Thomas J. Morris Jr., 82, BGE electrician

February 19, 2005

Thomas J. Morris Jr., a retired electrician who survived the World War II sinking of his destroyer, died of a heart attack Sunday in Catonsville. He was 82.

A funeral Mass was held Thursday.

Born and raised in Baltimore, Mr. Morris was a 1940 graduate of Mount St. Joseph High School in Irvington.

After joining the Naval Reserve in 1940, he was called to active duty. In 1943, while he was an electrician's mate in 1943 aboard the USS Borie in the North Atlantic, his ship battled the surfaced German submarine U-405.

The Borie rammed the submarine, sending it to the bottom and killing its crew. The Borie caught fire and was heavily damaged. The Borie could not be towed to port, so it was sunk by the USS Barry, a destroyer that had come to the stricken ship's aid. Twenty-seven Borie crew members were killed.

FOR THE RECORD - Thomas J. Morris Jr.: An obituary published in Saturday's editions for Thomas J. Morris Jr. omitted the name of his former wife. His 1943 marriage to the former Edna Hamilton ended in divorce. The Sun regrets the error.

"A lot of them didn't make it," said a daughter, Carol Lorraine Morris Soistman of Cordova. She said her father "talked about being in the cold water a long time and being surrounded by sharks. By the time he was picked up, he had swollen lips."

Mr. Morris later was sent to the Philippines and remained there until the war ended.

After he was honorably discharged in 1945, he went to work for Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. as a lineman. He was an electrician for the utility when he retired in 1981. He was a courier for several years during the 1980s for the old Allied Irish Bank in Baltimore.

The longtime Edmondson Heights resident was a duckpin bowler and enjoyed drawing and going to the racetrack. He was a member of the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

In addition to his daughter, Mr. Morris is survived by his wife of 14 years, the former Helen Parks; a son, Thomas J. Morris III of Arbutus; two other daughters, Mary Louise Morris Seiber of Oella and Patricia Ann Morris Lowman of Glen Arm; and 11 grandchildren.

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