It was a great weekend back in South Florida for my youngest daughter Austen’s high school graduation. Family and friends gathered and lots of tall tales were told as well as great memories remembered. Sunday we attended our home church Community Christian in Tamarac where our Pastor Scott Eynon and his wife Laurie just became grandparents.
However, it was a visit I had after church that would provide a cherished heirloom for our family.
U.S. Navy Commander Charles L. Moore is legendary in the U.S. military with a career that has spanned service to our nation since World War II to Vietnam. He lives in Lake Worth, Florida after a career in the medical field as a leading cardiologist at John F. Kennedy Hospital. He has been a stalwart supporter and mentor to me since I arrived here in South Florida eleven years ago. Cmdr (Dr.) Moore had told me he had something special to give to me that he felt was only deserving for our family. So after church I headed up to meet with him and his wife.
What I was presented was beyond belief.
Here is the letter accompanying this special gift: This .45 caliber New Service Model Colt Revolver, US #46995, was carried in France during World War I by my father 1LT Charles “Buck” Moore. He was attached to Battery A, 351st Brigade of the 92d Division, US Army. My father took great pride in his service and was forever proud of the troops he served with. The 92d Division was the first division of American Negro Soldiers ever placed in the field and on January 28, 1919 were commended by General Pershing for their conduct and fighting abilities.
The weapon was last fired on November 11, 1918.
This weapon was carried (for luck) by his son LtJG Charles L. Moore on four ships during his service in the U.S. Merchant Marine and U.S. Navy in the European and Pacific theaters, 1942-1945. In 1968, once again the Colt traveled with the personal effects of Commander Charles L. Moore, Fleet Marine Force, First Marine Division, Republic of Vietnam.
This Moore family heirloom is presented with pride and respect to Lt. Col. Allen B. West, U.S. Army (Ret) and his family to care for and preserve as a reminder of the black Soldier’s history and continuous outstanding contribution to the United States of America.
Charles L. Moore, MD
Dr. Moore’s dad was nicknamed “Buck” just like mine and so this incredible legacy of warriors transcends time and race. It is a bond that respects and regards only one aspect: service and commitment to this Constitutional Republic.
This beautiful firearm will be safeguarded by our family and handed down to subsequent generations. I look forward to the day when I pass it on to my nephew, Major Herman Bernard West II, another Artilleryman. This weapon is now part of the legacy of two families and spans combat service to our nation from World War I to the present…and into the future.
At a time when it seems some are more focused on dividing us along the lines of race or skin color, this .45 caliber New Service Model Colt Revolver represents more than just a sidearm. It represents a bond, a legacy, that will transcend time — a legacy and bond I promised Commander Moore will be safeguarded by the West family for years to come.
Steadfast and Loyal to Buck Moore and Buck West.