Edward Ruben Morris

November 30, 2013

Due to my big interest in the history of both World Wars, and to honor those who died for our freedom, I requested another adoption grave at the Henri-Chapelle cemetery in Belgium. This is my second adoption grave in Henri-Chapelle.

Before the war

Edward Morris was born on May 16, 1913 in Hundred, Wetzel County, West Virginia in the United States. Edward had three brothers; James, Jonathan and Elzie, and two sisters; Dorothy and Gussie. His parents were James and Susan. They lived in Church and Center, Wetzel County.

West Virginia, USA

Wetzel County, West Virginia, USA

Hundred, Wetzel County, West Virginia, USA

The family lived in a farmhouse in Long Drain Road in Church and Center, Wetzel County, West Virginia after their mother died. The youngest, Dorothy, quit school and took care of the family.

Edward was a small man and married a tall woman, Thelma Cain Morris, though no official documents exist about this marriage, so maybe they just had a relationship, though the IDPF mentions them being married. She had a daughter from a previous marriage, Delores Rose. Thelma remarried in February 1946.

Pvt Morris had a brother named Joseph who married a woman in France. He apparantly was killed in action in France during the Second World war too, and it is not sure if he is buried in France. No proof of that has been found either.

He did have a brother, Jonathan J. Morris, who was in the army after World War II.

Edward was an automobile serviceman before he enlisted.

In the army

Edward enlisted in the army on March 29, 1942 at Fort Hayes in Columbus, Ohio.

Fort Hayes, Columbus

Fort Hayes

During his training, Edward was stationed at the Ordnance Replacement Training Center at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Aberdeen, Maryland. It is not known when he arrived there and how long he was there.

Ordnance Replacement Training Center, Aberdeen, Maryland, USA

Still looking for more information.

Death of Edward Morris

Edward Morris died on March 17, 1945 in Elsdorf, Germany. His death was caused by a mine explosion. He did not carry ID Dog Tags, but was carrying a Civilian Identity Card.

Pfc Leo E. Gonshor, Cpl. Harold L. Pinkham, Pfc Robert E. Inman and Pvt Edward R. Morris were members of the 232nd Ordnance Bomb Disposal Company and were with General Patton's Third Army. They were all killed on March 17, 1945, probably in the same incident. They were the only members of the 232nd Ordnance Bomb Disposal Company to be killed during WWII.

Pvt. Morris carried 1 wallet, some pictures, 3 coins and 1 ring with him when he was killed. He did have more belongings like a bible, testament,souvenirs from Reims and some parachutes, but he did not have them on him.

His wife Thelma wished his body to be returned to Grafton in the USA. Why this eventually didn't happen, is not known. Edward was buried at the Henri-Chapelle American cemetery in Hombourg, Belgium on March 18, 1945 at 14h00 and definitely interred at Henri-Chapelle on April 3, 1949.

Henri-Chapelle American cemetery and memorial, Hombourg, Belgium

232nd Ordnance Bomb Disposal Company

232nd Ordnance Bomb Disposal Company

Ordnance Corps USA


The Ordnance Corps has a proud tradition dating back to colonial America when Samuel Sharpe was appointed as Master Gunner of Ordnance in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1629. For the next almost four hundred years, the Ordnance Corps served a pivotal role in the American Army: it built the weapons for the Union Army in the Civil War, it established forward maintenance as a key tenet during WWI, and organized the first Bomb Disposal Units in WWII. Through Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, up to its current operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the men and women of the Ordnance Branch maintain its dedication to the spirit of "Service To The Line, On The Line, On Time!"


I put a message on several Facebook-pages to reach out and find relatives of Edward Morris. I focussed on pages concerning Wetzel County, where Edward Morris lived. This way I got to meet Frances Headly and Kimberly Shatney who were willing to help me with my search. I also met Gregory Morris, who is a distant relative of Edward Morris.

Gregory provided me contact details from Melvin Morris and his son Greg. Melvin remembers Edward and his brother(s) leaving for the war. They provided me some more information, with the help of Kimberly Shatney, an American veteran.

Eventually I also got in touch with Donald Kimble through Ancestry. He is the son of Doroty, Edward's sister. He provide me more information and photo's, for which I'm very grateful.

I am still trying to reach out for more relatives, but I have already noticed that this research is a tough nut to crack. But giving up is not in my diary off course.

Personal information

Private, U.S. Army
Service # 35292391
232nd Ordnance Bomb Disposal Company
Entered service in Fort Hayes, Columbus, Ohio on March 29, 1942

Born: May 16, 1913 in Wetzel, West Virginia
Hometown: Wetzel County, West Virginia

Died: March 17, 1945 in Elsdorf, Germany
Status: killed in action (KIA)

Buried: Plot H, row 5, grave 65, Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery, Hombourg, Belgium
Awards: Purple Heart

Purple Heart

Wife/girlfriend: Thelma M. (Cain) Morris (1914-1968)
Delores Rose Cain (1933-1998)
James L. Morris (1864-1942)
Mother: Susan (Livingston) Morris (1881-1926)
Brothers: James R.L. (1909-?), Jonathan J. (1916-?), Elzie R. (1907-1938)
Sisters: Nancy (1898- died as an infant), Gussie M. (1903-1925), Dorothy A. (Kimble) (1919-2012)

More pictures


www.wwiimemorial.com NARA
www.wwiimemorial.com overseas American cemeteries
Andi Hunting
Terry Hirsch
Jan Smallwood
Gregory Morris
Donald Kimble
Melvin and Greg Morris

Any information you can provide me about this soldier, can be mailed to me (nicklieten at hotmail.com). Thank you!