destroying a Ju88 on 23rd March. In May the squadron went to the Middle East and in September Morris was posted to 250 Squadron as CO.

He damaged two Me109's on 23rd November 1941, got a probable Me109 on 11th December and shared a Me110 on 22nd January 1942.

He was posted to HQ Desert Air Force in March and awarded the DSO (gazetted 7th April 1942).


In late 1942 Morris was appointed Chief Instructor at 71 OTU, then in the Sudan but later Egypt. He became Wing Leader 251 Wing, Desert Air Force in Italy in late 1943. On 23rd April 1944 he shared a Me109, on 8th June shared a Ju88 and on the 14th destroyed a Me109.

He was awarded the DFC (gazetted 14th November 1944) and was posted away at the end of the year to HQ MAAF as Wing Commander Air Plans.

He was awarded the DFC (US) in 1945.


Morris was granted a Permanent Commission in May 1945 and went to the RAF Staff College. He held a series of appointments and commands in the post-war years. He was made a CBE (gazetted 1st January 1959), a CB (gazetted 1st January 1966) and retired from the RAF on 16th July 1968 as an Air Commodore.

He died in South Africa on 18th January 1999.

 

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