(courtesy of Jeff
Grave marker for Amos Z. Moss in the Lakeview Cemetery,
Polson (Lake County, Montana.
Amos was transferred
from the 507th PIR to the 508th as a cadre member in October 1942.
He was seriously wounded in action on 13 June 44 and
remained in a field hospital for nearly 6 months before being transferred
back to the U.S. for further treatment on January 2, 1945.
Sergeant Amos Z. Moss
When Amos Moss completed his parachute training at Fort
Benning, Georgia in October 1942, he was assigned as cadre for the
newly-formed 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment at Camp Blanding, Florida. He
served as an instructor in Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion throughout 13
weeks of basic and advanced infantry training for the new recruits. He
served with this unit during its parachute qualification training at Fort
Benning, Georgia, and its tactical training at Camp Mackall, North Carolina,
and maneuvers in South Carolina and Tennessee. Amos served with the light
machine gun platoon, the 81mm mortar platoon, and the Battalion S2 section.
Amos remained with the Regiment during the parachute invasions of Normandy,
France on D-Day June 6, 1944, and Nijmegen, Holland on September 17, 1944.
During the war in Europe, the Regiment served with the 82nd Airborne
Division commanded by Major General Matthew Ridgeway and Major General James
Gavin. A few days after the drop in Normandy, the 2nd Battalion, after an
heroic stand on Hill 30 near Picauville, moved out in the assault on Baupte
where they destroyed or captured 14 German tanks and a motor pool of 775
vehicles in good condition, and huge stores of critical military supplies.
As the Battalion was moving
toward Baupte, they were confronted by two fast-moving enemy tanks heading
directly toward the advancing troopers.
Amos unleashed a powerful
gammon grenade at one of the tanks and stopped it cold. The other tank was
stopped by a bazooka shell fired by another trooper. The German tankers were
killed as they tried to escape from their tanks. Amos was wounded in the
face by shrapnel from the tank. He was evacuated to England by the medics
but rejoined his unit later for the invasion of Holland.
During the operation in Holland, Amos was severely wounded in the leg during
a heavy German artillery barrage on Voxhil. He was evacuated to the United
States for hospitalization and surgery on his leg. After a one-year stay in
a hospital in Vancouver, Washington, Amos was medically discharged from the
Sergeant Moss's awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Purple
Heart Medal with oak leaf cluster, Parachute Wings, Combat Infantry Badge,
Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, Europe-Africa Campaign Medal
with three battle stars and invasion arrowhead, National Defense Service
Medal, WWII Victory Medal, United States Presidential Unit Citation, French
Fourragére, and the Militaire Orde Degree of Knight from Holland.
Amos and his wife, Phyllis, have four children and seven grandchildren, and
reside in Columbia City, Oregon. Amos worked in a paper mill for 34 1/2
years after the war.
(courtesy of Irv Shanley estate)