David A. Morgan, a retired steel company executive and active church member, died Saturday from complications of an infection at Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care. The Timonium resident was 86.
Mr. Morgan was born in Elizabeth, N.J., and frequently moved until his family settled in Cleveland, where he graduated from Shaker Heights High School in 1939. He attended Ohio State University and the Cleveland Institute of Art.
He enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1941 after the Pearl Harbor bombing and fought at the battles for Tarawa, Saipan and Okinawa, where he was wounded in action twice.
When he was interviewed by his granddaughter for a school history project on World War II, he vividly recalled watching women and children jump to their deaths from "Suicide Cliff" on Saipan, rather than be captured by American forces, family members said.
Mr. Morgan was in one of the first American divisions to occupy Nagasaki after an atomic bomb was dropped on the city and Japan surrendered, said his son, David R. Morgan of Lutherville. "He described how steel ships and cranes had been melted by the intense heat."
Mr. Morgan worked as a Republic Steel Co. metallurgist and sales representative in Canton, Ohio, for 36 years before retiring in 1982.
A Mercy Ridge retirement community resident since 1992, Mr. Morgan was an active member and sang with the choir of St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Lutherville.
Services will be at 11 a.m. today at the church, 1609 Kurtz Ave.
Also surviving are his wife of 60 years, the former Anne Marie Schuster.