World War II solider says pocket Bible saved his life during combat
If you’re ever lucky enough to meet 91-year-old Donald Morrison, he’d say he’s pretty lucky too.
Morrison was drafted by the Army in 1944. A year later at 18-years-old, the Wisconsin native was in Germany helping fight Nazis.
In March of 1945, Morrison and his company were trekking through the hilly terrain near the Rhine River in Germany when they came under attack.
“Once we got up in there, that’s when the Germans started shelling,” said Morrison.
He said soldiers were instructed to stay low until it was safe to move again. As Morrison was reaching down for his weapon another shell came in his direction.
“It exploded. Apparently I was the only one that I know to this day that got hit at all,” he said.
When asked how he survived being so close to the explosion, Morrison paused and said, “Let me show you.”
He went into the next room to retrieve a pocket sized New Testament Bible wrapped in two ziplock bags. The Bible still had a piece of shrapnel stuck near the spine about an inch long.
Morrison said the shrapnel from the blast scraped his face causing severe bleeding.
But the Bible in his field jacket pocket was in a lifesaving position. “That piece of metal lodged in there and the impact of it going into the book knocked me out,” he said.
For the next several hours, Morrison was out cold. He said he had a vision of his brother and sister while he was unconscious, as if it was an out-of-body experience.
Once he regained consciousness and was able to catch up to his company, they couldn’t believe he was alive. Morrison would continue to serve in the Army until he was discharged as a corporal in 1946.
Today, he said he enjoys the warmer weather at Buckner Villas senior community in North Austin.
The 91-year-old said he served “because everyone else was” back then, but also for love of his country. When someone thanks him for his service, he said, “I thank them right back for their thoughtfulness.”