Fort Lee clinic memorializes heroic medic, Billy Mosier
By Sarah Steele Wilson, Newsroom Editor
Jan 8, 2013, 14:17
photo by Sarah Steele Wilson The Troop Medical and Dental Clinic on Fort Lee’s Ordnance Campus was memorialized in honor of Cpl. Billy Mosier, who died helping wounded soldiers in Korea. His papers and medals were displayed.
When service members at Fort Lee enter the Troop Medical and Dental Clinic on the Ordnance Campus, whether to go to work or receive treatment, they will be paying tribute to the memory of heroic medic Cpl. William “Billy” Mosier.
On Thursday, 62 years after he died in the line of duty while serving in the Korean War, military officials and members of Mosier’s family packed into the clinic, which has treated 27,000 soldiers since opening in Oct. 2011, to see it memorialized in his honor.
“Although the character of war has evolved over time, the nature of war has not,” said Col. Joseph Pina, Commander of Kenner Army Health Clinic at Fort Lee. “Neither has heroism, courage or Army values. As we dedicate TMC number 2, we should keep in mind the words duty, honor and country. Those values that frame the legacy of Cpl. Mosier.”
After joining the Army as a medic when he was just 16-years-old, Mosier went on to serve in Korea, where he earned the Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism.
When the defensive positions of his unit were attacked by enemy forces near Uijongbu, Mosier braved intense enemy fire to treat wounded soldiers. While treating one man, he heard a call for help from another, lying 500 yards away. Mosier rushed to help the man, even though the area was under constant fire from snipers. Mosier picked up the wounded man’s rifle, and fired on the enemy’s position, killing several before he was hit by an enemy sniper.
photo by Sarah Steele Wilson Col. Joseph Pina, WWII Veteran James Howard Mosier, and Col (P) Edward Daly team up to cut a cake with a sword at a reception following the memorialization ceremony.
“On that fateful day, exactly 62 years ago today, at the tender age of 18, no older than the students who use this TMC now, Cpl. Mosier was killed in service to our country,” Pina said. “...It is fitting that we dedicate this clinic, a bastion of compassionate care for students of the Ordnance school, to such a man.”
The ceremony at Fort Lee was attended by a large group of Mosier’s family members, including his brother, James Howard Mosier, who served in Navy during WWII. Two other Mosier brothers also served during that conflict.
Howard Mosier said that he remembered his younger brother’s helpful nature from his childhood.
“He was just one of those kids who liked to do things for other people,” Howard Mosier said.
He said if his brother were alive today, he’d still be doing the same thing.
“He’d probably still be in the service, helping people,” he said.
photo by Sarah Steele Wilson A Fort Lee soldier reads about Billy Mosier while waiting for the ceremony to start.
Col. (P) Edward Daly, commander of the Ordnance Corps, said that in the region of Korea where Billy Mosier was killed, subzero temperatures are not uncommon in January. At the beginning of 1951, American troops were fending off a 40 mile wide frontal assault by Chinese forces.
“Because of the valiant acts of soldiers like Cpl. Mosier, who died as part of that operation, we were successful on the Korean Peninsula and during the war,” Daly said.
Daly described Billy Mosier as “one of our nation’s heroes and one of our distinct heroes of valor and courage.”
“Makes me proud to be an American soldier,” he added.
Speaking after the ceremony, near a table where a picture of Billy Mosier and some of his medals and papers were displayed, Howard Mosier’s daughter, Sandra Couch, said her uncle was a legend in the family.
“All I know is when I was growing up, I used to hear about Uncle Billy the hero,” she said.
contributed photo A photo of Cpl. William Clarence “Billy” Mosier, who died during the Korean War.
The family also remembered him as a person, Couch said. She said her mother used to tell her that as her son boarded the bus to join the Army in the newly shined Army issued shoes he was thrilled to receive, he called back “see you in the funny papers.”
Roger Riddle, a second cousin of Billy Mosier’s who was also at the memorialization said that his mother kept her son’s medals and papers for the rest of her life, and was always proud to show them to people.
“Billy was just a plain country boy, and he went on to greater heights than most of us can ever possibly do,” Riddle said.
Daly said that the medical staff who work at the clinic follow in Mosier’s tradition and offer high quality care to service members at Fort Lee.
photo by Sarah Steele Wilson Billy Mosier’s brother, James Howard Mosier talks to Maj. Gen. Larry Wyche and Col. Joseph Pina after the memorialization ceremony at the medical and dental clinic.
“They truly demonstrate and live the statement that medics never stand taller than when they kneel to treat the wounded,” he said.
Before it was handed over to the South Korean government in 1979, Camp Mosier was home to the 43rd Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, the unit that inspired the popular book, film and television series “M.A.S.H.”