LOPEZ ISLAND, Wash. (3/5/2012) – At the head of a convoy, Capt.
Roy Moore Jr.'s tank was ambushed by armor piercing anti-tank fire.
His tank was left riddled and inoperable after four direct hits.
Exiting his tank Moore crawled under heavy fire to take control of
another tank and continued the assault directing effective fire and
destroying the enemy anti-tank gun, according to his citation for
the Silver Star award. This event didn't happen yesterday or even a
decade ago, but during a campaign through Europe in March, 1945.
Lt. Col. Thomas Feltey (right), commander of 2nd Battalion, 23rd
Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, speaks at an
awards ceremony for Retired Col. Roy Moore Jr. (left), Feb. 25,
2012. Moore was awarded the French Legion of Honor for his actions
in the liberation of France during World War II. Photo by Army Sgt. Austan Owen
Photo from 1945 when now retired Col. Roy Moore Jr. commanded B Company, 735th Tank Battalion, in World War II.
Moore's heroic actions began months prior when he landed
on Utah beach with the 735th Tank Battalion. Moore fought
the Germans throughout France in an effort to liberate them
from the grasp of the Nazis.
On a small island off
the coast of Washington about 200 friends, family members
and guests gathered to watch as the now retired Col. Roy
Moore Jr. was awarded a Chevalier of the French Legion of
Honor, Feb. 25, for his actions in France during World War
The French Legion of Honor is an order
established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802. Moore received
the degree of Chevalier (Knight); members are awarded the
honor for excellent civil or military conduct. Moore
received the award after official investigation and approval
by Nicolas Sarkozy the President of France.
battles in the European theatre of war happened over six
decades ago and his actions, not forgotten, are being
recognized. America's “Greatest Generation” trained for and
fought against the tyranny of two fascist dictators. Moore
did his part in the war helping to liberate France as he
fought with B Company, 735th Tank Battalion, in battles such
as but not limited to: the landing at Utah beach, liberation
of Angers, St. Calais, Verdun and the attack on Fort Driant.
Moore took command of B Company after intense fighting that
wounded or killed every other officer in the unit. Moore
continued to press on through the war in Europe.
Honorable Jack Cowan, the French Consulate, wrote a speech
delivered to Moore that embodied the heart felt appreciation
of the French people.
“It is hard for the consulate
and almost impossible to imagine how much courage and
bravery you must have had to fight in France during World
War II. Saving, as you did, France and Europe from utter
“You rescued people who didn't even
know you but you can be sure that these people whom you
didn't know have not forgotten. Their children and
grandchildren have not forgotten; we will never forget. The
French people know exactly what we owe the American people,
the American Army and you personally. Thanks to you, people
of my generation are allowed to grow up in a free country.”
Moore's actions in the past are making a difference
today even in the face of a changing Army. Over the past
decade our Army has been fighting counterinsurgency wars in
Afghanistan and Iraq, very different from World War II. The
Army is beginning to shift back to the basics, training for
force on force battles, said Lt. Col Thomas Feltey,
commander of 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 4th
Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division.
“Recently our Army's
leaders have sought to rebuild our traditional war-fighting
skills and I can tell you first hand that today we still use
the lessons learned by Col. Moore and the veterans of World
War II to educate our junior leaders,” said Feltey. “The
lessons of properly executed combined arms operations are
just as relevant today as they were 68 years ago.”
“In our training today we teach our young soldiers to adapt
to the ever-changing conditions of the battlefield just as
our G.I.s did so remarkably well in the European theatre of
operations,” said Feltey at Moore's award ceremony.
Moore retired to Lopez Island, Wash., in 1972. He continued
his service to the community by helping to set up the Lopez
Lions Club. Moore also taught hunting and firearms safety to
sportsmen and members of community. He wrote a book called
“Chariots of Iron” that outlines the 735th Tank Battalion's
actions in Word War II, Europe.
waning health he is still active in his community and
heavily involved in supporting America through the
democratic process, said Paul Neave, longtime friend.
“He is a tremendously loyal and fierce defender of this
country and it's a great honor to know him,” said Neave.
Friends and family congratulated Moore on his award
after the ceremony and laughed that they would have to call
him Sir Roy Moore from now on.
By Army Sgt. Austan Owen
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