About the Author

For 50 years Don Moore has written for newspapers in West Coast Florida. Before graduating in 1963 from the University of Florida’s School of Journalism and Communications, he got a part-time job as a police reporter at The Bradenton Herald daily newspaper in Bradenton, Fla.

While still in college Moore went to work a short while later for the Sarasota Herald Tribune when the daily opened a news bureau in Bradenton. After graduation he was offered a job as bureau chief of The Tampa Tribune’s minuscule news bureau in Bradenton, a position he held for three years.

The Author Don Moore

Moore became an entrepreneur in 1966 when Steve Kimball, publisher of The Islander, gave him the opportunity to join the staff as editor and part owner of his 1,700 paid-circulation weekly newspaper covering Anna Maria Island and eventually Longboat Key, Fla.

A few years later Moore bought Kimball out. By the time he sold his paper to The New York Times in 1980 he was editor and publisher of The Islander that had grown to 9,000 paid circulation. Journalistically it was among the top three weekly papers in Florida.

It was at that point Moore decided, at 40, it was time to retire. He and his wife built a waterfront home on Little Gasparilla Island, located immediately north of Boca Grande, 50 miles to the south, and only accessible by boat. Before the paint was dry on the walls of his new retreat, Derek Dunn-Rankin, the new publisher of the Venice Gondolier weekly newspaper in Venice, Fla. convinced Moore to spend 90 days helping him improve his editorial staff.

Following a heart transplant operation in 1999 and a few other unmemorable experiences Moore has continued to write for what has grown into a much larger newspaper operation. Dunn-Rankin became the publisher of the Charlotte Sun, a weekly he bought in Port Charlotte, Fla. and turned into a daily some years ago.

That was more than 30 years ago and Moore is still working for Dunn-Rankin. After the 90 day adventure, Dunn-Rankin convinced him to stay and become the executive editor of a 10-member editorial staff with little serious journalistic experience. A few years later Moore and his would-be journalists were producing the best weekly paper in Florida.

Moore has continued to write for what has grown into a much larger newspaper operation. Dunn-Rankin became the publisher of the Charlotte Sun, a weekly he bought in Port Charlotte, Fla. and turned into a daily some years ago.

Just by chance, Moore wrote a couple of war stories for the Sun more than a decade ago. These stories were so popular with the paper’s readers he has continued to write war stories on a twice-weekly basis. Over the years he has amassed more than 1,000 stories about local men and women who served their country in time of war.

This web site will eventually include all of the war tales Moore has written for the Sun over the years. Hopefully, the site will be expanded to include additional war stories from people who live in other places beyond Florida’s West Coast.

Without them it wouldn’t have happened

Mary Auenson has been my strong right hand in the production of this web site. Without her assistance none of these war stories would be up on the War Tales web site on a regular basis.

She is the one who figures out the mechanics of getting the stories on the page and the placement and size of the pictures that go with each story. Mary makes it happen.

The site was created by Brendan Moore, my nephew, who is a computer whiz-kid with a master’s degree in computer engineering. It was his suggestion we keep the site simple and open it free to the public.

Click here to view the War Tales fan page on FaceBook.

Click here to search Veterans Records and to obtain information on retrieving lost commendations.

Click here to view the collections in the Library of Congress.

All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be republished without permission. Links are encouraged.

Comments

    • Peggy,
      Thanks. The war stories I write and the people I interview make my life pretty interesting. I’m going to interview a man this morning whose brother was shot down in his TBM fighter-bomber over Japan during WW II. The guy spent 18 months as a POW. His brother is to telling me his story because the former aviator has passed on. Thanks for the kind words.
      Don Moore
      Sun Newspapers
      War Tales

  1. Even though I had met Don Moore at the Cultural Center long ago, I was happy to visit with him again at the “Swiss Connection” recently. He is doing a wonderful job writing these articles regarding WWII. I am wishing him luck and hope to be reading these stories for many years to come.

