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SGT Raymond Gregory “Greg” Moore

SGT Raymond Gregory “Greg” Moore

Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio, USA
Death 9 Oct 1969 (aged 20)
Cenotaph Honolulu, Honolulu County, Hawaii, USA
Plot Courts of the Missing
Memorial ID 100048495 · View Source
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In Loving Memory ... Sgt. Raymond Gregory Moore.
*** A mother can't. She held a memorial service — not a funeral; Greg Moore has never had a funeral — at First Baptist Church in Cumminsville.
*** Sergeant Moore was a member of Company A, 5th Bttalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 199th Light Infantry Brigade. On October 9, 1969, he was a passenger in a Bell Iroquois Utility Helicopter (UH-1D) that crashed into the Song Dong Nai River in eastern Long Khanh Province, South Vietnam. He drowned. His remains were not recovered. His name is inscribed on the Courts of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial.

You may be gone, no longer living on this earth; but you will live on - in the memories of your family and friends. There will always be a part of you living in your family and those who knew you and loved you. You will live on because we remember you!

Age: 21
Race: Negro
Date of Birth Apr 2, 1949
Marital Status: Single - Parents: Mother, Mary E. Moore, 71, of Avondale and Father, Raymond Moore, Died 10 years before. Has one sister, Helen Wanda Moore and two brothers. Has NO children.

SGT - E5 - Army - Selective Service
199th Light Infantry Brigade
His tour began on Oct 9, 1969
Casualty was on Oct 10, 1970
Non-Hostile, died missing, HELICOPTER - NONCREW

Body was not recovered
Panel 07W - Line 123

Other Personnel in Incident: Jimmy R. Garbett; Dallas A. Driver; James L. Suydam; James H. Turner; (all missing). WO Kilbourne (the pilot - survived); unnamed crew chief, (survived immediate crash, later drowned - remains recovered); CW4 James W. Bailey (aircraft commander - remains recovered)

On October 9, 1969, a UH1H helicopter crew and passengers were attempting an extraction from a mined pickup zone in eastern Long Khanh Province, South Vietnam near the Song Dong Nai River.

During the extraction attempt, the helicopter's rotor blade struck trees, causing the loss of rotor RPM's and lift capability. The helicopter struck 15-20 feet of water in an almost level attitude, and sank on its left side in less than 10 seconds.

Immediate and continuous air and water searches, loudspeaker broadcasts, and phamplet distributions were conducted.

No recovery was made of any of those missing from the aircraft, but the remains of two personnel aboard were located and subsequently identified.

It could not be determined at the time how many persons escaped the aircraft.

The only survivor of the original crash was WO Kilbourne, the pilot.

It is particularly tragic that men who survived an aircraft would drown trying to reach safety.

Driver, Garbett, Moore and Turner were listed as Killed, Body Not Recovered.

Sunday, April 02, 2000
Clinging to a glimmer of hope
After 30 years, Vietnam MIA's mother struggles with loss and doubt
BY MARK CURNUTTE - The Cincinnati Enquirer
This month marks the 25th anniversary of the fall of Saigon and the end of the war in Vietnam. More than 58,000 U.S. troops died in the war, and more than 2,000 remain missing in action.

Mary Moore, 71, of Avondale, is the mother of one of them.

Mary Moore's son has been missing in action in Vietnam since 1969. She asks herself the same question nearly every day. Would I rather know if Greg were dead? She began asking the question shortly after two men came to her Clifton apartment that October. They told her that Sgt. Raymond Gregory Moore's helicopter had sunk in a river in South Vietnam. He was 20.

The men told Ms. Moore that two soldiers survived the crash. The remains of another were recovered. Five men, including Sgt. Moore, were unaccounted for.

"It's a feeling I can hardly describe," Ms. Moore said last week, more than 30 years after that visit. She last saw her son when he was 19, before he shipped out. Casualties of war aren't found only on the battlefield. For every one of the 2,029 servicemen still missing in Southeast Asia — 12 from Greater Cincinnati — there are mothers and fathers and siblings and wives and children who focus on slivers of light in the darkness. They face countless questions but don't find many answers.
They realize they probably won't see their loved ones again but can't fully grieve. Uncertainty is enemy and friend.
Once outgoing, Ms. Moore has closed up emotionally. She suffers anxiety-related health problems. In March, she was hospitalized for gallstones. Many nights are sleepless. Other nights, she wakes up at 4 in the morning, rolls over, sees a portrait of Greg and says hello to him.

