Morris Sol Fischer of St. Louis first served as a private in the U.S. Army with the 33rd AB Squadron of the 34th Air Base Group, Air Force Combat Command, based at Paine Field, Everett, Wash., from June 9, 1941, to Oct. 18, 1941, when he was honorably discharged from the Army and transferred to the Enlisted Reserve Corps (the Army Reserve). But on Dec. 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.
So, from Jan. 18, 1942, to Oct. 24, 1945, he served in Squadron BG of the 4130th Army Air Forces Base Unit, which was based in Jackson, Miss., but for much of the war, Morris served in Alaska. He worked for 29 months as a duty soldier loading freight for air transport and for 11 months as a guard patrolman, doing general guard duty, motor patrol and gate duty. For two years (from Oct. 4, 1942, to Oct. 8, 1944) he was stationed overseas on Adak Island in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska, in World War II.
Adak and other western Aleutian Islands had been occupied by the Japanese in June 1942 in an attempt to lure the U.S. Navy away from Midway Island. But on Aug. 30, 1942, U.S. forces seized Adak. And starting on Sept. 14, 1942, the U.S. Army Air Forces used a newly constructed airfield on Adak to launch attacks on the Japanese forces still holding other Aleutian Islands. Less than three weeks later, Morris Fischer arrived at Adak, where his primary responsibility was loading military aircraft.
Morris received the Asiatic-Pacific Theater Ribbon with one Bronze Battle Star (awarded Oct. 29, 1943, during his stay at the Adak airbase), four Overseas Bars and the Good Conduct Medal, according to his honorable discharge papers. We donít know what happened to his original awards and we donít know why he received a Battle Star other than the fact that he was serving in a combat zone.
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