The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and Ladies Auxiliary of District 9 recently visited the Southeast Louisiana War Veterans Home in Reserve, Louiusiana. The group led by District 9 Commander, Mickey Carroll spent a wonderful day meeting and greeting many of the veterans in the facility. They shared a meal and also sponsored bingo and prizes for them.
Mecklen Oscar Taylor at age 94, is one of the older veterans at the facility but he was quick to correct everyone saying, “I am 94 years young.” He said he started his career with the government working in the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) during the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt. The CCC was a public work relief program that operated from 1933 to 1942 as part of the “New Deal” government work relief program. “Mr. Moe” as he is commonly known, said he worked in the forestry program planting trees in various places including Leesville, where Ft. Polk is now located. He remembers joining the Navy on December 12. 1939. He was sent to San Diego, California for boot camp. After basic training, he served on the USS Holland. The Holland SS-1 was the United States’ first modern commissioned submarine according to Mr. Moe. The boat was originally laid down as Holland VI and launched on May 17, 1897.
He served on several ships during his career including the USS Submarine S47, USS Proteus, USS Howard W. Gilmore, USS Kent LST-855, USS Mercer, USS Seneca, and USS Williamsburg. He was chosen to serve on the Williamsburg in 1947. He said it was a US Navy Gun Boat and a private yacht that served as President Harry S. Truman’s personal yacht from 1945-53. Finally he retired September 20, 1962 after serving his country with honor in his military career. After his military service, he worked for a year at a US Naval arms factory in Washington, DC. Due to his Naval Reserve status, he was sent back to Guantanamo, Cuba for a year.
He finally moved back to Houma where he worked 16 years for the Terrebonne Medical Center. After leaving there, he worked for the US Post Office in Houma for 15 years. He married twice. He and his first wife have one daughter. He and his second wife were together for 63 years and adopted a son.
Mr. Moe has lived a life of service. As a member of Christ the Baptist Church for 52 years, he served as a lay minister. He served every other Tuesday for 25 years at the Heritage Manor in Houma as a lay minister. Recently he has become a prized and proud resident of the Southeast Louisiana War Veterans Home in Reserve.