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Sports Heroes Who Served: Marine discovers hidden talent as an expert marksman

Morris “Bud” Fisher, a native of Youngstown, Ohio, enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1911 at the age of 21. He had never had a passion for firearms or shooting, but fortunately, his drill instructor recognized talent when he qualified with an exceptionally high score on the rifle range.

Morris Fisher holds his rifle and target he shot at 300 meters away, Sept. 27, 1923. (Library of Congress photograph)

Fisher was encouraged by his command to join the elite Marine Corps shooting team, which he did in 1912.

That decision resulted in Fisher competing in the VII Olympiad and bringing home the gold for America.

In 1920 in Antwerp, Belgium, Fisher took Olympic gold in the 300 meter free rifle, three positions; a gold medal in the team free rifle; and a third gold medal in the 300 meter military rifle, prone.

In 1924 in Paris, France, he won Olympic gold in the 600 meter free rifle and another gold medal in the team free rifle.

He also won six world championships and set five world shooting records.

Fisher stayed in the Marine Corps, retiring as a gunnery sergeant in 1941, with 30 years of service.

The following year, he was recalled to active duty, as America entered World War II. He went to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina, where he served as a rifle coach. He stayed in the Corps until 1946.

Fisher wrote two books in 1940: “Mastering the Pistol and Revolver” and “Mastering the Rifle.”

Fisher’s son, William, joined the Marine Corps as an officer. He was killed during the Battle of Okinawa in 1945.

After Marine Corps life, Fisher settled in La Jolla, Calif., and he later lived in Honolulu, Hawaii. He died in 1968 at age 78 and is buried in Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego, Calif.

Editor’s Note: Sports Heroes Who Served is a series that highlights the accomplishments of athletes who served in the U.S. military.

Morris Fisher at Reims, France, during Olympic competition in 1924. (Marine Corps photograph)
Morris Fisher demonstrates the kneeling shooting position. (Marine Corps photograph)
Morris Fisher, bottom row, far left, poses with the Marine Corps shooting team. (Marine Corps photograph)
Morris Fisher holds his rifle. (Marine Corps photograph)

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