“The artifacts and records of Canada’s fighting men and women are part of the very fabric of our nation’s history. Therefore, the Comox Air Force Museum was extremely excited to receive a donation from the KO Moore family, who had decided that here was the best place to celebrate their late father’s heroics and to be the stewards of his records.
Wing Commander K.O. Moore DSO was certainly a hero of World War Two, earning an immediate Distinguished Service Order (DSO) and the US Silver Star by destroying two U-Boats in a 22 minute span. The combat took place at night as he and his No 224 Squadron RAF crew, in a Very Long Range Liberator, were tasked with keeping NAZI U-Boats away from the D Day invasion fleet. The U-Boats put up a hail of machine gun and cannon fire that he had to fly right through to complete his attack; he did so without flinching or failing. His crew sent the enemy contact message: ‘ saw two subs, sunk same’! He survived the war and went on to become an important RCAF leader in the post-War period. His heroic service continued. In 1948 he was honoured again with a King’s Commendation for his part in the demanding search and rescue of a crashed Dakota carrying severely wounded Canon John Turner in the Arctic in 1947. Most notably, from the Museum’s point of view, he commanded 407 Squadron right here in Comox from June 1964 until December 1965. In 1966, he was transferred to Maritime HQ until 1969, then to Canadian Forces HQ where he remained until his retirement from the Forces in 1971. K.O. Moore passed away January 17, 2008 at the age of 85.
The Moore family have now donated their father’s military memorabilia, artifacts, documents and photographs to the Comox Air Force Museum. We have created a brand new display, which contains his medals and logbook as well as other artifacts. Additionally, we display ‘Dinty’, a toy panda bear dressed in RCAF uniform that served as the mascot on Moore’s crew and was on board for all their combat missions. Finally, the printed material and photographs were all catalogued and archived.” (Jon Ambler)
On Sunday, August 21st, part of the KO Moore family gathered here at our Museum for an unveiling of the new KO Moore display.
Jon Ambler, our Programme Manager and Volunteer Coordinator, welcomed them and introduced the family to a few of the volunteers who helped with the creation of the display and the archiving of donated memorabilia. He then showed the family models of the aircraft and U-Boat, and described how Moore would have to fly through the “fan of fire”. That K.O. Moore did it twice is nothing short of remarkable!
Barry Moore, one of K.O. Moore’s sons, then unveiled the new exhibit.
Jon Ambler then explained the Museum’s choices for items displayed. It was interesting to hear that the Mascot, Dinty Moore, was selected in order to show the human side of war ~ that mascots were treated as members of a crew’s family.
Following time for the family to reflect on the exhibit and to visit other parts of the Museum’s Main Gallery, there was an opportunity to look personally at the catalogue of artifacts, to talk and share memories. We’re grateful, not only for the donation, but also for the opportunity to learn more about this incredible hero from his family!