MOUNT GILEAD — Phillip Alexander Moore died more than a half-century ago on the field of battle in Quang Nam, Vietnam.
The son of the late Thomas W. and Dorthea B. Moore of Marengo was honored by several of his fellow servicemen on Veterans Day in a ceremony at the Morrow County Veterans Memorial.
In opening remarks, Frank Hickman II recalled Moore as, “this friend, this neighbor, this classmate, this brother in arms.”
Moore, a Private with Company A, First Battalion, 7th Marines, died April 22, 1967, from wounds suffered in combat.
He was 20 years old and a hero.
“As a result of his selfless actions, he saved many of his fellow Marines,” Hickman said.
Moore was part of a squad of Marines northeast of Hill 22 in Hieu Duc District providing security for a dive team searching for underwater caves along the Yen River. It began receiving hostile fire from across the river.
“Today we join here to honor one of our own, Phillip Alexander Moore, who gave his life for our country,” Hickman said. “Those of us who served did what we were asked to do. We all gave some. Our brother, Phillip Moore, gave more.”
Moore was hit, but returned machine-gun fire enabling the Marines to deploy. Moore was wounded several times and evacuated to the First Medical Battalion in Da Nang where he died shortly after arrival.
Moore was presented with the Silver Star Medal (the nation’s third highest honor for valor) posthumously “for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action.”
Navy veteran Earl Desmond, who grew up with Moore, read the citation.
Military records describe the attack as follows:
“The first burst of fire hit Private Moore in the left arm, spinning him around and throwing him to the ground. Fully realizing the danger he was in, and suffering great pain, he crawled back to his machine gun and began returning fire. This act of heroism enabled the remainder of his squad to deploy to a nearby tree line to engage the enemy … He gallantly gave his life for his country.”
Desmond and Richard Brenner knew Moore from their school days. All were from the Ashley/Kilbourne area.
“I knew him since the sixth or seventh grade. He was quiet, unassuming,” Brenner said.
Hickman recalls being in college and receiving copies of The Delaware Gazette. “I opened it and saw it on the front page; it said local man killed.”
Moore entered service March 23, 1966, at Fort Hayes, Columbus. He made audio recordings while in Vietnam and sent them home to family members.
He was laid to rest in Bloomfield Cemetery in Morrow County. Moore has a brother, who lives in Florida.
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