Morris E. Crain was born in Bandana, Ky., and entered the United States Army at Paducah. On 13 March 1945 at Haguenau, France, Technical Sergeant Crain led his platoon against powerful German forces during the struggle to enlarge the Moder River bridgehead. He aggressively spearheaded the platoon in securing its objective near an important road junction. Although heavy concentrations of artillery and mortar fire raked the area, he moved among his men during the day, exhorting them to greater efforts and encouraging them to stand firm. Sergeant Crain carried ammunition and maintained contact with the company command post, exposing himself to additional enemy fire.
At nightfall, the enemy barrage became more intense and tanks and grenade-throwing foot troops entered the fray. As buildings were blasted by the enemy, the Americans fell back from house to house. Sergeant Crain rushed under fire to the foremost house, which was being defended by five of his men. With the enemy attacking from an adjoining room and a tank firing point-blank at the house, Sergeant Grain ordered his men to withdraw while he remained, inflicting casualties with his accurate submachine gun bursts. Sergeant Crain was killed when the building was destroyed by enemy fire.
For his outstanding valor and intrepid leadership which enabled his platoon to organize a new defense, repel the attack, and preserve the hard-won bridgehead, Sergeant Crain was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.
(AK-244: dp. 15,210 (f.) ; l. 455'3"; b. 62'; dr. 28'6"; cpl. 53; cl. Boulder Victory; T. VC2-S-AP2)
Sgt. Morris E. Crain was laid down as Mills Victory under a Maritime Commission contract (MC hull V 741) on 14 February 1945 by Permanente Metals Corp., Richmond, Calif.; launched on 28 March 1945; sponsored by Miss Jane McVeigh; and delivered to the War Shipping Administration on 21 April 1945.
Renamed the Sgt. Morris E. Crain, the ship served the Army Transportation Corps and was transferred to the Military Sea Transportation Service in February 1950 to become a United States Naval Ship. Home ported in San Francisco, Sgt. Morris E. Crain made trips to the major islands of the Pacific and carried military cargo to Korea in support of United Nations forces there.
As of 1974, Sgt. Morris E. Crain continues her service as a United States Naval Ship with a civil service crew. Assigned to the Military Sealift Command, Sgt. Morris E. Crain carries cargo for all the services.