Don P. Moon
Don Pardee Moon (April 18, 1894 – August 5, 1944) was a Rear Admiral of the United States Navy, who fought in the invasion of Europe.
He was born in Kokomo, Indiana, United States.
He married and had four children.
Moon entered the United States Naval Academy and later graduated fourth in the Class of 1916, being particularly efficient in gunnery.
He was assigned to the battleship Arizona (BB-39) and while there developed several instruments to improve gunnery.
He later served in the battleships Colorado (BB-45) and Nevada (BB-36) before returning to shore duty in 1926.
By 1934 he was commanding officer of the Asiatic Fleet destroyer John D. Ford (DD-228).
He was later put in command of a destroyer division in 1940 and became a captain in 1941.
He took part in the invasion of North Africa in 1942.
In 1944 he was promoted to rear admiral.
He commanded Exercise Tiger, a rehearsal for D-Day in which three LSTs were torpedoed and sunk by German E-boats near Slapton Sands.
During the June 6, 1944 invasion of Normandy he directed the landings on Utah Beach from the attack transport Bayfield (APA-33).
For three weeks the Bayfield was in position off Utah beach and officers and men were on four hour rotating shifts for this entire time.
Shortly afterwards the Bayfield was sent to Naples for the invasion of Southern France.
He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
He was survived by his wife Sibyl, and his four children, Meredith, Don, David, and Peter.
Admiral Moon was depicted on a 2004 postage stamp issued to mark the 60th anniversary of D-Day by Sierra Leone.
Exercise Tiger involved “Top Secret” practise beach landings taking place in South Devon at Slapton Sands in preparation for “Operation Neptune”.
This was to be the seaborne invasion which formed part of “Operation Overlord” and would lead the allies to eventual Victory in Europe.
The disasters that happened during Exercise Tiger were concealed from the World for decades until Ken Small retrieved a sunken Sherman tank from Lyme Bay and started researching the Exercise Tiger war records.
In May 1984 he presented this tank to Slapton Sands as a monument and tribute to all the US Military and Naval men that lost their lives during Exercise Tiger.
He then went on to uncover many of the concealed facts during the 1980’s which allowed this tragic story to unravel over the next 30 years.
The World would finally learn just what had taken place at Slapton Sands in April 1944.
The morning of April 28 will live forever in the memories of those men, who, through incredible odds, survived the horrible ordeal.
The men of the 507 found themselves thrown into a situation that they thought would never happen on a rehearsal run. Before the attack, the men sat down below, on their bunks never believing that something would go terribly wrong.
Patrick “Patsy” Giacchi was one of those men, who was down below in the ship.
In an interview, he told how he and his friends sat in their bunks relaxing after a hard day’s work.
The men played cards, sang along with the ukulele, wrote to love ones, and talked about what they would do when they got back, never thinking that they might not make it back.
While relaxing, Patsy heard scrapping noises, and then he got knocked off his stretcher.
He feared that something was wrong, but the others told him not to worry because it was a “dry run.” Ignoring the assurances of his comrades, Patsy put on his shoes and helmet and went up top anyway.7 When the torpedo made the direct hit, Patsy’s friends down below did not have much of a chance to escape.