The Oregonian ran a special Memorial Day article about Paul Moore, which is reproduced below, with permission.
Date of birth: 20 February 1948 Date tour began: 21 February 1968 Date of casualty: 25 October 1968 Home of record: Sandy, Oregon Branch and Rank: Army Selective Service, Specialist Four, Light Weapons Infantry Unit: 25th Infantry Division, 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry, C Company Awards: National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Purple Heart Location of name on the Vietnam Wall: 40W, 34
Location of service: South Vietnam, Hua Nghia province Hostile Died of Wounds, Gun Small Arms Fire, Ground Casualty
Schools attended: Sandy High School Burial location: Willamette National Cemetery, Portland, Oregon Memorials: Vietnam Veterans Memorial (Washington, DC), Oregon Vietnam Veterans Memorial (Portland)
The Oregonian, Friday, May 30, 1969 by Richard Floyd, Staff Writer In every parent with a son in Vietnam lies a seed of fear, a dread that one day will come a message: Your son has been killed. This is the story of an Oregon mother and the day the message came. SANDY (Special) – Paul Moore, a boy with a quick wit and a love of cars, spent his 20th birthday traveling. The next day he arrived in Vietnam. It was Feb. 21, 1968. “No, I told the staff sergeant, he can’t be dead because he is supposed to be in Australia for his R and R, the rest and recreation program,” said Mrs. Errett L. Moore in a letter to The Oregonian. “Paul had been with the 25th Infantry for eight months. Now they were trying to tell me that he had been fatally wounded.” Unlike many soldiers, his first reactions to Vietnam were pleasant. “It’s such a pretty place,” he wrote his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Errett Moore. But he didn’t tell them about the machine gun training he was beginning. Paul never wrote home about anything bad, not even from Ft. Lewis where he was first sent for training after being drafted in September, 1967. Instead, he sent amusing descriptions and cartoons of what the Army was doing to him – and vice versa. “I shall never forget that morning of Oct. 26, 1968. Two activities stand out in my mind but they are in no way connected to one another. I dyed a pair of cotton hose red for a Halloween party at our church that evening – and I was preparing grapes for jelly for a special occasion. Our three young people – Paul, John, 23, in the Navy on duty in the Philippines, and Esther, a nurse in Phoenix – were planning a February reunion. The three of them had not been together for four years.” He hadn’t been away from home much until then. Born in Portland, Paul had lived in Sandy since he was a small boy. In many ways, Paul, the youngest, was the rebel of the Moore family, his mother said. He always worked after school when he got big enough, first at a service station in Sandy and later at one on Mt. Hood. Most of his money went to support a car and much of his time went to make it run faster. He liked speed and dragging. “I was at the store, buying pectin for the jelly, when one of the roomers from our rooming house stopped to let me know that a man in Army uniform was waiting for me at the house. I supposed it was one of our former roomers who had stopped to say hello. It was a beautiful fall day. Near home I saw a car parked across the street and a man in Army uniform sitting there. I met him in the hall. He had one of the saddest looks on his face.” Paul came home from Camp Polk, La., in a surprise visit the first Christmas he was in the Army. A group of Northwest men chartered a plane for the trip. He came home again in February, 1968, on leave, knowing he was on the way to Vietnam. The letters kept coming, telling about Vietnam, a different country, and its people and about new friends. He wrote his parents about his promotion to chief radio operator of his unit. “I almost got it three times,” he wrote John, his brother, who was in the Navy, about battlefield brushes with death. “He asked, ‘Is your husband home?’ I answered that Errett was out looking at some timber and as he started to speak, I knew exactly what he was going to say, so I said, ‘It’s Paul, isn’t it.’ Then he said, over and over, ‘Is there anything I can do?’ I thought to myself, ‘Yes, you can tell me it isn’t true.’ The day, so sunshiney and beautiful, suddenly seemed dark and everything was whirling around the room. In his last letter home, written at the end of September, he told his parents about a rest leave coming up in Australia. He delayed it earlier so he could have more time in Australia. “My day for coming home has been set for Feb. 20,” he wrote. That would be his 21st birthday. Last Oct. 25, Spec. 4 Moore was on a reconnaissance mission as a member of Company C, 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry, part of the 25th Infantry Division. The place was near Trung Lap. Moore was hit by sniper fire and seriously wounded. Evacuated by helicopter, he died shortly after reaching a field hospital. “Then a quiet seemed to take over and I was able to make a couple of phone calls. After that, many people came and cried with me. Our pastor came and it was he who stated ‘God takes the fairest lilies from the field to be with Himself.’ He told us of the death that morning of a young man in the community. That night, there was a prayer meeting at the church, instead of the Halloween party.” In the citation for the Army Commendation Medal for Heroism, presented to Paul’s parents months later, his actions were described: “With complete disregard for his own safety, Specialist Moore exposed himself to a heavy volume of hostile fire as he killed two insurgents who assaulted the command post. “While placing effective fire on the hostile force, Specialist Moore was fatally wounded. His valorous actions contributed immeasurably to success of the mission and defeat the enemy force.” The Sandy Baptist Chapel was filled for Paul’s funeral. Jim Quinn, who picked berries with Paul when they were boys, was the Army escort. Paul is buried in Willamette National Cemetery in Portland. His medals are at home, framed and near the big Sandy High School graduation picture which his mother says is the one which breaks her up. “During the days that followed, the Lord gave strength for every dark moment. I remembered that Paul and I had long talks. Even in his most mischievous times there was a charm about him. That smile that thrilled me, when he would say, ‘Hi, Mom, I’m home.’ Now he was coming home in a casket. It was really bad, but God gives us strength as we need it, never too soon or never too late.” “I’m not bitter and I’ve told my other two children not to be bitter about Paul’s death,” said Mrs. Moore. “If I were President, I don’t know what I would do to stop the war to prevent more deaths. I just don’t know.We are proud of Paul, but we miss him. “How we miss him."