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Memorial Unveiled in Honor of WWII Hero

A new memorial unveiled downtown gives generations to come a sense of an Asheville's hometown World War II hero's service.

It's located in between the Buncombe Courthouse and Asheville City Hall, in honor of the late Colonel Robert K. Morgan.

Colonel Morgan, who passed away in 2004, was the first to complete 25 combat missions with his B-17 crew over Europe.  In 1996, News 13 captured video of him piloting a restored B-29.

"But we weren't heroes, we were given a job, we knew we had something to do," Morgan told us in 1996.

"He always said that he was not a hero," his youngest daughter Peggy Morgan Partin recalled at a dedication ceremony. "That the heroes were the ones who did not return home."

Peggy says her father would have wanted to share the recognition with all World War II vets.

"He loved this country, and he fought hard for this country," she tells us. "And he was proud."

71 years ago, the colonel and his crew pulled off a now legendary piece of aviation during a bond tour here. They tipped the bomber's wing right between the courthouse and city hall, which explains the fitting location of the memorial.

Committee member Dr. Carl Mumpower says the memorial has been ten years in the making. After seeing it unveiled, he feels excitement and pride in the fact that Morgan's memorial is complete.

"I feel like I just flew a bomber in between these two buildings," Mumpower says. "We're delighted."

The mayor proclaimed today Colonel Robert Knight Morgan Day.

By: John Le
Follow John on Twitter @AbsoluteLe


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