James (Jim) was born in Wyoming
in 1920 to Charles and
Fannie Morgaridge. As per the Federal Census in 1920, the couple were living in Lovell, Big Horn Co., WY and Jim might
well have been born more specifically in Lovell, WY. He would have joined a brother Dea M and two sisters Beth and Josephine. In 1930 the Federal Census reports that the family were living in Sheridan, Sheridan
County, WY. At that time there was a brother Douglas and
a grandmother Nellie Morgaridge in the household.
How Jim came to join the Navy is
unclear, but when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor,
Hawaii, on December 7, 1941, he was aboard the USS
Arizona. The Arizona
was moored on Battleship Row with a number of other U.S.
ships. Battleship Row was a “prime
target for the Japanese pilots and bomb crashed through the Arizona’s
two armored decks and ignited its magazine causing an explosion (reported
ripping the ship apart like a can opener opening a tin can) after which fire
engulfed the entire ship. “ Thirteen hundred men were lost aboard the Arizona. [Google: Attack at Pearl Harbor
1941). James Morgaridge
lost his life at the age of 21 on that fateful day—December 7, 1941. At that time his family
were living in the Ten Sleep Canyon, Ten Sleep, Washakie Co., Wyoming
and Jim was unmarried.
Researched and compiled
by Faye Bell (SLC) 2012