An absolute legend in the NASCAR world and hero to our country has sadly passed away.

Early Thursday morning, NASCAR announced the passing of 92-year-old Bud Moore, one of the pioneers of the sport. But while Moore may have made himself a household name racing cars, it’s his service to our nation that’s truly admirable.

Road and Track reported that Walter Maynard “Bud” Moore, Jr., grew up in Spartanburg, SC, and went on to serve in the military during WWII, where he earned multiple medals for his amazing heroism. He was a part of the D-Day invasion of France, and served under the great General Patton in his “Third Army,” which helped liberate Europe from the Axis forces.

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Walter Maynard “Bud” Moore Jr., a Spartanburg, South Carolina native, joined the US military in 1943 after graduating from high school. He served as a machine gunner in the 90th Infantry Division, stormed Utah Beach in France on D-Day, and was part of General George Patton’s “Third Army” that helped liberate Europe. Moore earned two Bronze Stars and five Purple Hearts for his service.

When Moore returned from service, he leapt immediately into racing. NASCAR was formed in 1948; Moore won his first championship in 1957, as crew chief for driver Buck Baker.


In 1961, Moore teamed up as car owner for driver Joe Weatherly. The driver notched Moore’s first full-race victory that year, at Rambi Speedway in Myrtle Beach. The duo went on to win eight times that season. They collected 12 victories and the NASCAR premier series championship in 1962 and 1963. Sadly, Weatherly died in an early 1964 race at Riverside International Raceway.

Moore’s team went on to support major NASCAR legends, including Hall of Fame drivers Dale Earnhardt and Bobby Allison; nominees Buddy Baker and Ricky Rudd; and major names including Darel Dieringer, Bobby Isaac, Tiny Lund, Benny Parsons, David Pearson, Fireball Roberts, Morgan Shepherd, Darrell Waltrip, Billy Wade, Rex White, and Cale Yarborough.

Moore also participated in the Battle of the Bulge, and he ended his military career as a sergeant. He spent nine months and fourteen days straight in battle, and even continued to fight after being injured by shrapnel four different times and taking machine gun fire directly to the hip.

The one time he was to be given reprieve from the military, his papers were lost and he was forced to stay in Europe, where he continued to fight until the Germans surrendered in May of 1945. Thanks to his medals and the ungodly amount of time Moore spent on the front lines, he was a part of one of the first groups of soldiers to be sent home after Japan surrendered, following the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Moore was given several chances to return to Europe and visit the areas he bravely fought for our country. However, he declined every time, at one point stating that he “left too many friends over there.”

You can read more about Moore’s extraordinary service by following this link.

Moore was a part of America’s Greatest Generation, and his death is a loss for us all. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of this amazing and courageous man, and we pray to God that he finally rests in eternal peace.

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