25 Aug 1944 Edition  YANK DOWN UNDER

'Persistent Moser'

"2nd Lt. Ernest Moser of Saginaw, Mich., is a persistent guy, which is an understatement if you ever saw one. Moser joined the Army twice and applied 8 times to become a pilot in the Army. Even then, with his ten years of flying experience in civilian life, it took two Generals, Kenny and Arnold to push through waivers to get the job done. For a while he was the only flying T/Sgt. rated as a service pilot.                                                                                                                                                                                                                        General Kenney Reports: A Personal History of the Pacific War (1949) - George C. Kenney Pages 308-309

"I came back to the office on October 3rd and found a tall, slim, good-looking, burning-eyed sergeant named Ernest Moser waiting for me with a note from Jock Henebry, the commander of the 3rd Attack Group.

Some months before Moser had started out with Jock as his aerial engineer and top-turret gunner. In a combat shortly afterward the co-pilot had been badly wounded and the sergeant had taken his place. When the co-pilot went to the hospital, Jock had put Moser on the crew in his place. It seemed that prior to his enlistment in the Air Force the sergeant had about 1300 hours’ flying time as a private pilot, so [page 309] the B-25 didn’t faze him a bit. He had now participated in fourteen combat missions, during which Jock said the kid had done most of the flying as well as the take-offs and landings.

Some of my hawk-eyed inspectors had found out about this unauthorized flying on the part of the lad who had not been officially rated as a pilot by the Air Corps Training Center back home and had ordered Jock to pull him out of the copilot’s seat.

The youngster wanted to fly in combat. In fact, as I listened to him, pleading with a catch in his throat I knew he wanted it harder than anything else in the world. He didn’t care whether he wore wings or not. I could demote him to a private if I saw fit, but, “Please, General, let me fly combat.’’ Jock had said practically the same thing in his letter.

I sent the sergeant out to Amberley Field and told the chief test pilot out there to check his proficiency on all the types of aircraft at the depot.

The next day I was told he had flown every type of single-engined and two-engined airplane we had and that the test crew rated Moser as a superior pilot. Although it was contrary to the rules, I assigned him as a co-pilot to a troop-carrier squadron to keep his hand in, put in an application to GHQ in Brisbane to make him a second lieutenant, and wrote General Arnold asking him to waive the rules as he had for Pappy Gunn and give the kid an official pilot’s rating.

It took quite a while to break through the various walls of rules, regulations, and objections to such unorthodox procedure, but about six weeks later I was able to pin the second lieutenant’s bars and a pair of silver wings on ex-sergeant Ernest Moser and send him away happy, on his way to New Guinea and combat duty."


As always a deep appreciation is felt for Edward Rogers. His passing on this wonderful information insures that another of the WWII veterans gets the recognition they deserve.