Guthrie County

Capt. Robert E. Moyers

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Fremont County




Meets Iowans Credited With Amazing Valor

(Iowa Daily Press War Correspondent)

Athens, Greece (IDPA)-- On a flight from Rome to Athens, after a jeep ride from the 5th army front to the Italian capital, I met 2 Greek-American army corporals near the Bari, Italy air field. They had finished months harassing nazis in the mountains of Greece. I took a letter from one to his mother in Athens, whom he had been unable to see because of the nature of his duties.

What the GIs told me sent me upon my arrival in Greece on a quest for a certain American officer, men who had led the Yankee forces, who parachuted into the country behind the German lines on the 2nd anniversary of Pearl Harbor - Dec. 7, 1943.

Among those I found a 49 year old veteran of World war I, all of whose comrades declared was the gamest man alive. He not only would not talk about himself and what he had done but resolutely refused to let me use his name.

"I wouldn't say any of several my men was better than the others," he said to me, "but I do want you to meet a young captain who was with me all through the campaign."

He then related an amazing story of the captain's valor and skill.

That evening on a street corner I met the captain.

"How do you do," I said warmly, shaking the hand of the younger man, who appeared boyish for his 24 years of age. He was of medium height, slender, wore glasses and smiled like a high schooler.

"What is your name - again?" he inquired.

"Frank Miles"

"Good gosh," he exclaimed jumping two feet, "I've heard your name at home a thousand times. You and my dad know each other."

He was Robert Moyers, of Guthrie Center, whose father is Edison Moyers, a World war I veteran and superintendent of schools there, and had that position in Sidney, several years.

The young Hawkeye was a graduate from Guthrie Center high in 1937 and from the dental college at our State University in 1941. In February 1943, he entered the army. He was at Camp Grant awhile, landed at Africa overseas, was in the Battle of Sicily and in the fall of last year was sent to Palestine to be trained for parachuting so that he might as a medical officer go with a contingent of American troops on a drop from the air into Greece.

"I think he was picked for the job because at Alexandria he showed great ability as a horse back rider, which he probably acquired as a kid around your Sidney, American Legion rodeo," his chief grinned.

Captain Moyers wanted to talk about home and his commanding officer; the latter tried to talk about him and the cross fire I got little about the former there that I hadn't learned earlier from some of those who had served with him.

His job was both wracking and dangerous. He had been doctor rather than dentist to wounded and sick Americans and partisans under unbelievably difficult conditions with enemies shooting around him almost constantly. Despite shortages he raced around in one way or another accomplishing his tasks. In one night he set up and moved a tent hospital three times to escape nazis bent upon getting him.

Captain Moyers merely smiled when I told him what I knew of his record, but he did say that after the war he intended to return to Iowa to devote his career to child growth and development.

"The worse part was getting out, then I wondered what was down there," he replied to my question as to how he felt that dark night he leaped from a plane to alight somewhere in Greece under the American flag.

Source: The Mason City Globe-Gazette, December 26, 1944

Dr. Robert Moyers Named Director of Orthodontics at University of Toronto

Dr. Robert E. Moyers, associate in orthodontics and staff member of the University of Iowa's college of dentistry since 1945, has been named professor and head of the department of orthodontics at the University of Toronto.

Doctor Moyers, 27, who lives at 238 South Summit street, will be one of the youngest men ever to head a department of orthodontics on the North American continent.

His appointment to the faculty in dentistry will be effective July 1, 1949, although Doctor Moyers will remain in Iowa City until he completes study for a doctor of philosophy degree during the summer session.

His research on physiology of facial musculature, which will be the subject of his doctor's dissertation, will be transferred to the University of Toronto's physiology department, which is headed by Dr. C. H. Best, co-discoverer of insulin.

A native of Sidney, Iowa, Doctor Moyers completed study at Iowa for a master of science degree in 1946, having received his D.D.S. here in 1942. His undergraduate work was also completed here.

He practiced dentistry in Lake City until early in 1943, going to army service in March, and being sent overseas a month later.

Doctor Moyers is the most-decorated dental officer to serve in the United States forces during World War II.
Assigned to the O.S.S. he was appointed chief medical liaison officer for allied forces for service in Greece, and parachuted into the country in the fall of 1943, following the battle of Sicily, in which he also took part.

The Iowa Citian remained behind German lines in Greece, working with members of the native resistance movement, until the liberation of the country in 1945, and his return to the Untied States. His 18-months service behind enemy lines in Greece was the longest by any American officer.

About 360 officers and men were included in the O.S.S. units which served in Greece, with their main objectives the blocking of German access to supplies of chrome and "occupying the attention" of as large a German force as possible.

The unit spread word that the allied invasion was to come into Europe by way of Greece and German intelligence reports caused the transfer of two divisions, including about 25,000 men, into that theater from Italy, where actual operations were scheduled.

Doctor Moyers was awarded the bronze star twice, the Purple Heart three times and the Legion of Merit twice. He also was awarded the Order of the British Empire ad the British Military Cross, in addition to two decorations of the Greek government.

His comparatively small medical unit obtained a few supplies through once-a-month parachute drops, but otherwise lived only with the help of resistance movement members.

In his appointment at Toronto, Doctor Moyers will head a department of 10 men, the largest orthodontics staff attached to a university in North America.

Most of the post-graduate dental study for the British empire is conducted at the University of Toronto, which is a provincial university, but also heavily endowed.

Source: Iowa City Press Citizen, October 13, 1948