    • Hans,
      I’m with you and your hope to be reading many of the war stories I’ve written on the web for years to come. If I can get all 1,000 of these stories and their accompanying pictures up on the web in the next year I believe War Tales will be an impressive site. Thanks for the support and kind words. Don Moore

  2. June 16, 2010

    Hi Don:

    I E mailed your web site to all my family and got back very positive results. It is well formated and a good straight forward story. I mailed to you a lot of additional material, photos, CD’s , etc. Use what you like and when finished please return the material to me.

    Good job, and very professional to say the least.

    Thank you very much for you caring for so many veterans and telling their sotries. WW II veterans are dying at a fast number, so what you are doing is so very important to capture their stories.

    I give you my heart felt thanks for your professional work in capturing their stories.

    Sincerely,

    William G. Roy, USN (Ret)

    • Roy,
      Needless to say, it was a pleasure writing your story. I got all the stuff you sent me this afternoon and was a bit overwhelmed with the volumne. Hope to get a half dozen or so extra pictures from WW II to run with your story together with some pictures of you as a young Navy photographer. I really appreciated you mailing out the story to relatives. Glad everyone like the article.
      Regards,
      Don Moore

  3. Thank you for all you do for our Veterans. These tales are well worth telling. I enjoy every one of them. Also thank you for your support for the Military Heritage Museum from the very beginning. Henry Reposa U.S. Army 67-69

    • Henry,
      It’s a two way street. You’ve been right there every step of the way for the museum and local veterans’ activities. You’re a guy that does what he says he’s going to do and gets the job done.
      Regards,
      Don

  4. read your story regarding brig. gen. russell g. ogan—-would like to contact him if possible. served with him in alaska for 2 years as a s/sgt. combat ops. as a matter of note , i was also his baby sitter when he and his wife went to the officers club or movies at ladd afb in fairbanks , alaska.

  5. Don, my dad was in the 26th ID and fought with Co. A. He is still living in upstate NY and I would love for him and your uncle (C. Cooly) to communicate either by phone or email. My dad was wounded on 13 Jan 1945 in Arsdorf Luxembourg. He eventually returned to the US and was discharge early 1946. He read C. Cooly’s account and I believe would be able to add other information. Please contact me if you would at the email address provided.

  6. Hello Don,
    What a great tribute to our veterans! I have just started a blog in which I share a letter a day. The letters were written by my grandparents while my grandfather was in the Navy during WWII. I wonder if you ever wrote about my grandfather. He retired to Sarasota where he died in 1989.
    Deborah

    • Deborah – While it is unlikely I interviewed your father because he lived in Sarasota, you can do a search within my website for his name. I do have over 400 stories in archives done before this website was created and we’re getting the old ones up on Mondays and Fridays, so there is a remote chance, if I interviewed him, he would be in the archives. If you wish, you can email me with his name and I’ll take a look in the archives (not the public archives).

  7. Hi, I was going through pictures that my dad had and found one of him standing beside a sign that says 164th Aviator Engineer Battalion. I knew he fought in the Phillipines and he said he helped build the airport after the war ended. His name was James Klash and he passed away in at the age of 68 years. Would like to know what he experienced during the war.

  8. Mary gave me this link.Great working with her and you on the story of my dad. I look forward. Nice story here Don of a life well lived and quite impressed what you have done and are doing. WW2 stories, books and films have been a long time interest and of course owe my dad, but coming across your writings and website was a perfect continuation. Thanks and continued inspiring writing.

