Henry L. Moore
April 8, 1921 – September 15, 2012
Graduation date: June, 1943
Unit: 332nd Fighter Group

Henry was born in Ocilla, Georgia on April 8, 1921. Upon graduating from high school, as the valedictorian, he attempted to enlist in the US Army Air Corps in 1940, but was rejected because there was no program for Negroes. In 1942, after war was declared, he was drafted against his will and assigned to the 86th Aviation Squadron, US Army Air Corps, a segregated work group. Henry began taking exams and, passing them all, he became a candidate for flight training at Tuskegee. While waiting for a class, he attended Air Forces Technical School, Lincoln Air Base, graduating as an airplane mechanic in June, 1943 and was assigned to the all-black 332nd Fighter Group.

Moore was called to go to Tuskegee in December 1943, but the commander froze all transferals pending assignment overseas. He entered combat the next month as a Crew Chief, S/Sgt., one of only sixty-four (64) with that group overseas during the war.

In 1944, Henry turned down an opportunity to return to the states and become a fighter pilot because of his preference to serve has a crew chief.  “I didn’t fly with a combat crew, but I was responsible for the planes being properly maintained for flight. I did fly in Italy as crew chief on a non-combat B-25 bomber with an all-black crew”, he said in an interview.  Henry’s awards and decorations include Campaign Medals: European-African-Middle Eastern Bronze Stars for Rome-Arno, Southern France, Northern France, Balkins, Germany, Appennines, and Po Valley Campaigns. Presidential Unit Citation, European-African-Middle Eastern Service Medal, and Good Conduct medal.

Henry was honorably discharged in 1945 and then completed his education at West Virginia State University, Rutgers University and Temple University. He retired as an engineer from the US Naval Air Development Center in 1973, and as a math/science teacher from the School District of Philadelphia in 1983.

Source:
The Philadelphia Tribune

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