Harold’s military career started before the attack on Pearl Harbor and continued until Japanese surrender in 1945. He was a part of the Battles of Saipan and the Leyte Islands. The timeline below follows his progress throughout the war.
September 1941 – Drafted
Harold was drafted into the Army in September, 1941, sworn in at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. There was no war yet, but America was gearing up what would become World War II.
September 1941 – Morse Code Training
He was at Camp Roberts, California from September 1941 until mid-December 1941, being trained as a Morse Code operator.
December 1941 – The War Starts Abruptly
Harold’s morse code training was never completed because the war broke out on December 7, 1941 at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The night of the attack, his unit was moved. His letter written on December 7th to his parents, reassures them he was not in harms way.
December 1941 – Joins the 225th Field Artillery Battalion
From December 1941 until April 1942 he was in Escondido, California and was a member of the 225th field artillery battalion. The 225th FA battalion was a unit of the XXIV Corps and not a divisional unit. His unit’s duty was to walk the beach between San Diego and Los Angeles during night time hours to protect the mainland from a possible Japanese attack. They also guarded a disaster control center in San Diego and ordinated a disaster rescue unit in case of a bombing attack.
April 1942 – Field Training
From April 1942 until September 1942 he was stationed at Ft. Lewis, Washington and had field training at Yakima, Washington.
September 1942 – Jungle Training
From September 1942 until July 1944, was stationed at Maui, Hawaii for jungle training.
June 1944 – Battle of Saipan
In June 1944, he took part in the landing of Saipan Island and the battle of Tinian Island in September 1944. He worked in the Personnel office, keeping payroll and service records current.
December 1944 – Leyte Islands in the Philippines
In December 1944, the battalion was transferred to Leyte Islands in the Philippines.
April 1945 – Okinawa
On Easter Day, April 1, 1945, he landed on Okinawa Island where he remained there until his return to the States in October 1945. The war in the Pacific was now over.
August 1945 – The War Ends
The Japanese surrender to General Douglas MacArthur, the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers.
November 1945 – Discharged
He was discharged as a Technical Sergeant at Ft. Logan in Denver, Colorado on November 1, 1945.
After World War II, Harold Moss continued his education at the University of Nebraska/Lincoln in January 1946, thanks to the GI Bill. There he met Dorothy Budde (also a student), married her, had a daughter and received his degree in journalism, class of 1948. He worked for his father in Minatare, Nebraska after graduation, later rejoining the Army in September 1949. Harold retired from the Army in 1975 after 30 years of service at the rank of Chief Warrant Officer IV. His overseas assignments included tours of duty in France, Korea, Germany, and the island of Crete. Stateside duties were in Ft. Benning/Columbus, Georgia, Fort Riley/Wichita, Kansas, and Ft. Bliss/El Paso, Texas. For ten years following his retirement from the Army, Harold worked in civil service with the Drug Enforcement Administration. At the age of 66 Harold began his retirement in El Paso, Texas, later moving to Sun City West, Arizona along with his wife Dorothy. Harold suffered from Alzheimers and died of lung cancer in 2008. Harold has 3 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren. These letters are his legacy and are now family treasures.