Famed Vietnam veteran Hal Moore dies in Auburn at age 94

Updated: Feb. 11, 2017 at 4:07 PM CST
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Hal Moore and Mel Gibson (Source: Submitted photo to Opelika Auburn News)
Hal Moore and Mel Gibson (Source: Submitted photo to Opelika Auburn News)

AUBURN, AL (WSFA) - Retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General Harold "Hal" Moore has died at his home in Auburn, according to a release from the Fort Benning Military Base.

Moore, who was two days from celebrating his 95th birthday, was said to have suffered a stroke last week, according to Opelika-Auburn News.

Moore is best known for his actions at the Battle of Ia Drang where he served as a Lieutenant Colonel in command of the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment. Moore's Battalion was heavily outnumbered and surrounded by North Vietnamese forces during the week-long battle.

Fort Benning's summary of Moore's actions during the battle read as:

Within 20 minutes of the first shot, the 7th Cavalry, vastly outnumbered, was assaulted by hundreds of enemy furiously determined to overrun it. After a three day bloodbath, the enemy quit the field leaving over six hundred of their dead littering the battleground. Hal was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the nation's second highest award for valor, for his actions during the fight. Hal then assumed command of the 3rd Brigade of the 1st Cavalry Division and led it through several major campaigns in 1966 earning another Bronze Star Medal for Valor for carrying wounded to safety under "withering small and automatic weapons fire.

His actions in the Battle of Ia Drang were later reflected in the movie 'We Were Soldiers' in which Moore was portrayed by actor Mel Gibson.

Prior to his actions in Vietnam, Moore graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point and then commanded a battalion in the newly formed air mobile 11th Air Assault Division at Fort Benning.

Moore was born in Bardstown, Kentucky on Feb. 13, 1922. He served in the U.S. military for 32 years.

Copyright 2017 WSFA 12 News. All Rights Reserved. Opelika-Auburn News contributed to this report.