• In this first-ever, fully illustrated biography, we finally learn the full story of Hal Moore, one of America's true military heroes
Hal Moore, one of the most admired American combat leaders of the last 50 years, has until now been best known to the public for being portrayed by Mel Gibson in the movie "We Were Soldiers.” In this first-ever, fully illustrated biography, we finally learn the full story of one of America's true military heroes.
A 1945 graduate of West Point, Moore's first combats occurred during the Korean War, where he fought in the battles of Old Baldy, T-Bone, and Pork Chop Hill. At the beginning of the Vietnam War, Moore commanded the 1st Battalion of the 7th Cavalry in the first full-fledged battle between U.S. and North Vietnamese regulars. Drastically outnumbered and nearly overrun, Moore led from the front, and though losing 79 soldiers, accounted for 1,200 of the enemy before the Communists withdrew. This Battle of Ia Drang pioneered the use of "air mobile infantry”—delivering troops into battle via helicopter—which became the staple of U.S. operations for the remainder of the war. He later wrote of his experiences in the best-selling book, We Were Soldiers Once…and Young.
Following his tour in Vietnam, he assumed command of the 7th Infantry Division, forward-stationed in South Korea, and in 1971, he took command of the Army Training Center at Fort Ord, California. In this capacity, he oversaw the US Army's transition from a conscript-based to an all-volunteer force. He retired as a Lieutenant General in 1977.
At this writing, Hal Moore is 90 years old and living quietly in Auburn, Alabama. He graciously allowed the author interviews and granted full access to his files and collection of letters, documents, and never-before-published photographs.
I had three uncles who served in WWII, each a hero in his own right. I found Hal Moore to be a most uncommon man, but one to which readers could readily relate. I compared Hal Moore's life with that of my Uncle Dale. Uncle Dale was the son of a Texas cotton farmer, and only served though the war, whereas Moore came from a wealthier family and made serving his country a career. However, Moore's way of getting into West Point reminded me of Uncle Dale's getting into the air force, when the powers that be were determined to put him in the army. I loved the way Moore handle those soldiers who did not want to come into compliance. Making them run until they puked was very creative.
In my opinion, a good leader does what he expects his men to do. Who would have thought no toilet paper would have such an impact on prisoners of war!
... Moore found compassion for the people he came in contact with wherever he went - friend or foe ... Hal Moore loved his wife, his children, and his dog ... I am not a history buff, and had never heard of Hal Moore before Mike Guardia showed him to be one of the Greatest Generation heroes, and I thank him for writing the book.
Freestone County Times