Real Loving Cup
A Marine Reaches Out From 1944
Semper Fi ...
Los Angeles Daily News
January 14, 2003
The first name that Marine Pfc. William "Bill"
Moore scratched on his canteen cup before his final battle
of World War II was that of his dad, Earl Moore, a Marine
in World War I.
He was proud of his father, proud to follow in his footsteps
and become a Marine himself.
His sisters talked about their brother Monday as they held
the rusted, battered canteen cup that became a family treasure
"Bill was still in high school; he didn't have to
go," said Dorothy Saraga, one of his sisters, who now
lives in Reseda. "He enlisted a week after his 17th
birthday in 1942."
He died in 1944, a month before his 19th birthday, on tiny
Peleliu Island in the Pacific in one of the bloodiest battles
of World War II.
Fifty-eight years later, a couple of former Marines on
a tour of military battle sites in the Pacific found a rusted
canteen cup sticking out of some dirt under a clump of bushes.
When they dug it out and brushed it off, they found it
had belonged to Pfc.William Moore, Echo Company, 2nd Battalion,
7th Marine Regiment.
They turned it around and saw the name Earl Warner Moore
scratched into the cup, along with the names of Bill's brother,
Roy Moore, and sister Elizabeth, both of whom had joined
the Marines in World War II. Dorothy was too young to join
but later married a Marine.
"What should we do with it?" Dan King asked John
Edwards about the cup.
"Only one thing we can do with it," Edwards said.
And that's just what they did -- spending months going
through old high school yearbooks, telephone books and Marine
archives to find out what happened to the Earl Moore family
that lived in Sunland back in the '40s.
Last week, King and Edwards flew into Van Nuys Airport
to deliver the cup, found in the dirt of a tiny 5-square-mile
island in the Pacific, where
20,000 died more than a half-century ago.
They personally wanted to let Pfc. Moore's sisters know
that their brother was thinking of his family right to the
Dorothy got the first call in July. It was someone from
her alumni association at Verdugo Hills High School.
"She told me two men had called her looking for the
Moore sisters, and she didn't feel right about giving them
my number without asking my permission," Dorothy said.
"I asked her what they wanted, and she said it had
something to do with my brother Bill and an old cup."
The men on the phone were King and Edwards, who had already
made two trips to the Valley from their homes in Fullerton
to locate Moore's next of kin.
"We talked to Realtors, went to the library, tried
the historical society, but weren't having much luck,"
Edwards said. "Then we got the yearbook from Moore's
high school and saw he had two sisters.
When Dorothy hung up the phone after talking with the men,
she sat there shaking her head, remembering some of the
toughest days of her family's lives.
"The day my parents got the telegram saying Bill had
been killed in action, I was in high school," she said.
"Dad came and got me out of class. He was crying. We
When Dorothy called her sister, Elizabeth Brich, living
in Van Nuys, and told her about Bill's old canteen cup,
Elizabeth was stunned.
"It's amazing that all these years later not only
would the cup be found, but that our names Bill scratched
on it would still be so clear," Elizabeth said.
"Amazing, too, that these men would take all that
time to find us so we could have it."
Not amazing, Edwards said Monday. Just something Marines
do for other Marines. Nothing gets left behind, not even
an old canteen cup.
"This was a kid who could have stayed in high school
for another two years and probably gotten out of serving,
but he wouldn't do it," Edwards said.
"He wanted to be a Marine, like his father, and that
makes him an American patriot to me."
Dorothy has the cup now, but it will soon go to Bill's
nephew for a while, then to the grandkids in the family
so they can hold some rich, family history in their hands
and learn from it.
But before all that, the sisters will be taking the old
canteen cup over to Glenhaven Memorial Park in Sylmar, where
Bill is buried next to his father and mother.
They want to share it with their parents, too.
They want to let Earl Moore know that it was his name Bill
scratched first and foremost in big letters on his old canteen
cup before his final battle of World War II.