B-52 static rededicated to Missouri native
By Staff Sgt. Jason Barebo, 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
/ Published November 13, 2008
WHTIEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- Despite a chill in the air, more than 50 members of team Whiteman attended a ceremony dedicating the newly painted B-52 Stratofortress static display to Capt. Robert Morris, a Missouri native who gave his life defending the ideals of America during a Linebacker II mission over North Viet Nam 26 Dec. 1972.
Captain Morris and the crew of the Ebony 2 were shot down following their bombing run or the heavily defended Giap rail yards. The B-52 display, located near the Arnold Gate, was repainted with Captain Morris' name under the crew compartment and the names of his crewmembers on the lower portion of the fuselage.
Captain Morris piloted his B-52 to the Giap rail yards and delivered his ordnance to his target. During their post-target turn, the crew of the Ebony 2 was shot down by one of 30
surface-to-air-missile sites in the vicinity. The Ebony 2 went at 11:42 p.m. Central Time.
In addition to Captain Morris, the crew of the Ebony 2 included 1st Lt. Robert Hudson, co-pilot, Captain Michael LeBeau, radar navigator, 1st Lt. Dwayne Vavroch, navigator, Capt. Nutter Wimbrow, electronic warfare officer, and Tech. Sgt. James Cook, gunner.
Following a moment of silence in remembrance of the sacrifice of Captain Morris and his crew a B-52 flew over the ceremony signifying the aircraft that was lost.
"This is a very solemn occasion," said Brig. Gen. Garrett Harencak, 509th Bomb Wing commander. "(Captain Morris) will forever be remembered by us here today and by the entire Team Whiteman community.
"Today is about remembering this young aviator and his entire crew," General Harencak continued. "Captain Morris was from St. Louis and gave his life for all of us, for our children and our children's' children and we honor him today. We honor all the veterans and the lives they gave up for all of us."