    • Mark,
      Appreciate the effort you put into getting the info an pictures needed to put your dad’s war story together. Hope you like it. And please keep reading the War Tales web site and tell a friend.
      Thanks,
      Don
      War Tales
      Sun Newspapers

  9. Hi Don,
    My Dad, Robert Jeffries, replaced Guice Johnson as Bombardier on Schroeder’s B29 crew on Tinian. I am the Historian for the 505th. I don’t believe Schroeder’s plane was the first to land. According to our records, it was Warren Aylsworth, A/C of ‘Purple Shaft’, crew 82-06. There were 3 which landed almost simultaneously. The second was ‘Indian Maid’ flown by Major Julian Dendy, Crew 82-01. (He had a higher rank so was given the honor of landing first.) The third was ‘Deaner Boy’, flown by Dean Forburger, crew 83-01.
    Thanks,
    Nancy Jeffries Samp
    nsamp7@gmail.com

    • Nancy,
      You obviously know more about the B-29 bomber crews on Tinian during World War II than I do. Thanks for tghe education.
      Regards,
      Don Moore
      Sun Newspapers
      War Tales

  10. Mr. Moore,
    I was wondering of you worked at the Bradenton Herald with my dad, David Boyers? He has tasked me with finding a Don Moore that worked with his, as he would like to reconnect.

    Thank you for your time.

  11. Don, you wrote an article a while back about a gentleman named Doug Danforth, a Korean War vet who served in the Air Force 8th, 27th Squadran. Is there any way you could send me his contact information? My father Clyde Willard served in the same squadron at the same time, and is interested in contacting Doug and hopefully gaining more information on his fellow servicemen. Can you email me back with his information? Any information would be much appreciated. Thanks

  12. Hello Mr. Moore, I have been researching various operational functions/units during WWI, specifically in Italy. I read with great interest your piece about Capt. Johnson and the Piper Cubs. My Grandfather, Major Ralph R. Hotchkiss was a war correspondent based with the 5th Army. He wrote anecdotal stories about operations such as the role of the small liaison planes and pilots. He referred to them as “Moths” in his article. I am writing a book based on his 12 or so stories about these lesser known functions. I like some of the quotes you used in your post and will likely incorporate some in the chapter I’m writing. I was wondering if you would be willing to talk to me about some of Grandfather’s stories and perhaps lend some of your extensive war history and reporting knowledge. Part of my effort is to gather resources that I can cite for increased credibility. I also need to ensure historical accuracy. Can you kindly let me know if this interests you? Many thanks. MH

  13. I want to thank you Don for re-running the story of my Dad, Maurice Pouliot in May 2016. My husband was checking something out thru goggle and it popped up. I remember him saying he had interviewed with you, but all was lost at his home, so I never really got a copy. I have since printed this – it will be great to pass down in the family.. Thanks again – it is truly a good thing you do. Michele Birkenberger/birkenhaus@comcast.net

  14. Mr. Moore,
    I was looking up information on my brothers unit in Vietnam when I came across the story you wrote on Randy McConnell some time ago. In the article there is a picture with him holding a jacket with the names of the men in his squad who were killed in action. I was amazed when I saw my brothers name on the jacket. Would it be possible to provide me with Mr. McConnell’s contact information. I would like to contact him and personally thank him for honoring my brother and the other men who made the ultimate sacrifice.

    Semper Fi,

    Roy Hannigan USMC (Ret.)

  15. Thank you for the work you are doing, the history you are recording, the stories you preserve for future generations. My father served in the Army in WWII and was in Bastogne during the siege. He served 4 years. He didn’t talk about it much to me. He told me that in Bastogne he had a can of beans in his back pocket for two weeks as he lay there looking down his rifle. It was a grim time. Afterward he was so constipated he had medical leave to get that sorted out.

    A good friend of mine for 30 years died in 2015. He was a Marine who fought in Vietnam 3 years, 7 months, and 23 days. I believe he did intelligence work of some kind afterward. To the day he died he was secretive about many things, claiming amnesia from a head injury about names, dates, places etc. I heard a few stories but nothing I wasn’t supposed to hear. I suppose he could not legally talk about stuff, and I had no need to know.

    But my dad and my friend were both heroes who saved lives of fellow soldiers. Their stories should have been recorded. People ought to know the sacrifices these and other men have made in service of their country.
    So I thank you for recording and sharing these stories.

    • topcat –
      We appreciate your heartfelt comments and encouragement. It’s words like you so eloquently wrote that remind us that we’re doing a good work. May your father and friend Rest in Peace.

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