Colon Chester Moore was born on July 9th, 1921 in Telogia, Fl. He grew up with his mother and father, C.P and Leona Moore, his three brothers Clifton, Clayton, Cleveland, and his sister Clearcy May. They all lived in Hosford, which is a small little area outside of Tallahassee. He spent a lot of his childhood in Tallahassee.
However, on August 24th, 1942 Colons life went from normal to anything but. He was drafted into World War II. He said that he was very sad when he got the news, because he did not want to leave his family or his home. Sadly, he had no choice. Eventually he came to the conclusion that going to war was just what had to happen, and he got used to the idea and became accustomed to a new life.
After Colon packed his bags and said his goodbyes, he was sent off to training. He was selected to go through a telephone and telegraph school for 8 weeks. This actually paid off in a good way. He then was placed into the AAA gun battalion. He was trained in Virginia first and then in Iceland to shoot at the enemy aircrafts with 90mm guns that shot 10 miles up into the air.
The men he trained with along with himself had never done anything like this before. He said that the good thing about being an AAA gunner was that they were very protected. The reason they were so protected was because they worked with very expensive guns, tanks, and other equipment; so needless to say, they wanted the utmost protection for that expensive gear.
His outfit (group) was actually the very first to get the radars that were able to find planes much more efficiently. Colon says that the reason he thinks he was selected to work in this section of the army was because he went to the telephone and telegraph school, so he thinks that saved his life from being in the much more dangerous positions of the war. He was the only person in his boatload of draftees that was put in the position he was given because knowing telephone information was a scarcity at the time.
Then he went to Europe to get advanced training. There was a camp in England and Wales. His outfit was sent there to do further training and stayed there for about two months. They were trained by older soldiers who had had plenty of experience in war. This all took place before the invasion of France. He said that along the banks of an ocean (he couldn’t remember which one), laid the camp, and they would do practice shooting with phony aircrafts flying over them. In Iceland, they slept in big barracks that would hold about 100 men. In England, they had building built for the soldiers to stay in. He said that England was well prepared to train soldiers. Colons outfit invaded Northern France, Central Europe, and Germany.
Although he was not directly involved with concentration camps, he did speak of one sad memory he had. He and his outfit were patrolling around and came across a small hut. They opened the hut and out came many war prisoners. He said they were about starved to death, pure skeletons. So they loaded them up onto trucks and drove them into a small town nearby.
There was a big café and a big store. Their captain sent a few of them to the stores and said “you go down there, and get every bit of food in that grocery store, and in that café to feed these people.” The owners of the store were yelling and telling them that they were not allowed to do that and the soldiers responses was “You watch us!” Colon then explained how the Germans had tons of pits where they would dispose of the bodies. He said “Those Germans, they were some mean people..”
Colon said that the soldiers were encouraged to write to their families by the officers and command. They wanted the best for their soldiers given the circumstances. After all of the war and invasions, it was about time to come to an end. Sooner or later, the head of command gave great news. “No more war.” Colon said that each month the commanders of each outfit were given rations of food and whiskey. They saved up all of the whiskey for this exact moment. Colon said “they saved all that stuff until the war was over, and we had us a big party!
They parked all of the equipment and guns and then they went to a small town in Europe that they had locations for the soldiers to live in after war. Colon said that they just lived like normal civilians for about 3 or 4 months after war. He said it was good living and good food. The town was not bombed because it didn’t have any military facilities so it was not worth bombing. He said it may have been called “Wiesbaden” but he isn’t totally sure.
Colon was honorably discharged and awarded with a good conduct medal and a victory metal. After a few months in Europe he returned home to Florida, reunited with his family, and eventually got married.
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