Mystery solved!


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Avenger
August 30, 2008, 11:24 PM
Good to see this piece of history will be going home!

http://www.star-telegram.com/804/story/872306.html

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VHinch
August 30, 2008, 11:25 PM
Glad to see a happy ending to that one.

ASM826
August 30, 2008, 11:36 PM
Would have been melted down in a lot of places. Here the right thing was done.

Josh Aston
August 30, 2008, 11:43 PM
And a lot of people said it should have been given back to the guy it was seized from. :uhoh:

Duke Junior
August 30, 2008, 11:57 PM
Lets print this fine story out.

Mystery solved: Woman on WWII vet's gun ID'd
By CHRIS VAUGHN 
cvaughn@star-telegram.com
Related Content
James L. Morris met his future wife, Velma, when he was at Fort Belvoir, Va., and she was working in Washington, D.C. The late World War II veteran's wife was on the custom grips of the .45.
Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler is trying to gather information on the identity of the woman in the photos removed from under the plastic grips of the pistol. James L. Morris, right, and his driver, in France sometime after the invasion in World War II. His wife was on the custom grips of the .45 found in Parker County. (Family photo) Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler found the 45.-caliber pistol in the property room.

Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler spent much of early Friday morning on the phone, talking to people about the Case of the Dark-Haired Beauty on the .45 Pistol.

But none of the callers could answer Fowler’s questions about the seized weapon — who was the woman in the photos beneath the pistol’s custom plexiglass grips and who was the gun’s owner?

Then, about mid-morning, an emotional Jim Morris called from his home in Stephenville with a story about a Nebraska girl who met a young officer from Texas and sent him off to fight the Germans.

Within a few hours, the case was solved.

"I have no doubt it’s his pistol," Fowler said. "It’s a great ending to a mystery."

Morris, 62, can hardly believe that he opened his morning Star-Telegram and saw his father’s service weapon and his mother’s picture, in the hands of the Parker County sheriff. He had all but given up hope he would see it again.

"Nothing in this world that I owned had more sentimental value to me," he said. "That gun meant the world to me. It means the world to me. I was in tears when I read that article."

Last October, someone stole three guns from Morris’ house, including his father’s .45-caliber Army pistol. He filed a police report with Stephenville but did not have the serial numbers.

Two months later, sheriff’s deputies in Parker County seized the weapon while executing a search warrant at a house near Azle. But because the serial number wasn’t in a crime database, they didn’t know to whom it belonged. They put it in a property room, where Fowler — a history buff — found it this month and renewed a search for the rightful owner.

Shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor, James L. Morris — born in Palestine, reared in Maypearl — dropped out of the Texas Tech University engineering program and enlisted in the Army. The Army sent him to officer candidate school in Virginia.

There he met Velma Cashatt, a girl from Harrison, Neb., who had gone to Washington, D.C., to work for the government during the war.

They married before he shipped out with the 82nd Engineer Combat Battalion, which landed at Omaha Beach two weeks after D-Day. Morris served as the battalion’s executive officer and later its commanding officer as the unit fought through France and Germany in 1944 and ’45, including the Battle of the Bulge.

"He got to see a lot of the horrors of that time," his son said.

The custom, plexiglass hand grips came from the windshield of a crashed German bomber.

"His men took that windshield out and made those grips for his weapon," Jim Morris said. "They really admired him."

His father died last September at the age of 89. His mother died in 2005.

About 10 years before his father died, Jim Morris, a retired Navy chief petty officer, asked him for the gun. After losing it for nine months, he plans to drive to Weatherford on Tuesday to retrieve it and thank Fowler.

"I never thought I would see it again," he said. "My son will get it when I pass away."

Fowler, for his part, isn’t quite done with the case.

"I expect I’ll be filing charges of possession of stolen property on the guy who had it," he said.
CHRIS VAUGHN, 817-390-7547

Ben Shepherd
August 31, 2008, 12:04 AM
I needed that today. It's been a rough one.

What a story. Very few men can claim to be happier at the moment.

Dravur
August 31, 2008, 12:12 AM
Fantastic. That was the best thing I have read in a long time.

