Baseball in Wartime

Baseball's Greatest Sacrifice


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Those Who Died That Others Might Be Free

 

Canadian Cross

Mike Moroz

Date and Place of Birth: 1916 Transcona, Manitoba, Canada
Date and Place of Death: August 9, 1944 Normandy, France
Baseball Experience: Amateur
Position: Outfield
Rank: Trooper
Military Unit: 18th Armored Car Regiment, 12th Manitoba Dragoons
Area Served: European Theater of Operations

Mike and Harry Moroz were inseparable brothers growing up in Manitoba. They both would serve together in Europe, but neither would return.

Trooper Michael Moroz
Michael "Mike" Moroz was born in 1916 in Transcona, Manitoba in Canada. Mike and Harry were the only sons of Mr and Mrs Alexander Moroz and attended Central School in Transcona where they both excelled in sports. Mike and Harry were both excellent hockey players. In 1935, Harry played in goal for the Winnipeg Monarchs, Memorial Cup junior champions of Canada, and he would go on to play senior hockey for the Flin-Flon Bombers in the Saskatchewan Senior League. But for Mike baseball was the number one game. He was an excellent outfielder and played for the Transcona Trojans, the local champions.

In July 1942, Mike andScout Armored Car
 Harry both enlisted. Harry joined the Royal Canadian Air Force while Mike went into the Army. Mike was trained as a wireless operator and armored car driver in Dundurn, Portage la Prairie and Camp Borden. In June 1943, Mike said goodbye to his wife, Margaret and young son Melvin, and left Canada for Britain with the 18th Armored Car Regiment of the 12th Manitoba Dragoons in preparation for the invasion of mainland Europe.

Flying Officer Harry Moroz was also in Britain at this time with 408 Squadron - serving as aircrew on Avro Lancasters. On March 23, 1944, Harry Moroz was killed during a raid over Frankfurt.

On July 8, 1944, Trooper Mike Moroz and the 18th Armored Car Regiment arrived at Normandy in France. They were soon in combat. On August 9, Moroz was driving the lead Scout armored car when an 88mm armor-piercing shell scored a direct hit. Lance Corporal Mike Slator, a 17-year-old from Winnipeg and Trooper Mike Moroz were both killed instantly.

 Moroz Street in Transcona, Manitoba
Moroz is buried in the Bretteville-sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery in Calvados, France.

 

For many years the Moroz Memorial Cup was given to the Transcona Baseball MVP. The trophy was donated to the Transcona Historical Museum in 2001. In 1979, Moroz Bay, which is located at the north end of Maria Lake in northern Manitoba was named for Mike. And in the Regents Park area of Transcona "Moroz Street" has been named to honor the two brothers.

 

On June 4, 2006, the Transcona Legion renamed its Banquet Hall in memory of Mike and Harry Moroz as part of the Legion’s Decoration Day Parade and Service. The widow of Mike Moroz, Mrs. Margaret Nykoluk was present with her family. 

 

Thanks to Sheryl Kolt, Museum Curator at the Transcona Historical Museum for help with this biography.

 

Added July 18, 2006. Updated September 18, 2006.

 

Copyright © 2007 Gary Bedingfield (Baseball in Wartime). All Rights Reserved.