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Memorial Day tribute to honor fallen LaSalle Vietnam vet

by jmaloni
Mon, May 28th 2012 07:00 am

The History Committee of LaSalle PRIDE Inc., the Friends of Local History and the Niagara Falls Public Library have announced they will pay tribute to the late U.S. Air Force Capt. Dennis E. Morgan, formerly of LaSalle, and his family on Wednesday, May 30. The event will take place at the LaSalle Branch of the Niagara Falls Public Library, 8728 Buffalo Ave., at 6 p.m.

On April 29, 1971, Capt. Morgan was killed in action flying with one of the most elite flying groups in the Vietnam War, The Ravens. They flew extremely dangerous missions as Forward Air Controllers in small prop-driven planes in Laos. Their job was to hunt down the enemy along the Ho Chi Minh Trail. After his death, Capt. Morgan received the Distinguished Flying Cross with Citations Medal, second only to the National Medal of Honor.

Twenty-six year old Capt. Morgan was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Howard Morgan of 92nd Street in LaSalle. At the time of his death he was married to Rosa Maria Serianni Morgan, who became a widow at age 23. He is survived by one brother, Jeffrey, who also served in Vietnam as a riverboat engineer in the Mekong Delta. Jeff served 21 months in Vietnam and made it back safely. Capt. Morgan also has two surviving sisters, Judy Kay (Howard) of Youngstown and Susan Barnes (Harold) of Ransomville. His wife and father are now deceased. His mother, Janet is 93.

The tribute will honor not only Capt. Morgan's deeds, but also the ultimate sacrifice paid by his and every other family of a fallen hero. An array of photos and personal memorabilia of Capt. Morgan's life will on display in the LaSalle Village Hall Reading Room on the second floor of the LaSalle Library for the month of June.

There were 33 known casualties of the Vietnam War from the City of Niagara Falls. Five of those lived in the LaSalle section of the city. The other four included George Brookside of 91st Street, August H. Monhof of 103rd Street, Paul E. Russ of 99th Street and Richard D. Welch of Pine Avenue (now Niagara Falls Boulevard).

Duane Curtis, commander of the American Legion Post will present a biographical sketch of Capt. Morgan. The program is free and open to the public. Veterans are especially urged to attend. Refreshments will be served.

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