James Arthur Morrison was born in Pontiac, Illinois, on March 9, 1904, son of Ira A. and Henrietta Crosswell Morrison.
He entered the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis Maryland, on June 13, 1922. While there he was a Midshipman Lieutenant and Company Commander. Graduated and commissioned Ensign on June 3, 1926, he subsequently promoted to the rank of Captain on June 1, 1948. He was transferred to the Retired List of the U.S. Navy on April 1, 1957.
He served from October of 1926 until January 1927 at sea as a junior officer on board the USS ARIZONA (BB 39), then had successive sea duty in several departments aboard the USS NEW MEXICO (BB 40), the USS ARIZONA (BB 39), the USS WEST VIRGINIA (BB 47), the USS GOFF (DD 247); from January 1929 to June 1931 he served aboard USS LEXINGTON (CV 2), and during the last year the USS TALBOT (DD 114). He returned to Annapolis in June 1932 for instruction in Electronics Engineering at the Naval Postgraduate School, and completed the course at the University of California, at Berkeley, in June 1935. Two years of duty as Staff Sound Officer USS DETROIT (CL 8), preceded a year as Staff Radio Officer to Commander Destroyer Flotilla ONE, attached to the USS WHITNEY (AD 4). He was Officer in Charge of the Radio Material School in Washington, D.C., from June 1938 to January 1940, and then served as Communication Officer of the USS WASP (CV 7) until June 1941.
After brief duty as Communication Officer on the Staff of Commander U.S. Naval Forces Europe and as U.S. Navy Communication Officer on the British Combined Operations Staff, in London, he served from September 1942 until January 1943 as Navy Liaison Officer, Allied Forces Headquarters Signal Section, during the North African Campaign. Throughout the remaining period of the war he had successive service as Communication Officer on the Staff of Commander Amphibious Forces, Atlantic; of the USS YORKTOWN (CV 10) and from August 1944 to September 1945 as communication Officer on the Staff of Commander Naval Forces, Europe.
For three years after World War II he served in the Navy Department, Office of the Director of Naval Communications, as Assistant Chief for Fleet Technical Matters, and from September 1948 to July 1950 was District Communication Officer, Tenth Naval District. In the latter assignment he also served as Commanding Officer of the Naval Communication Station, San Juan, Puerto Rico. Returning to the Navy Department, he again served in the Naval Communications Division, first as Head of Equipment Engineering Section, and from March 1952 until his retirement on April 1, 1957, as Head, Naval Security Group.
In addition to the Bronze Star Medal and the Ribbon for the Presidential Unit Citation to the YORKTOWN, Captain Morrison had the American Defense Service Medal with bronze “A”; the American Campaign Medal; European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with one engagement star; the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with four stars; World War II Victory Medal; and the National Defense Service Medal.
Captain Morrison died at his home in McLean, Virginia, on November 3, 1987.
Source: Echoes of Our Past