Oscar L. Moore, 86, died Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012. A memorial service will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. at Wilkerson Funeral Chapel. A graveside service will be held at 3 p.m. at Sunnyside Cemetery in Scotland Neck.
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Mr. Moore was born in Halifax County near Scotland Neck, one of 15 children, the son of Frank and Lizzie Moore. He graduated from the Scotland Neck High School. Immediately after graduation he joined the U. S. Marines and went to "Boot Camp" at Paris Island, S.C. Later he returned there to "get even," as he laughingly referred to his nearly two years there as a drill instructor. While attending drill instructor's school, he graduated second highest in his class of 96 Marines.
A veteran of World War II and Korea and being retired on disabilities received in combat, he was a much decorated Marine. Twice he was awarded the Silver Star Medal for Gallantry in Action, three times decorated with the Bronze Star for Bravery and four times awarded the Purple Heart for wounds received. He received three Presidential Unit Citations and Letters of Commendation for excellence in performance of duties. He was awarded the Asiatic Pacific Theater Medal with four battle stars, the American Theater Medal, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation (two awards), the Good Conduct Medal, Korean Service Medal (four battle stars), National Defense Medal, and the Philippine Liberation Medal (two battle stars). He also received the United Nations Medal, the National Defense Medal, the Philippine Liberation Medal with two battle stars, the Occupation Medal (Japan), World War II Victory Medal and the European Theater Medal. Each of the Silver Stars (the third highest medal that can be awarded a Marine) carried a citation with them and one of them reads in part, "For conspicuous gallantry and Intrepidity while serving in Company 'F', Second Battalion, First Marines, First Marine Division (Reinforced) in action against enemy aggressor forces in North Korea on Oct. 8, 1950, when his company was delayed by hostile machine gun fire during an assault against Chinese forces in North Korea. Sgt. Moore courageously charged the hostile positions, killing nine machine gunners at three separate gun positions and capturing 17 supporting infantry troops." The citation was signed by Frances P. Matthews, Secretary of the Navy-for The President.
He led quite an interesting life while a Marine. His travels, via troop ships and submarines, took him through both the Panama and Suez Canals, circling the globe about three times. In 1955, with the wars behind him, he worked as a deputy sheriff in Halifax County, met Shirley Harris of Enfield and married her in that year. They set up residency in Roanoke Rapids where she taught in the high school there and he became the manager of Dixie Oil Company. Mr. Moore then became a Veteran Service Officer for North Carolina, retiring in 1990. According to a citizen of Halifax County, he was "the very best service office that Halifax County ever had." During their residence in Roanoke Rapids, he was a member of the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Department programs. He also donated to the American Red Cross Blood Program many times. Later, during his years as Service Officer of District 8 (which covered eight counties) he served as assistant State Service Director.
He had fond memories of some assignments while in the Marines, including the experience of having one of the most decorated Marines as his regimental Commander, Colonel Lewis "Chesty" Puller, who was soon promoted to General. Mr. Moore served at Key West in the Presidential Honor Guard during the term of former President Harry F. Truman and also served in the Embassy of Pakistan. Other Civilian Honors included an award of The Order of the Long Leaf Pine from the State of North Carolina. He also received over 25 plaques in appreciation of his services performed for veterans from the various veterans' organizations such as the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, and Vietnam Veterans. Recently he was named a Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary International, and was a member of Immanuel Baptist Church in Greenville
Mr. Moore was preceded in death by a son, Christopher L. Moore in 1989.
He is survived by his wife, Shirley Harris Moore;
The family will receive friends tonight from 6 to 8 at Wilkerson Funeral Home.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Children of Fallen Soldiers Relief Fund, Inc., P.O. Box 3968, Gaithersburg, MD 20885-3968 or to the memorial fund at Immanuel Baptist Church, 1101 S. Elm St., Greenville, NC 27858.
Online condolences at www.wilkersonfuneralhome.com.
Published in The Daily Reflector on Dec. 14, 2012