WWII Vet Receives Distinguished Flying Cross For a Mission He Can No Longer Remember

Joe Moser of Tacoma, WA was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross during a ceremony on January 29, 2009. Mr. Moser flew over 40 missions during World War II, but can no longer remember the mission for which he received the Cross. Two weeks after the mission during which he earned the Cross, Mr. Moser was shot down. He spent the remainder of the war as a prisoner of the Germans. He spent sometime in the Buchenwald concentration camp. When the other 168 flyers and he entered the camp, the guards told them that the only way they would exit was as smoke from the crematory. He was liberated at the close of the war.

In the 1990s Mr. Moser learned from a logbook of the 474th Fighter Group (which he had been a part) that he had earned the Distinguished Flying Cross, but the paperwork had been lost. His efforts to receive the Cross were fruitless until he and a friend co-wrote A Fighter Pilot in Buchenwald. Finally their efforts culminated on Thursday night when he received the Medal.

Mr. Moser may not remember the particular bombing mission where he earned the Cross, but he was very proud to have earned it and finally received it after all these years. Read more about this subject.

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