Pfc. David M. Moore, 6th Armored Division
David M. Moore was born on May 26, 1925, at Vivian, South Dakota. Raised as a
Lutheran, David was engaged in farming before entering the service
on August 26, 1944. The following is his story, told in his own
Service Record: I took basic training at Camp Hood, Texas, and then was shipped
overseas from Boston, Massachusetts, on January 7, 1945. We landed
at Greenoch, Scotland, on January 17, 1945. After a few days at
Southhampton, England, we crossed the English Channel and landed at
LeHarve in France. We then crossed France riding in train boxcars
and near Metz we were loaded on trucks and hauled to Luxembourg just
east of Bastogne in Belgium. My first combat duty was crossing the
Our (?) River into Germany. We later crossed the Rhine River in late
March of 1945. On VE Day, May 7, 1945, we were camped at Rochlitz in
Germany. I returned to the United States on August 14, 1945,
to be a part of the task force being formed to invade Japan.
We unloaded in New York harbor the morning the Japanese surrendered.
Camp Encounter: My first sight of Buchenwald concentration camp near Weimar,
Germany, came about a week after the end of the war in Europe.
Troops of the Sixth Armored were taken there for a first-hand look
at conditions in the camp. Our guide was a German man who had been
held prisoner since 1933. We visited the building where the
crematorium was located. Three furnaces each capable of destroying a
human body were housed there.
Our tour took us
through the camp hospital, the barracks where prisoners were held,
often times three to a small wooden bed. We visited the area where
prisoners were sometimes forced to stand in formation for a day or
two at a time.
At the time of our visit there were still some people in the camp
awaiting transportation back to their home land. I had two trips to
visit this camp as I was a half-track driver and helped haul troops
to tour the camp.
I was awarded the Combat Infantryman's Badge, the Bronze Star, and
was promoted to Private First Class during my tour in Europe. I
received no wounds.
After the War: Pfc. David Moore was discharged on January 15, 1946. He had this
to say of his experiences.
After being discharged, I helped my folks at home on the farm
until my younger brother returned from the Army. Then I started to
work in town as service station and bulk truck driver. I also drove
trucks to haul cattle, hogs, sheep, lumber, and machinery. In 1950 I
started to work at the local hometown bank and worked there until my
retirement in 1986. I have worked as an insurance agent since
retiring from the bank.
My family consists of my wife, four children, and to date we have
ten grandchildren, and one great granddaughter.
In 1996 I made a return visit to Buchenwald during a tour of
Europe. I had taken some pictures of the camp in 1945 and fifty
years later some of it was still the same. The main gate was still
there as it was in 1945; the crematorium with the three furnaces is
still there, and there is also a museum containing several items and
equipment used in the camp. It is hard to believe how cruel people
can be to people of other races, color, or creed.
from a WW II Veteran to Today's Youth:
Remember that the flag of the United States of American represents
the greatest country in the world and that the freedoms we have in
America have been defended by military men and women at a heavy cost
of life to them.
Crematoria ovens in Buchenwald concentration camp; photo courtesy USHMM
in the infirmary; photo courtesy USHMM
Dutch Jews wearing prison uniforms marked with a
yellow star and the letter "N", for Netherlands, stand at
attention during a roll call at the Buchenwald concentration camp; photo
American soldiers view a pile of human remains
outside the crematorium in Buchenwald; photo courtesy USHMM
prisoners of the "little camp" in Buchenwald stare out from the
wooden bunks in which they slept three to a "bed."
Elie Wiesel is pictured in the second row of
bunks, seventh from the left, next to the vertical beam; photo