Hometown Hero: Korean War vet was Westlake’s first volunteer fire chief

KPLC 7News at Six- June 26, 2019- Part II

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Sam Morrison enlisted in the U.S. Navy in the years following World War 2. The Jackson, La. native served on the USS. George Clymer and served two tours to Korea.

“It would carry about 1100 troops,” recalled Morrison. “We had 27 boats on there. So we would haul personnel and supplies.”

Morrison’s ship transported Marines to shore, as nearby battleships pounded North Korea.

“They were blowing things up. And the Missouri and Wisconsin were there 7 miles from us. When they’d fire those 16 inch guns, it would shake the curtains in our ship. At night, you’d see the projectiles going over the mountains.”

Years later, Morrison relocated to Southwest Louisiana and was recruited for the then-volunteer fire department in Westlake.

“They were half a block from here with a fire. It wasn’t a bad fire, but it was 5 o’clock in the morning so I took them a pot of coffee. I told the fire chief, he was a friend, that anytime he needed help to call me.”

He was called and later became the Volunteer fire chief. Morrison says he proud of the improvements made in the Westlake fire dept. over the years. Morrison was recently honored by the Westlake City Council for his military service.

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