Honoring the Brave

Kyle Campbell Moore

Kyle Campbell Moore

A week after marrying Katherine Davis (’36), Kyle Campbell Moore’s “other love” came calling.

Described as “very beautiful, slim, sleek with a clipper prow,” the USS Indianapolis promised “dangerous exciting contests in faraway places.” So Moore journeyed to the Aleutians on July 30, 1942, to join the heavy cruiser, where he spent the next three years serving throughout the Pacific. Promoted to lieutenant commander and named the officer-in-charge of the hull department, Moore, who had spent thirteen years as a journalist and photographer, was “fighting the war with more than a typewriter.”

After a brief stop at Guam on the way to Leyte, the USS Indianapolis was torpedoed by Japanese submarine I-58 around midnight on July 30, 1945. Moore was supervisor-of-the-watch on the bridge. He survived the first explosions and went below twice to survey the damage, which was so massive that the ship sank in just twelve minutes. Only 316 of the 1,197 men on board survived. Moore wasn’t one of them.

“He was the most interesting man I’ve ever known,” says Katherine of her husband, who was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for heroism beyond the call of duty. “He was smart, talented, skilled, creative, industrious, generous, sensitive, a true Scot in many ways, unafraid, sincere, funny, and loving. He never lost a friend or forgave an enemy.…He was a good father, a compassionate son, a wonderful husband, and a splendid naval officer.”

Preserving the memory of Moore and so many others like him, Katherine established the Kyle Campbell Moore Endowment at UT’s Center for the Study of War and Society.

Chandra Harris-McCray