Our dear friend and hero Joe Moser passed away quietly at home on December 2, 2015. He was surrounded by his loving family. Memorial services were held December 11 with a Celebration of Life service in Ferndale, Washington, December 12. Over five hundred were in attendance to celebrate his remarkable life. Tributes from around the nation were read including from a Brigadier General and the Seattle Seahawks. Command Chief Master Sergeant Rick Arnold who arranged for Joe to finally receive his DFC medal, led all the veterans in a moving, final salute. At his burial service, Jeff Geer of the Bravo 369 Foundation arranged for a flyover of WWII vintage aircraft including the missing man formation.
On behalf of Joe’s family, friends and thousands of admirers who reached out to Joe since his story was told, I wish to thank all of you for your many expressions of love and support for Joe and his family.
His book “A Fighter Pilot in Buchenwald,” and the documentary featuring Joe, “Lost Airmen of Buchenwald” can normally be purchased at your local bookstore or at Amazon. However, we recently found out that they had been sold out. For those in our community near Bellingham, we know that Village Books in Bellingham and in their new store in Lynden are carrying Joe’s book. Amazon reports they are out of stock but you can order there and they should be getting more books in soon as well.
Gerald & Lynne Baron
Here is a brief video of Joe’s committal service with military honors at Woodlawn Cemetery, Ferndale, WA on December 11, 2015:
Joe, two daughters and a grandson were traveling along with cinematographer Chris Baron to Buchenwald yesterday. While at SeaTac airport, they were met by a TV news crew from KING5, the leading regional TV news channel. KING5’s Glenn Farley did an outstanding job with this story which in brief news format, gives some of the highlights of Joe’s experiences and the meaning behind this incredible trip back to Buchenwald.
Joe has been front a tv camera more times in the last while than I am sure he ever dreamed he would be. Here is a segment from a local television production called Experience Northwest from KVOS TV. Actually two videos for the two different segments:
We are still working on getting books into distribution but books are here and ready to order. You can get at Village Books in Bellingham, order from Amazon, or order direct from the publisher here.
Thanks to Mike Barber of the Seattle PI, the story of Joe Moser receiving his DFC award 65 years late is being told on the “Now Hear This” blog.
Early comments from people who have read the book have been outstanding. Village Books in Bellingham is having a hard time keeping inventory in, and Amazon orders should now start to be filled with a shipment to them we just made. We are working on getting “A Fighter Pilot in Buchenwald: The Joe Moser Story” into bookstores and retail outlets throughout northwest Washington.
If anyone can’t find it, tell them they can order on our website at www.joemoserstory.com.
To make it even easier to order, just click on these words and the order form will pop up.
I was blown away when Joe told me the story that I have relayed in this chapter. Those who know Joe know that when he talks and tells stories, his humility and good spirit come across far more than the drama and excitement of it. But I can tell you that the strange and wonderful coincident of Joe and Earl is probably my favorite part of this book so far and I have had the most fun learning about it and sharing it. I hope you enjoy it too.
Thanks for commenting Ian, it is so great to have Joe’s family following along. I know many are not reading it on this site because they want to wait for the whole thing to be done and published. I certainly hoped and planned it would be by this time. No excuses, but by business has required a tremendous amount of travel–I have spent four of the ten weeks in this year either in California or Houston. And I found I simply can’t work on this on the road–for one thing I can’t carry all the reference material I need with me. So, I apologize, but I am going to push real hard now and get this wrapped up.
Here finally is chapter 11. It tells of the Luftwaffe rescue of Joe and his fellow fliers from Buchenwald all the way into getting assigned to Block 104 in Stalag Luft III in Sagan–now in Poland. Block 104 just happens to be the most famous POW barracks in all of history I believe–and not just because that is where Joe lived. But rather because seven months before Joe arrived, that same barracks was the starting point for the greatest escape in history–yes the very same barracks from which the tunnel “Harry” was started and through which 76 POWs made their escape. It is just one more of the fascinating little details of Joe Moser’s experiences during the war. Another fascinating little detail is the story of his POW identity card. I feel so privileged to hold a treasure like this in my very hands as I write this story. Not quite a sliver of the cross, but there is a sense of sacredness about it. For it too symbolizes not just Joe’s trials and sufferings, but in some way the suffering, death and horrors experienced by so many in those dark, dark days.
It is such a thrill to me to hear from readers of this site. I know that there are many more who visit here than comment because I see the traffic, but when I get a question like that of Pat McGregor from the UK it is just a great joy. So, any of you doing research about these aspects of WWII, or know of any of those who might be involved, I’d love to hear from you. Frank Moser, Joe’s brother, also recently told me of family members who are reading the chapters here (although Frank says he’s waiting for the whole story to be finished before reading it). If you are visiting occasionally, I’d love to hear from you. Just hit the comment button and say hi if nothing else.
Yesterday Joe received some more local media attention–as well as a nice gift from a local artist. Here’s the story in the Bellingham Herald.
Of course, they didn’t get everything right–like suggesting he was liberated from Buchenwald in April, 1945. But, that is what the book is for, I guess.