#24 in a series
William R Moore; WWII, Korea
By Paul A. Roales
Over the years I have acquired several items from the estate of Oklahoma Newswoman Wauhillau LaHay. Two of them (1] a Christmas card/letter mailed Dec. 27, 1945 and 2] an invitation from the French Counsul to attend a reception in Seoul planned for July 14, 1948) were from A.P. Reporter William R Moore who is the subject of this article.
William Russell Moore was born on March 25, 1910 in Nowata, OK to William L Moore and Margret Moore. His Father had been born in New Jersey and his Mother in Scotland. He received a B.A. from the University of Oklahoma in 1932. Moore worked for the Daily Oklahoman newspaper in Oklahoma City until 1937, when he was first hired by the AP staff in Denver. In WWII he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant upon his graduation from the Anti-aircraft Artillery Officer Candidate School at Camp Davis late in September, 1942. He was a member of the army forces In the Pacific during World War II from 1942 to 1946 and was discharged with the rank of Major after occupation duty in Korea. He rejoined the Associated Press in New York, and in April, 1948 was sent to Korea as staff correspondent Moore'e dispatches told graphically of the growing tension between north and south. When the North Korean invasion finally broke on June 25 he was in Hong Kong on vacation--relief duty, Immediately he volunteered to fly back to Korea and soon was In the thick ot the fighting. He was one of the first reporters to reach the front lines and Moore was first to report the first cases of atrocity killing ot captured Americans who had been shot with their hands tied behind their backs. He died on July 31, 1950 while helping U.S. soldiers hit by North Korean gunfire. His body was found five years later. Moore was not married. He was survived (in 1950) by two married sisters Mrs. R. W. Benjamin of Nowata Okla., and Mrs. Emma Moore Dobbins ot Manlton Springs, Colo.
Here is an edited account of his death from the Greeley Daily Tribune, Greely Colorado Monday, October 30, 1950 ,Page 4. (This is an OCR copy, so typos are present.)
"Missing Associated Press Writer Was Killed in Action Attempting to Save Wounded Army Officer By 0. H. P. KING Pyongyang, Korea, Oct. 30--(ff) --William R. Moore, missing Associated Press correspondent, was killed in action on the South Korean war front, while helping to save a wounded army lieutenant, a corporal who was captured in the same action said today. The 40-year-old newspaperman failed to return from a voluntary mission which took him to the Cliinju front last July 31. American forces then were making a desperate effort to stem the red drive on Pusan, only 65 air miles to the east. Cpl. Carl M. Anderson, of Sioux City, IA., said Moore had not been captured. "I saw his body lying in a pool of water," he said, "There were nine of us and some South Koreans. Only one other man and I got out alive--and we were captured." Anderson said he knew Moore and "there is no mistake about his Identity." "He was taking notes for the AP while he was with us," the corporal added. The North Koreans attacked July 30. Anderson said, and his outfit--a heavy tank platoon attached lo the 24th division--started a withdrawal. "We had gone four miles toward Mosan, out of Chinju, when we were stopped by a blown-up bridge," he recalled. "We could not get our tanks across. "We had some wounded. Including our lieutenant. Bill Moore helped carry the litter holding the lieutenant. We made our way under the demolished bridge, and stayed there." Anderson continued: "There were eight ot us men and Bill made nine, not counting three or four Sonth Koreans who jumped on the back of our tank I don't know what became of the Koreans. "Bill was killed between 2 p. m. and 4:30 by mortar, small arms or grenade fire. "He had arrived at Cliinju at 4:30 a.m. in. the morning of July 3I. He rode in from Masan on a railroad switch engine. "When he came in I thought he was an officer and said, 'Sir, would yon like a cup of coffee?" "He replied, "You don't have to sir me, fellow, I'm a correspondent. I'm Bill Moore ot the AP.' "He took the coffee and we had a talk. Nice fellow. Real friendly and a real story teller." Anderson said the Associate Press correspondent was killed along with "seven of the best buddies I ever had." He continued: "Only me and Joe Mistretta, of Brockton, Mass., were alive when we decided to try to reach the South Korean lines. We found Koreans all right, but they were North Koreans, and they took us prisoners. "I forgot to say that when we left the tanks to go under the bridge I asked Bill, who was riding on the back of a tank, it he wanted to go with us. " I'm not going to stay here", Moore answered. "When the shells were falling around us I heard him praying ou loud. We had only small arms, had the lieutenant's .45 pistol and my own." Anderson said that after they were captured the Reds kept hin and Mistretta with them for cight days as they moved around the Masan-Cliinju area. They slept In villages by day and moved night. "I was wounded in three places before I was captured," Andersoi taid. "I had shell fragments in my back and my arm and a hole In my leg." The 33-year-old Anderson said he and another prisoner, Pfc. Patrick Martin, of Munich, S. D., schemed to get their freedom. "The. Reds had an interpreter who had learned his English in Shanghai, playing with American kids. I threw the Interpreter a fast line, figuring maybe I could talk my way out. He went for my story and it went up to high channels. "We kept our bargain after our release and told American officers." Anderson did not disclose the nature of the "deal" he proposed to the North Korean general. "But I told the American officers of the proposition and nothing came of it, as I was certain would be the case. It was just our way of talking ourselves free." Moore had reported on July 1, as he had on occasions before that "all Koreans hate the 38th parallel." He was thinking ahead even then of the post-war problems. It was Moore's cool, level-headed quality of thinking ahead that made his dispatches stand out. Moore scored a smash hit with his account of the last known hours of Maj. Gen. William P. Dean, missing U. S. 24th division commander during and after the fall of Taejoii."
NOTE: This article was compiled from multiple sources on the WWW.
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