Michael Buckley (Buck) Morgan holding a rivet gun
View of Michael Buckley (Buck) Morgan holding a rivet gun. Attached press release: "Buck Morgan rides north for role in war production. A young cow wrangler from the plains of Texas -- Michael Buckley (Buck) Morgan -- has just swapped his chaps and six-shooter for rivet gun and identification badge at DeSoto Division of Chrysler Corporation. Now he is helping to speed final assembly of vital aircraft parts. To get here he sold his horse and all of his equipment except his rodeo boots and hat. The saga of the two-month trip of this young ranch hand and an older partner -- Pete Lacik -- offers a colorful bit of wartime Americana. Their circuitous route form the cow town, Newman (near El Paso) Texas, involved some 125 miles of riding on their horses until the latter could be sold for a stake providing a portion of the remaining transportation costs. And, Buck admits 'the horses didn't bring much as they were all tuckered out and just about through' by the time they had ridden across a part of Texas to a crossroads in New Mexico near the Texas border. Here Buck and Pete sold the horses and hoofed it to a town 14 miles away where they caught a cattle train for part of the ride across Texas to Oklahoma. The rest of the trip Buck says was a mixture of 'bus rides, sitting on backs of trucks, hay wagons, walking and God only know what.' He now lives at 8882 Telegraph Road while his 45 year old partner of the trip went on to Northville, Michigan to visit his sister. Buck started cowboy life a such an early age that 'it's all I can remember' and is 'going back to it sometime, I reckon.' He adds, 'ranching was my business. It's a lot of hard work riding the range but now I'm building planes 'till the war is won. On the ranch you have to get up at 4:00 in the morning and work until nightfall, so it's kind of restful to not have to get to the DeSoto plant until 6:30.' Asked how they fed themselves on the trip, Buck replies that they ate out of cans and shot game -- in short, 'you rustle your own grub.' Buck spent most of his life in Montana, where he went through the tenth grade in a school near Red Lodge. The last three or four years he has been in Texas. He was trained more than a week in the DeSoto school where he has caught on quickly. 'Handling a rivet gun isn't too different from gripping a six-shooter,' he said. 'But there's one thing certain,' Buck contributed, 'I'm learning a lot about aviation and after the war I hope to have enough war bonds to buy a plane and become a flying cowboy.' From: Ruthrauff & Ryan, 7430 Second Blvd., Detroit, Mich." Handwritten on back: "War workers--Unusual."
- Resource ID:
- Aircraft industry--Employees
- Rivets and riveting, Aircraft
- Chrysler Corporation. DeSoto Division
- Automotive Council for War Production--Archives
- Photographic prints
- 1 photographic print ; 10 x 8 in.
- National Automotive History Collection
- MS84/Automotive Council for War Production, War workers--Unusual, 90:1
- Physical rights are retained by DPL. Copyright is retained in accordance with U.S. copyright laws.