Charles McMorris

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Charles H. McMorris
Nickname(s) Soc
Born (1890-08-31)31 August 1890
Wetumpka, Alabama
Died 20 February 1954(1954-02-20) (aged 63)
Valparaiso, Chile
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch Seal of the United States Department of the Navy.svg United States Navy
Years of service 1912–1952
Rank US-O9 insignia.svg Vice Admiral
Commands held Task Group 16.6 Fourth Fleet
Fourteenth Naval District
Battles/wars Occupation of Veracruz
World War I

World War II

Awards Navy Cross with Gold Star

Charles "Soc" Horatio McMorris (August 31, 1890 – February 11, 1954) was an American rear admiral during World War II, most notably commanding forces at the Battle of the Komandorski Islands during the Aleutian Islands Campaign.


Born in Wetumpka, Alabama, McMorris attended public schools in Wetumpka for several years before entering the United States Naval Academy on June 26, 1908. After graduating fifth in his class on June 8, 1912, McMorris served as an ensign aboard several battleships including the Delaware (BB-28), Montana (ACR-13), and New Hampshire (BB-25), later taking part in the occupation of Veracruz in 1914 as part of the United States' intervention into Mexico. He also served aboard the battleship Maryland (ACR-8) which salvaged the submarine F-4 following its sinking off the coast of Honolulu, Hawaii in 1915.

World War I

A junior officer during World War I, McMorris saw combat in the Atlantic aboard the destroyers Shaw (DD-68) and Meredith (DD-165) before his promotion to Lieutenant in 1918. During the inter-war years, McMorris was stationed in various sea and shore posts before his graduation from the Naval War College in 1938, serving as operations officer to the Hawaiian-based US fleet from 1939 until 1941.

World War II

Appointed war plans officer to the Pacific Fleet following the attack on Pearl Harbor, he remained in this post until April 1942 when he was assigned command of Cruiser Task Force 8 led by the cruiser San Francisco (CA-38). After engaging the Imperial Japanese Navy several times, both in the Aleutian Islands Campaign, specifically at the Battle of the Komandorski Islands and (as well as winning distinction for bravery and the award of the Navy Cross during the Battle of Cape Esperance on October 11–12, 1943[1]), McMorris was named Chief of Staff of the Pacific Fleet in June 1943, as well as a personal advisor to Admiral Chester Nimitz (during which he would later be awarded the Gold Star), a post in which he would remain until the end of the war.


Briefly serving as Vice Admiral from September 23, 1944 until July 1948, McMorris would serve as commander of the 4th Fleet and President of the General Board before assuming command of Pearl Harbor's Fourteenth Naval District on August 25, 1948. McMorris would eventually command the Pearl Harbor naval base before retiring to Marietta, Pennsylvania, where he lived until his death in 1954.


The destroyer escort USS McMorris (DE-1036) would later be named after him.


Gold star
Bronze star
Gold star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
1st Row Navy Cross w/ Gold Star Navy Distinguished Service Medal Legion of Merit Navy and Marine Presidential Unit Citation w/ Service star
2nd Row Mexican Service Medal World War I Victory Medal w/ battle clasp Nicaraguan Campaign Medal American Defense Service Medal
3rd Row American Campaign Medal Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal w/ four service stars World War II Victory Medal National Defense Service Medal

See also


  1. "Military Times Hall of Valor : Awards for Charles Horatio McMorris". Retrieved 4 September 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Parrish, Thomas and S. L. A. Marshall, ed. The Simon and Schuster Encyclopedia of World War II, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1978.

External links