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Hattie Evans Moore was born in 1915 in Nash County. The widow of tobacco farmer and World War II veteran Willie E. Moore, she talks about her first marriage and family life during and shortly after the war years. She and Willie Moore were planning to marry in June 1941, but Willie was drafted in the fall of 1940 and they got married in January 1941 instead. She was 26 and he was 29. She describes listening on the radio as President Roosevelt and Secretary of War Stimson drew draft numbers from a goldfish bowl. Her new husband Willie, a railroad worker, was on the first bus of men that left Rocky Mount for basic training at Fort Bragg. Moore describes going back and forth with relatives and friends to visit with him. After basic, Willie was allowed home since they were giving married men a brief reprieve. After Pearl Harbor he had to report back to duty. The railroad kept him a while longer, then he shipped out in February 1942 with a New Jersey unit, the 113th Field Artillery (his own having already gone). Moore was pregnant when Willie left. He was in England when a friend told him that The Stars and Stripes had just announced the birth of his daughter, Willie Ellen. Willie saw combat in North Africa, and in France was wounded in the arm and taken prisoner. Moore received a telegram that he was missing in action. While in Stalag 7A in Munich, Willie fell seriously ill with pneumonia. At war’s end he returned to the US on a hospital plane and spent most of the next few years in and out of military hospitals for lung weakness and for continuing complications from the wound in his elbow. He was formally discharged from the Army in summer 1947. Back home at one point Willie was voted President of Rocky Mount’s Disabled American Veterans’ Organization, and Moore President of the Auxiliary. Willie fell ill at a DAVO ceremony and Congressman Harold Cooley, who was attending, made arrangements for him to be treated at Mt. Alto Hospital in Washington DC for a number of weeks. The Moores had inherited his father’s tobacco farm and begun cultivation and, with the help of many friends and family members, were able to make a go of it. When Willie was out of the hospital he worked the farm, and they did well and built a house. Eventually Willie’s doctor convinced them to move out West for sake of Willie’s lungs; the dust he breathed as a farmer driving a tractor was killing him. They resisted, but started splitting their time between Rocky Mount and a home in the west (location unspecified). Appended to the interview transcript is a four-page play about the Moores written by the interviewer, Mary Lewis Deans.

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