Someone has said, Courage is to be afraid to do something noble, but to go ahead and do it anyway. We can wonder what it is in some people that cause them to exercise extraordinary valor in times of crises. Maybe it is because theyre aware of a cause greater than themselves and they embrace that cause with everything that is within them.
Whatever the cause, devotion to duty is carried out in many ways and in many locations throughout the world. But in particular, many men and women of the military are often called upon to exhibit courage beyond the normal even though self-preservation is overwhelming strong.
One such example is the courageous actions of William Clarence Billy Mosier. Corporal Mosier, who was born in Laurel Bloomery, Tennessee January 2, 1932 and died a heros death in Korea January 3, 1951. Mosier, with no thought for his own safety volunteered to go to the front line to attend the wounded. A statement of his actions reads in part, after caring for several wounded, Corporal Mosier heard the call for a Medic from some 500 yards away. He ran through enemy mortar concentrations and heavy sniper fire to tend the wounded man. After tending the wounded, Corporal Mosier noticed several of the enemy closing in on him. He grabbed a rifle and ran to the crest of the hill, taking the enemy under fire. After killing several of the enemy, Corporal Mosier was killed by enemy sniper fire. His actions were far beyond the call of duty.
Corporal Mosier has received several honors. His most recent honor was having Troop Medical and Dental Clinic 2 on the Ordinance Campus at Fort Lee, Virginia, named in his honor. On hand at the ceremony were several members of Mosiers family. Major General Larry D. Wyche, Fort Lee Commanding General, attended as well as several other officers and dignitaries. A reception was held following the ceremony.
Other honors came before the clinic naming. He was awarded the Army Distinguished Service Cross for his heroic actions. The Distinguished Service Cross is second only to the Metal of Honor. He was awarded many other important medals as well.
Near Uijongbu, Korea, close to where Mosier was killed, a post was named Camp Mosier Korea in Billy Mosiers honor. An Army MASH (Mobile Army Surgical Hospital Unit was located there for the next 25 years. A Hollywood director was looking for an Army post to film his next movie and he traveled to Korea to find the perfect place. Camp Billy Mosier was the place he found. The location was used in the film MASH as well as the long-running television show of that name.
Billy Mosier is buried at Acre Field Cemetery in Laurel Bloomery, Tennessee. The inscription on his tombstone reads, Billy Mosier, Tennessee, CPL 21 Infantry Regiment, 24 Infantry Div. Korea, September 2, 1932, January 3, 1951, DSC 2 PH.
My thanks to Jesse Sutherland who provided the pictures and some of the information for this column.