Morgan French
August 21, 1919 - February 24, 2012

Morgan French, a veteran of World War II and the Korean War, survivor of 40 months as an American POW in Japanese custody, loving husband and devoted father, died Friday, February 24th in Plano TX. He was 92 years old.

Morgan, who lived most of his working life in Radcliff, KY, was born on August 21, 1919, in Perryville KY. His family worked on various farms around Harrodsburg, KY in the 1920's & 30's. Morgan joined the Kentucky National Guard in 1937 to "get a break from farming". Little did he know then that this was the beginning of a long and distinguished career in the U. S. Army. Morgan participated in the Louisiana Maneuvers in the summer of 1941, and following that, he, his brother, and 64 other men comprising the 38th Tank Company (later designated Company D, 192nd Tank Battalion), a National Guard unit from Harrodsburg, were deployed to the Philippine Islands in November 1941 to provide defense of the Philippines from Japanese forces.

Beginning on December 8, 1941, Morgan and the other men of Company D fought in the delaying action on the Bataan peninsula. Morgan was finally captured at Fort Drum in Manila Harbor on May 10, 1942. Morgan was taken from Ft. Drum to Bilibid Prison in Manila, and from there to Cabanatuan POW Camp where he stayed 5 months prior to being transferred on the Hell Ship, Nagata Maru, to Japan in late-1942. He was a POW in Japan from then until he was liberated by Allied Forces on September 10, 1945. Prior to his death, Morgan was the last surviving member of Company D, now known as the Harrodsburg Tankers.

Morgan returned to the United States in late-1945 and, after medical convalescence, returned to active duty in the U. S. Army. He served two tours in Korea, and upon returning home, married Maxine Milby of Greensburg in 1954. From that time until his retirement from the Army in 1962, Morgan served at various Army posts in the United States and Germany. He retired with 23 years' military service, having earned the Bronze Star, Purple Heart and many other commendations. Following a short career in the civilian sector, Morgan returned to his favorite work as an instructor at the Armored School at Ft. Knox. He retired from Civil Service in 1984.

Morgan was an active member of the Vine Grove Baptist Church for many years. He enjoyed playing with his grandchildren during their visits every summer. He was a blue-blooded University of Kentucky basketball and football fan, and enjoyed going to the games in Lexington. In retirement, he enjoyed working on projects around the house and on his property.

Morgan was preceded in death by his wife of 55 years, Maxine; his father and mother, the late Clifton and Mary Alice French of Harrodsburg, and two brothers and six sisters. Morgan's brother, Edward, was killed-in-action in Bataan on April 22, 1942. He is survived by two sons and their wives, Morgan and Mary Jane French of Houston, TX, and Stewart and Anne French, of Dallas, TX; and two grandchildren, Edward Clifton French and Meredith Holly French, both of Baton Rouge, LA.

Visitation will be at the Nelson-Edelen-Bennett Funeral Home (Radcliff) on Friday, March 2nd, from 10:00 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Following visitation, funeral services will be held at 1:00 p.m. at the Vine Grove Baptist Church. Burial will follow at the North Hardin Memorial Cemetery in Radcliff.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to Vine Grove Baptist Church.