All this week on ABC 13 News, we'll profile heroes from right here in the Heart of Virginia who have served and sacrificed for us.
Reporter: Jeremy Mills l Videographer: Todd Densmore
Appomattox Co., VA - They are a group of little-known pilots who helped carry the Allied Forces to victory in World War II.
Few people know more about World War II gliders than Robert 'Cal' Moore, Jr. The Appomattox County resident was one of 6,000 glider flight officers in the Air Force.
He says history has forgotten how they contributed to Allied victory.
"That's what I hope I'm doing, is telling people just how much they did for the war effort but people don't know that," said Moore, Jr.
The U.S. used gliders to carry heavy equipment and troops behind enemy lines. A tow plane would pull them in, and let them go, to land and leave the glider behind.
"My responsibility was to get them there as safely as I could, unload the glider and then I was free to go back the best way I could," said Moore, Jr.
Moore's most memorable mission came on D-Day, when he cruised between Utah beach and Omaha beach.
"800 feet high, I could see the whole works. It was something to see," said Moore, Jr.
And he'll never forget what he saw.
"The beachhead just lined with bodies and helmets, you know they would lose their helmets. It's hard to believe you know, I guess they got blown off them. I've never seen as many helmets in my life," said Moore, Jr.
He says glider pilots never got any publicity during the war because the Air Force tried to keep them secret. Moore believes it's time to let the secret out.
"I'm hoping that history will give us credit for the good we did for the war effort because we did an awful lot of good," said Moore, Jr.
Cal Moore, Junior says he logged nearly 4,000 flight hours during World War II.
He currently serves as a state commander of the U.S. Glider Association.
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