By Wyatt Earp | January 30, 2009
Joe Moser is one of thousands of heroes from World War II. He is also a genuine American hero. It is nice to see him receive the honor he so richly deserves.
Even if it is a little late.
TACOMA, Washington — He’s an airman, World War II veteran and Nazi concentration camp survivor.
On Thursday, Joe Moser, 87, gained a new distinction. Moser was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, a commendation given to aviators for “heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in an aerial flight.”
The medal was a long time coming: 64 years after he earned it in a bombing mission.
Moser flew 44 missions in World War II, but he said he has no memories of the mission in which he earned the medal. He received it for a bombing run carried out July 30, 1944.
But two weeks later, Moser was shot down, and he never learned of the high honors he had earned for another 50 years. That discovery resulted in a years-long process, eventually culminating in Thursday’s ceremony.
“I feel great. It makes me real proud of our country,” he said.
He said he’ll never forget the day he was shot out of the sky. It was August 13, 1944. Moser was 22. He had been shooting at German anti-aircraft guns when they responded. (H/T – CNN)
At a time when we are losing hundreds of WWII vets, this honor – and the media coverage of it – is a welcome surprise.
Congratulations, Mr. Moser. Thank you for your service.