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St. Louis Man, 91, Receives Long-Deserved WWII Medals

Brett Blume
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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) –  He had to wait nearly seven decades, but 91-year-old retired Navy man John T. Moton of St. Louis graciously accepted a slate of nine long-overdue medals Monday.

Moton was serving aboard the battleship USS Tennessee on the morning of December 7, 1941 when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.

“It came as a surprise,” Moton recalled during a medal presentation ceremony at the St. Louis office of U.S. Congressman William Lacy Clay.  “They sounded ‘general drill’, which was unusual.  And I never will forget what (my commanding officer said)…’All hands to general quarters – this is NOT a drill, this is NOT A DRILL!’.”

Aides to Clay discovered the oversight and arranged for the Congressman to present the medals to Moton.

They included the World War II Victory Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal with one bronze star, American Defense Service Medal with Fleet Clasp, Combat Action Ribbon, American Campaign Medal, Navy Discharge Button and Honorable Service Lapel Pin (Ruptured Duck), Navy Good Conduct Medal, and the ultra-rare Pearl Harbor Commemorative Medal.

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