Barr
August 31, 2008, 12:49 AM
Outstanding! Not to be a slam on anyone or anything, but I am very very happy to see a LEO doing the right thing that goes way beyond any legal or moral obligation just to do the right thing.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
August 31, 2008, 01:43 AM
That is one fantastic happy ending story. :D

denfoote
August 31, 2008, 01:48 AM
Well done Mr Fowler, well done!!

jaholder1971
August 31, 2008, 01:53 AM
Improper or not, that Sheriff deserves a couple cases of his favorite beverage delivered to him free of charge.

Starship1st
August 31, 2008, 07:29 AM
Awesome story during a time when there are too many stories not so good. I am glad for the happy ending. :cool:

scrat
August 31, 2008, 12:13 PM
wow thats a great ending to this story

Mr White
August 31, 2008, 04:30 PM
Improper or not, that Sheriff deserves a couple cases of his favorite beverage delivered to him free of charge. What if his favorite beverage is Jamesons or Glenlivet? You gonna foot the bill for that? With any luck, he's an Old Milwaukee drinker.

bobbarker
August 31, 2008, 04:52 PM
That put a smile on my face, and ran a shiver up my arms....awesome story. Just awesome.

Sheldon J
August 31, 2008, 05:41 PM
I love it when a family heirloom goes back home.

Lonestar49
August 31, 2008, 06:09 PM
...

:)


Ls

jaholder1971
August 31, 2008, 06:51 PM
If it were one of my family heirlooms, YES!!!

OAKVILLE SHOOTER
August 31, 2008, 10:41 PM
Wonderful and LUCKY outcome to this story.

Last October, someone stole three guns from Morris’ house, including his father’s .45-caliber Army pistol. He filed a police report with Stephenville but did not have the serial numbers.

Please guys, take pictures, right down the serial numbers, list accessories, etc. Any one of us could be in this guys shoes tommorow. we need to have good records in the event of a theft.

DeerSlayer7600
August 31, 2008, 10:50 PM
Awesome story! What a beautiful gun too.

fiVe
August 31, 2008, 10:57 PM
You gotta love a happy ending like this!

Bravo-Zulu, Sheriff Fowler!

Officers'Wife
August 31, 2008, 11:03 PM
Hi Mr White,

What if his favorite beverage is Jamesons or Glenlivet? You gonna foot the bill for that? With any luck, he's an Old Milwaukee drinker.


My Dad has an 09 Colt that a member of the family has carried in 'two wars, a police action and a conflict.' If it were stolen and returned a case or two of Jamesons or Glenlivet would be a small price to pay.

Well done Mr Fowler.

Selena

Acera
August 31, 2008, 11:05 PM
Come on Mr. White: What if his favorite beverage is Jamesons or Glenlivet?

He is a country sheriff from Texas, we are a little less refined down here. He would probably balk at drinking something that expensive. Probably a bottle of Jim Beam, and a good conversation, as you share the bottle in your coffee at a diner would be fine with him.

jrhines
August 31, 2008, 11:13 PM
..I seem to remember that the mother was an aide or in some way linked to "Wild" Bill Donovan, the director of the O.S.S. So, Mom may have been a "Spook" back in the day. Pretty good pedigree I'd say. Dad a combat battalion commander and Mom fighting from the shadows. And the gun is back home again.

Legionnaire
September 1, 2008, 12:44 PM
Great story; thanks for posting. Also got some ideas for plexiglass grip / grip inserts ... Interesting possibilities!

NAK
September 1, 2008, 02:04 PM
That story actually brought a tear to my eye.

God bless the Sheriff Fowler for taking the time and thanks to the Star-Telegram and local TV stations for getting the word out.

4v50 Gary
September 1, 2008, 02:10 PM
+1 on the happy ending. It's nice to read the story of a GI, his bride, his gun and how it was finally returned home. Kudos to Sheriff Fowler for getting the news out so that it could identified and returned.

doc2rn
September 1, 2008, 03:04 PM
I am beginning to have a higher opinion of certain sherriffs. The one in Nevada and now the one in Texas. I think it is a good trend.

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