Edgar Moss
U. S. Army
WWII US Military
Dates of Service: 02/25/1943 - 11/04/1945
Demolitions expert and amphibious DUKW driver., 540th Amphibious Engineers

He was born in Fortuna, California, but was reared in Oak Grove, Louisiana, where his father worked as a logger. Edgar "plowed when I couldn't reach a handle" on the family's forty-acre farm, and felled timber with a crosscut saw. He went to work after the third grade, farming for neighbors for a dollar a day. Drafted at age eighteen in March of 1943, Edgar took basic training at Camp Wheeler near Macon, Georgia. That fall he sailed on the Queen Mary to Oran, Algiers, where he was then shipped to Naples, Italy. Assigned to the 540th Combat Engineers Regiment (Amphibious), he was trained in demolitions. He made the Anzio beachhead, an experience, he recalls as "the nearest I've come to being dead." In the invasion of southern France, Edgar joined a four-man suicide squad of divers whose mission was to detonate mines near the coast with underwater explosives. Later, on land, an explosion from a bulldozer sweeping up mines severely wounded him. "I couldn't figure out how I was living," he recalls. After a stay in a Naples hospital, Edgar rejoined his outfit in Germany. For the rest of the war, he drove a DUKW (duck), a transport craft. When war in Europe ended he opted to go the Pacific with his unit, and spent forty-seven days sailing to Manila. While on Luzon he visited his brother who had been serving in the Pacific. Edgar came home in November of 1945 and was discharged at Camp Shelby near Hattiesburg, Mississippi. He worked several jobs, and spent twenty-eight years employed at a paper mill before retiring.