The only sibling of my grandmother, Odelle, that I do not recall meeting is Thomas Warren Moss. I know I must have met him, but as I sit here and realize he died in 1991, when I was 22 years old. It is a bit sad that I do not know much about him except for what was written in an article about War Brides in the Lynchburg, Virginia newspaper. I wonder why he was not around when we went for visits to see my grandparents.
Thomas Warren was born 26 February 1921; he was the only son that survived from the union of Carrie Lou Hicks and Thomas Irving Moss.
Thomas grew up with his siblings, Odelle, Lillian and Margaret in Lynchburg, Virginia. He went to E.C. Glass High School for two years before the WWII broke out.
Because of the war, Thomas entered the Army on 3 February 1941. He went to Normandy France for what would become D-Day. According to a newspaper article written in 1992, his widow, Betty was quoted as saying “He (Thomas) was in the Military Police stationed next to the department store I was working in…I was decorating the window and when I saw him go by on his motorcycle and I said ‘that’s for me.’ I was right-it was (The News, 1991, p. 12).
The article also states that Thomas was the only man in his unit who stormed the beach that day and lived. He was wounded and was sent to the American hospital in England. The only possessions he had on him was a wallet with a picture of his bride and his dog tags. I am still researching what unit he was in, when I find out. I will do an update.
My Aunt Carol, had the wallet and the small picture of Betty inside. She gave the memento to me last year.
His wife Betty was still in England working for the American Red Cross. She was able to pull some strings and was at his bedside during his recovery. Thomas was shipped home to the United States on 11 April 1945, which happened to be the same day his wife gave birth to their only child, Elaine Serena Moss.
Thomas was released from military service on 13 Nov 1945 with a medal for Purple Heart.
Thomas married Betty in England before the Normandy invasion on 9 March 1944. After the war, Thomas and Betty returned home to Lynchburg, Virginia and then to Madison Heights in Amherst. In several City Directories, Thomas Warren was listed as a Clerk. I am not sure where or in what line of work.
My genealogy friend and her husband were kind enough to get me a photo of his tombstone.
He died 9 January 1991 in Amherst County, Virginia. He was 69 years old.
Source: The News & Advance, Lynchburg, Virginia, “For Some, War Couldn’t Conquer Love,” February 16, 1992.