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Moore found string of luck before, after deployment

Published: Friday, April 4, 2014 11:17 a.m. CST • Updated: Friday, April 4, 2014 11:45 a.m. CST
(Zach Johnson/Daily News)
U.S. Navy veteran Francis Moore holds pictures from his days of deployment on the USS Oakland.

Francis R. Moore has always felt he had a string of luck with his time of the service during World War II.

“I was only injured once during my three years of service, so I have always considered myself lucky,” Moore said.

In 1943, Moore was part of the first crew to be on the USS Oakland, which was an Anti-Aircraft Cruiser used during the war. He was active on the 20 mm machine gun gunnery crew on the ship. Moore, a Seaman 1st Class, served in the Gunnery Division.

“The ship spent most of the time in Tokyo Bay during the signing of the peace treaty of World War II,” Moore said.

After Moore’s tour of duty, he remembers his brother-in-law offering to take him on a cruise.

“I told him that I have seen enough water in my day,” Moore said with a laugh.

Moore was born in Metz but his family moved to Newton when he was just a toddler. Moore was employed with Maytag for 37 years before he retired.

“Metz truly isn’t what it used to be back in my time,” Moore said. “I went to Woodrow Wilson Elementary School and attended Newton Senior High School when it was located where the library is currently. I remember when the washing machines were beginning to modernize in 1986. I asked the human resource officer at the time if I could retire, and they agreed.”

Moore has never had a chance to travel much outside his tour of duty during World War II, but thanks to the Jasper Freedom and Honor Flights set up by Jasper County Treasurer Doug Bishop, Moore was able to visit Washington, D.C.

“It was the chance of the lifetime to take a trip on the Freedom Flight,” Moore said. “Doug has done a lot of work helping veterans take the trip.”

Staff writer Zach Johnson may be contacted at (641) 792-3121, ext. 425, or at zjohnson@newtondailynews.com.