Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Dwight Morrison Photo Newly Acquired

This photo of Winecoff fire victim Dwight Morrison, 26, and his wife Hilda was taken in early 1946 shortly after their marriage. They'd met a year earlier while Dwight was stationed at Tyndall Field in Panama City, Florida.

During World War II Dwight Morrison was a B-26 pilot who flew sixty-five bombing missions over Europe. His fellow pilots felt safe when Dwight would lead their group because he was "lucky," one said.

Like several other Winecoff Hotel guests, Morrison was on terminal leave from the service at the time of the fire. He was in room 1026 on the building's back side above the alley. His brother, Wilbur Morrison, went up to Dwight's room the week after the fire and found a rope made of sheets in the room. Two months after the fire Hilda gave birth to the couple's son, Dwight Jr. A few years later Hilda was drawn to room 1026. She told Winecoff Fire co-author Sam Heys, "You think you want to go up there but then you get up there and it's like you don't have any legs."

To honor the memory of her husband, Hilda - along with another of Dwight's brothers, Carlton Morrison - attended a remembrance ceremony in Atlanta in 1993 recognizing the 119 victims of the Winecoff fire.

The Morrisons' story is told on pages 168, 169 and 217 of The Winecoff Fire.