Carolyn Morgan: In Her Own Words

Image of Carolyn Morgan in her Air Force uniform

Carolyn Morgan in her Air Force uniform

Written by Luke D. Sprague, Oral Historian

Carolyn Morgan was one of the first African American women to enlist in the 115th Fighter Wing, Wisconsin Air National Guard in 1980. Later in 1985, she decided to go full-time active duty and trained to become a cook. Her first duty station was Misawa Air Base, Japan, from 1985 to 1989. She transferred in 1989 to her next duty station at Shaw Air Force Base, Sumter, South Carolina. While at Shaw Air Force Base, she deployed to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, for the Gulf War. Morgan left active duty in 1997.

Below are some extracts highlighting her military service from her oral history interview with Rachel Winkler on November 2, 2011 [WVM OH1477]. Alternatively, for the full interview audio recording, keyword index, and transcript please click here.

00:56 Growing up in Madison, living at Truax Field, and deciding to join the military like her father:

00:50  Entry into the military as one of the first African American women in the 115th Fighter Wing:

00:56  Her mother being supportive and giving her advice about life:

01:34  Recruitment into the drum and bugle corps and encountering discrimination:

01:15  Stationing in Japan and learning to ski in the mountains:

00:56  Cooking in the dining facility and making a popular liver dish:

01:41  Giving birth to her daughter while serving in Japan and her hospital experience:

01:26  Posting to Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, and navigating racial issues:

01:37  Deploying for the Gulf War on short notice: