The Hannibal Heritage Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution recently honored a Hannibal veteran for his patriotic service, naming him Patriot of the Month for August.

The Hannibal Heritage Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution recently honored a Hannibal veteran for his patriotic service, naming him Patriot of the Month for August.

Elmo L. Moss was born in Missouri. His family moved to Texas, where he attended sixth through twelfth grades. He majored in art at Southern Methodist University and graduated in 1938 with a degree in Fine Arts and Languages, having studied Spanish, Italian, Latin and German. After college, he rode freight trains across the country and ended up on a fishing schooner at Gloucester, Mass.

Moss entered the United States Naval Reserve at St. Louis, Mo., in December 1940. After completing flight training in Pensacola, Fla. in October 1941, he then served on the USS Brooklyn (CL-40), USS Philadelphia (CL-41) and USS Savannah (CL-42) as a naval aviator.

In the early part of World War II, he was involved in taking convoys to England, flying anti-submarine patrol. On one occasion he could not find his convoy, flying until he could pick them up. He participated in amphibious landings in Casa Blanca, North Africa; Salerno, Italy; Anzio, Italy and Southern France. He flew paratroopers and supplies to North Atlantic Treaty Organization bases in Europe from France. On one special mission, he was stuck in Tehran, Iran, for two weeks until he could get parts for airplane repairs. In the 1950s he was at Thule, Greenland, flying patrol bombers as a part of the Distant Early Warning Line. During Vietnam, he flew Hercules transports mainly to Japan.

In his military career, he has been all over the world, including Korea, Spain, Greece, Corsica, Newfoundland and Kodiak, Alaska. He was a flight school instructor at Ottumwa, Iowa, Corpus Christi, Texas, and Newport, R.I.

He used his language skills and his art skills in the service, providing artwork for parties and painting on the noses of airplanes. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross with two stars, Air Medal and service ribbons for the United States, European and North African theaters.

Upon retirement in July 1969, from Naval Air Station, Lakehurst, N.J., Moss returned to Missouri. He personally assisted his contractor brother-in-law in building his home from 1972 to 1973. He is a very active member of his local Arts Council and has participated in the Annual Autumn Historic Folklife Festival since its beginning in 1976. He was on the very first Honor Flight. He married his wife, Norma, in 1942, and was married for 54 years until her death in 1996. He has six children, three grandchildren and one great-grandson. He has been traveling the world for the last 20 years with his dear friend and companion, Kathryn. They have been to Portugal, Spain, China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, South America, Scandinavia, Ireland and Scotland. Still very active and sharp, he recalls his military service “to the best of my 100-year-old memory.”

Hannibal Heritage Daughters are very proud and honored to recognize Elmo Leonard Moss as Patriot of the Month for his patriotic and dedicated service to this great nation.