Poinsett County native is inducted into Hall of Fame for distinguished service

Friday, April 27, 2012
U.S. Army Colonel Douglas E. Moore (retired)

U.S. Army Colonel Douglas E. Moore (retired) recently was inducted into the Army Aviation Association of America Hall of Fame.

Born and raised in Payneway, Moore is a 1954 graduate of Marked Tree High School and a 1959 graduate of Arkansas State University, where he studied agriculture. He was one of the first to be recognized among ASU's Distinguished Alumni and is in the ASU Reserved Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Hall of Fame.

Colonel Moore had a distinguished career spanning three decades as an aviator, commander and senior staff officer. During two tours in Vietnam, he flew 1,874 combat missions, evacuated 2,782 patients and piloted the aircraft that recovered three American POWs from the North Vietnamese in a highly sensitive mission along the Cambodian border.

While serving as the commander of the 159th Medical Detachment at Cu Chi, Vietnam, during his second tour, he was awarded the nation's second highest award for valor, the Distinguished Service Cross, for his actions on Dec. 10 and 11, 1968.

After having accomplished multiple sorties under heavy enemy fire to evacuate critically wounded infantrymen throughout the day and night, his aircraft came under a fierce enemy attack from both sides while departing the landing zone.

One round tore through his helmet, knocking him from the controls and sending the aircraft into a steep bank. Despite being wounded and unable to see out of one eye, he righted the helicopter and assisted his pilot in reporting the enemy locations to the command and control ship and the ground elements.

Between Vietnam tours, he helped organize a unit in Japan that transported more than 63,000 casualties in a two-year period. He later commanded the 307th Medical Battalion in the 82nd Airborne Division, served as an inspection team chief in the Department of the Army Inspector General Agency, and commanded the 62nd Medical Group at Fort Lewis, Wash., where he served as air mission commander for the massive rescue effort following the eruption of Mount Saint Helens.

He was serving as executive officer for the Army Surgeon General when he retired after 30 years of service.

Among his awards and decorations, in addition to the Distinguished Service Cross, are the Distinguished Service Medal (the highest non-valorous military and civilian decoration), two awards of the Distinguished Flying Cross, a Bronze Star, a Purple Heart, four awards of the Meritorious Service Medal, and 33 awards of the Air Medal.

He also was inducted into the DUSTOFF (Dedicating Unhesitating Service To Our Fighting Forces) Hall of Fame in February of 2004.

Of his service, Colonel Moore has been known to say he "just did what any country boy would do."

He currently works as a hospital administrator in Washington, D.C., and lives in Burke, Va.

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