Cpl. [Ralph E.] Moore, a son of Mr. and Mrs. Dick Moore, Pine Hills, was killed in action on Guam on July 29 . This week a Marine Corps reporter in the South Pacific told of Cpl. Moore’s one-man war against the Japs on the Orote Peninsula where he killed an estimated 50 Japs and single-handedly cleaned out four caves in which the enemy was holed up.
The Japs were in a well protected cave and were pouring a deadly fire on the advancing Marines, taking a heavy toll. Cpl. Moore filled his arms with hand grenades and rushed to the mouth of the cave, and showered explosives on the enemy. After the smoke of battle cleared Cpl. Moore was found dead, and inside the cave were 30 dead Japanese soldiers.
Cpl. Moore volunteered for the Marine Corps on December 14, 1942. He trained at San Diego and went overseas in June, 1943. He served with the famed Fourth Marine Division on Guadalcanal, Bougainville, in the Admiralty Islands and in the Marianas.
Since his death, Mrs. Moore has received letters from many Marines who knew him personally. She received a letter from her son’s platoon sergeant, R. G. Brande, under whom Ralph served from the time he went overseas until Sgt. Brande was sent back to the United States just before the invasion of Guam.
A letter from Lt. E. Hedahl, Cpl. Moore’s commanding lieutenant, stated: “In an organization where courage is a common commodity, Ralph’s coolness and daring are already becoming legendary. Perhaps someday I can tell you personally of some of the many things he did.
“Speaking for myself and the men in the platoon, who have lost a brother-in-arms and a good friend, I would like to extend the deepest sympathy, knowing that you will face your sorrow as Ralph met the enemy with courage and calmness.”
A letter from Lemuel C. Shepherd, Jr., Brigadier General, U.S. Marine Corps, stated that Cpl. Moore had been buried in the Army, Navy and Marine Cemetery, Number 2, Guam, Mariana Islands. A memorial service was held there on August 21 by the Marines to honor the memory of their fallen comrades. Mrs. Moore received a picture of the cemetery during this memorial service.
Later Mrs. Moore was notified by W. F. McClain, Marine chaplain, that he conducted private services at the grave with members of Ralph’s platoon.
In October Mrs. Moore received a letter from Major P. H. Uhlinger, stating that the Purple Heart awarded her son would be sent to her, and that six months after the war she would receive his Asiatic-Pacific Campaign medal. Mrs. Moore received the Purple Heart last week.
On December 1 during a concert of the Marine Band, the “Blue Danube” will be dedicated to Cpl. Moore.
Cpl. Moore sent his parents a small Japanese flag, which he took from the body of a Jap sniper that he saw first.
Cpl. Moore, who was 19, was the oldest of five boys. His brother, Billy volunteered for the Navy and is now in training at Great Lakes, Ill. His sister, Mrs. Lee Sumner lives in Hattiesburg. He is the grandson of the late J. C. McCaa and Mr. and Mrs. H. B. Moore, Sr., West Fourth Street. He graduated from Demonstration School in 1942 and attended the University of Alabama that summer before volunteering for the Marine Corps.