"I always wake up thinking about him," she said. Her two surviving sons lost direction in their lives because of what happened to their brother, Ms. Moore said. They live out of town. Her daughter has a house in Avondale.
Ms. Moore is wounded every time her hopes rise and fall, as they did last month. That's when Defense Secretary William Cohen visited Vietnam to call attention to a joint U.S.-Vietnamese effort to recover and bring home remains of American servicemen.

What if they find Greg?
Today is Greg Moore's 51st birthday. Ms. Moore will not celebrate. She will probably lay in bed a few extra minutes to think about him. She pictures him as middle-school aged — not middle-aged — and the family lives on Elmore Street in Northside. There are woods nearby. Greg has chickens and ducks in the yard. He runs through the forest, shooting targets (never animals) with a pellet gun. He would be a sharpshooter in the Army. He loved the military. He volunteered shortly after his 1968 graduation from the former Courter Tech High School in Clifton. He figured he'd be drafted. He goes to school. Ms. Moore opens the pantry door and hears a hissing sound coming from a shoe box. There's a snake inside. Greg put it there. He comes home after school. "Don't worry, Ma," he says. "It won't hurt you." Greg has an aquarium in his room. There's one in the front room, too. Mother and son together take care of the fish.
Weeks after learning her son is missing, Ms. Moore can't face the aquariums alone and gets rid of them. It seems that every day she allows herself to answer a question.
What would Greg be like if he had come home? "I wonder how he'd have matured," she said. "I wonder how he would be as a father. He's a very compassionate person. "He would be career military or be working with animals."

Ms. Moore didn't have the luxury to mourn. She had three other children. She had been separated from her husband when Greg was 4 and brought up four children as a single parent. (Raymond Moore, her former husband, died 10 years ago.)
All three siblings were affected when their brother was declared missing. Greg had been the glue. "He was the man of the house," Ms. Moore said. "Greg was protective of me. He would go to the bank with me. I could send him to pay the telephone and gas and electric bill." Her other children, especially the boys, "got real moody," Ms. Moore said. "One boy tried to be macho for my benefit, but he was hurting," Ms. Moore said. "He'd say, "Mom, remember when Greg did this.' He just stopped caring about everything when Greg didn't come back. Greg could keep the other boys in line. "They all went into their shell." Ms. Moore would occasionally retreat to her room. If the door was cracked, one of the children would call, "Ma, are you OK?"

"It was very hard on all of us," Ms. Moore said. "I know they had their moments, but they didn't want me to see."
Some images were too horrific to think about, but they would come nonetheless. What if he survived the crash and was captured? What if he's being tortured? During the day, Ms. Moore worked at local hospitals as a nurse's aide. Then she worked at night sewing shirts in a factory. Work kept her mind occupied. Then she hurt her back and had to retire.
Helen Wanda Moore, who's 48, keeps an eye on her mother. So does Ms. Moore's daughter, Cessalea, 12. "I think the government gave my mother a lot of false hope," Wanda Moore said. The Army told her mother that someone survived the helicopter crash and walked away. Army investigators said they found footprints, size 9 1/2, the size Greg wore, in the mud. "It does something to your life," Wanda Moore said. Mary Moore baby-sat Cessalea before she started school. She still helps out her daughter by keeping track of the girl after school these days. "She and Wanda pull me out," Ms. Moore said.

Almost a year to the day her son came up missing, Ms. Moore received a telegram from the Army. Sgt. Raymond Gregory Moore of Cincinnati is declared "killed, body not recovered," it read. A casualty officer from the Army recruiting station in Bond Hill paid her a visit. "They have to finalize it," Ms. Moore said of the Army.

A mother can't. She held a memorial service — not a funeral; Greg Moore has never had a funeral — at First Baptist Church in Cumminsville. People sang and prayed for Greg's safety and return home.
"I've never fully accepted that he is dead." Still, Ms. Moore went to court in 1972 to challenge the $10,000 death benefit she had been paid by the government. Between the time of her son's 1969 disappearance and the declaration of death in 1970, the Department of Veterans Affairs increased the benefit to $15,000. Ms. Moore said she was due the higher amount because her son, according to the military, died in October 1970. She won, and her case set a legal precedent that won the additional $5,000 for another dozen families in the same situation.

