From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Morgan Brett, Jr. '43

Date of birth: February 3, 1921

Date of death: July 27, 1946

Age: 25

Lucky Bag

From the 1943 Lucky Bag:


From the 25th Anniversary Book for the Class of 1943:

Sooby was born on February 3, 1921, at Washington, D. C. He attended Stanford University, California, before his appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, from California, on June 14, 1939.

Upon graduation from the Academy in 1942, Sooby was assigned duty in the battleship USS NEW MEXICO, participating in the Attu Operation from May 21 to June 2, 1943. He served in the NEW MEXCIO until September 1943, when he reported to the Supervisor of Shipbuilding, New York Shipbuilding Corporation, Camden, New Jersey, in connection with the fitting out of the USS BATAAN, and was assigned duty aboard that carrier when she was placed in commission on November 17, 1943. She participated in the Hollandia Operation (Aitape, Humboldt Bay and Tanahmerah Bay); Truk, Salawan and Ponape Raid; the capture and occupation of Saipan; the first Bonins raid; the Battle of the Philippine Sea; and the FIFTH and THIRD Fleet raids in support of the Okinawa Gunto Operation. He received the Purple Heart Medal for wounds received on April 17, 1945 while serving on the USS BATAAN.

Sooby served aboard the carrier BATAAN until May 1945, when he was ordered detached and to temporary duty under instruction at the Ordnance and Gunnery Schools at the Navy Yard, Washington, D. C., reporting there in June 1945. In August of that year he was assigned temporary duty at the Naval Training Station, Newport, Rhode Island, in connection with the pre-commissioning training of the crew for the USS FARGO. On December 7, 1945, he again reported to the Supervisor of Shipbuilding, New York Shipbuilding Corporation, Camden, New Jersey in connection with the fitting out of the USS FARGO and reported aboard upon her commissioning on December 9, 1945. He served aboard that vessel until sent to the 392nd Station Hospital, Naples, Italy where he died on July 27, 1946 of acute infantile paralysis.

In addition to the Purple Heart Medal, Lieutenant Brett was entitled to the American Defense Service Medal; the American Area Campaign Medal; the Asiatic Pacific Area Campaign Medal with five bronze stars; and the World War II Victory Medal.

His next of kin, his mother, Mrs. Zillah O. Brett, resided at 1020 Bryant Street, Palo Alto, California at the time of his death.

From the August 6, 1946 issue of the San Francisco Examiner:

Lt. Morgan L. Brett, Jr., U.S.N., 25, son of Mrs. Zillah Quayle Brett of Palo Alto, died recently from an undisclosed illness in a Naples, Italy, hospital the Navy announced yesterday in Washington.

Lieutenant Brett, a veteran of the Pacific fighting, was wounded by shell fragments in April last year. He was appointed to Annapolis in 1938 by the late Senator William G. McAdoo. Brett's father, Col. Morgan L. Brett, Sr., lives at Fallen Leaf Lake.

He was survived by his parents and two brothers. Both brothers served in the Army, and at least one was a graduate of West Point. He is buried in California.

Listing in Memorial Hall

The September 1946 issue of Shipmate, which listed all losses from the war years, has "Died 17 April 1945. Asiatic Area. Enemy action." He is listed with his classmates in Memorial Hall consistent with a date of death of April 17, 1945. The Register of Alumni gives this date and lists him as killed in action. He is included on a page listing "Stanford Men and Women who made the Supreme Sacrifice in World War II."

He does not appear in the list of Navy overseas casualties.

His name is included in the "Modern Biographical Files" section of the Naval History and Heritage Command site.

Class of 1943

Morgan is one of 84 members of the Class of 1943 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

The "category" links below lead to lists of related Honorees; use them to explore further the service and sacrifice of the alumni in Memorial Hall.