Gary Morgan was born in 1946 in Abilene, Texas. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force on March 11, 1963, and completed basic training at Lackland AFB, Texas, in May 1963. His first assignment was as an Admin Clerk with the Reno Air Defense Sector at Stead AFB, Nevada, from June 1963 to March 1966, followed by service as an Admin Clerk with the 779th Radar Squadron at Opheim AFS, Montana, from March 1966 until he left active duty on March 10, 1967. Morgan next enlisted in the U.S. Navy on March 20, 1967, and was trained and served as a UH-46 Sea Knight Rescue Aircrew Member with HC-1 at Ream Field, California, from April 1967 to March 1968. His next assignment was as an UH-46 Rescue Aircrew Member with the Helo Detachment aboard the combat support ship USS Camden (AOE-2) during its deployment to Vietnam from March 1968 to March 1969. AZ3 Morgan received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Navy on March 19, 1969, and then reenlisted in the U.S. Air Force on July 24, 1969. Sgt Morgan served as a Maintenance Scheduling Specialist with the 11th Air Refueling Squadron at Altus AFB, Oklahoma, from July 1969 to December 1971, and then completed B-52 Stratofortress Defensive Fire Control Systems Operator training from December 1971 to March 1972. His next assignment was as a B-52 tail gunner with the 9th Bomb Squadron at Carswell AFB, Texas, from March to October 1972, and then with the 20th Bomb Squadron at Carswell and deployed to Southeast Asia from October 1972 until he was forced to bail out of his stricken aircraft over North Vietnam and was taken as a Prisoner of War on December 22, 1972. After spending 98 days in captivity, SSgt Morgan was released during Operation Homecoming on March 29, 1973. He was briefly hospitalized to recover from his injuries, and then served as a B-52 tail gunner and instructor with the 20th Bomb Squadron at Carswell AFB from July 1973 to February 1976. His next assignment was as a Non-Destructive Inspection Technician with the 7th Field Maintenance Squadron at Carswell AFB from February 1976 to November 1977, followed by service as a B-52 tail gunner and instructor back with the 20th Bomb Squadron at Carswell from November 1977 to June 1978. MSgt Morgan served as NCOIC of Tanker Ground Training, and then as Chief of the Ground Training Scheduling Branch with the 96th Bomb Wing at Dyess AFB, Texas, from June 1978 to April 1982, and then as First Sergeant of the 7th Bomb Wing Headquarters Squadron at Carswell AFB from May 1982 to March 1984. His final assignment was as First Sergeant of the 7th Field Maintenance Squadron at Carswell from March 1984 until his retirement from the Air Force on June 1, 1986.
His Distinguished Flying Cross w/Valor Citation reads:
Staff Sergeant Gary L. Morgan distinguished himself by heroism while participating in aerial flight as a B-52 Gunner in Southeast Asia on 21 December 1972. On that date, Sergeant Morgan participated in a high priority bombing mission against a vital military target in a heavily defended area of North Vietnam. Despite the grave danger presented by the intense and sophisticated hostile Defenses, Sergeant Morgan displayed extraordinary courage and a remarkable ability to perform under severe stress. He maintained constant vigilance to protect his aircraft against enemy fighters and other opposition; thereby enabling his crew to successfully strike the designated target. The outstanding heroism and selfless devotion to duty displayed by Sergeant Morgan reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.