There are constant reminders that Greg is missing and presumed dead. Every year since 1970, Ms. Moore has received a Christmas greeting from the White House.
That's six presidents. Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush and Clinton. The signature is stamped. The condolence is the same. "Concerning your loss, we sympathize you. You are in our prayers."

In March, the Army sent her what's called a "family member update" saying that her son's status had not changed. They're sent to MIA families from the Cold War, Korea and Vietnam. The updates used to come every few months. Now they come every year or so. "They said he was still dead and they hadn't found him," Ms. Moore said.

Then there are news events. On March 24, the remains of Marine Pfc. John Morris Smith, a World War II MIA, were returned to his family in Lincoln Heights. Pfc. Smith disappeared July 14, 1945, as Americans fought Japanese on Okinawa during World War II. The remains of Pfc. Smith and two other Marines were found in a cave near the city of Nago in 1998. "In some ways, I find myself being a little jealous," Ms. Moore said. "But if the Army can't tell me anything positive about my son, then I'm not jealous. I'm happy for that family. She can have some closure and peace." But then comes the question and images of rifle shots and an honor guard, of a lone bugler playing taps, of pressed khaki uniforms and precise salutes, of a bright red-white-and-blue flag adorning a casket. Would I like to have Greg back to bury him?
Ms. Moore leans on God. She doesn't blame him. She is a member of New Jerusalem Baptist Church, Carthage, and is part of a women's prayer group led by Barbara Lynch, wife of pastor the Rev. Damon Lynch Jr. Prayer soothes Ms. Moore's soul and mind. "You can see the pain she's in. It has been kind of a nightmare, having hope and then doubt," Mrs. Lynch said. "We pray for her. We pray for her son."
Marva Coffey is another church member and close friend of Ms. Moore's. "We try to talk just about every day," said Ms. Coffey, 59, of Forest Park. And she prays the same prayer for her friend. "I'm praying for the day she can put it behind her and know where he is, that he's in God's hand."

Ms. Moore is not angry at God, even though she has lived with one dreadful question for 30 years. Is Greg dead?
"I believe your life expectancy is set out before you," she said. "I ask God to watch over him. I know he will. If Greg's in heaven, he's with God. I know that. "I'm still grateful for the other kids I have."

On Oct. 9, 1969, Sgt. Moore was part of a rescue team aboard an extraction helicopter above a mine field in eastern Long Khanh Province, South Vietnam. One of the rotor blades struck a tree, causing the helicopter to lose altitude. The pilot headed west down a river valley in an attempt to regain lift. The aircraft struck 15-20 feet of water and sank in the Song Dong Nai River in less than 10 seconds. That night, some 8,700 miles away, Ms. Moore had a vision. It was different from dreams she had had when she was holding Greg's hand and he was wearing a little white sunsuit. "I was sleeping that night, and I woke up when I heard him call my name, "Mama,'" she said. "He was standing in the doorway to my room and he was wearing muddy fatigues. He called my name, "Mama.' "I sat up in bed and moved closer to him. But the closer I got to him, the more he faded out until he was gone."

What remains today are questions, one in particular. Would I rather know if Greg were dead? "A mother never gives up hope," she said. "I wish and hope and pray that, if he is dead, that it was quick and he didn't lay there suffering. "But I can't accept that he is dead. People tell me to let it go. I don't express that much around certain people. "I can't give up hope. If I accepted that he was dead, that would help me find closure, but it would knock out the glimmer of hope that he's still alive.

"You wish you had closure. But you still want the hope, the opening, the glimmer that you'll see your son alive again."


Gravesite Details Looking for hometown location of his Headstone.




  • Created by: Eddieb
  • Added: 2 Nov 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 100048495
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for SGT Raymond Gregory “Greg” Moore (2 Apr 1949–9 Oct 1969), Find A Grave Memorial no. 100048495, citing Honolulu Memorial, Honolulu, Honolulu County, Hawaii, USA ; Maintained by Eddieb (contributor 46600350) .