Edward John Moriarity was born 17 September 1906, in LaSalle, Illinois, to Edward and Anna Hermanski Moriarity. When Edward was three years old, he and his family were living at 1669 Hennepin street in LaSalle. By that year in 1910 his parents had a total of six children: John, William, Viola, Harry, Edward, and Irene. The children ranged in ages from 4 months old to 14 years old. Edward Moriarity Sr. supported his family by working as a carpenter at the the LaSalle County Carbon Coal Company mine.
When Edward was only a child, a few major events occurred over the course of several summers which greatly impacted his life. In the summer of 1912, his family welcomed another girl who they named Mabel. But the next summer, on 30 July 1913, Edward’s family lost his three-year-old younger sister Catherine Irene Moriarity when she passed away. And a year later in the summer of 1914, a world war erupted in Europe.
It would take three more years before the United States entered the war in Europe. Edward was ten years old and too young to have to register for the draft. But his older brother John T. Moriarity was 20 and old enough to enter the military. The Moriarity family said goodbye to John when he enlisted on 10 April 1917, to fight. He served as a chauffeur in the 830th Areo Squadron in the U.S. Army. After the war he remained in the Army until his discharge date of 26 September 1919.
By 1920 when Edward was 14, all his older brothers and sisters were working while he and Mabel were still in school. Once Edward became an adult, he began working at Apollo Metal Works. Then five days after the new year of 1926 at two o’clock in the afternoon, Edward’s father died suddenly from myocarditis while working at his job at the coal mine; he was 57 years old. After his death, Edward Jr.’s mother Anna took a job working at the hospital. A few years after her husband’s death she was living in the same home, now known as 1669 Tonti street, with three of her children who were also all working: Mabel, Edward, and Harry. Edward had changed jobs and was working at the Zinc Works.
Eventually Edward began working in the construction field. By 1940 at the age of 33 he was living on Eight street in LaSalle with his 37-year-old brother Harry. That same year, Edward registered for the draft on 16 October 1940. Edward’s registration card noted he was five feet and eight and a half inches tall. He weighed 160 pounds and had blue eyes and gray hair. His brothers John, William, and Harry did not register for the draft until 1942. Edward would not be called to enlist until two and a half years after registering. He entered the Army on 29 March 1943. Edward received basic training at Camp Joseph T. Robinson in Arkansas. At some point he was assigned to the 30th Infantry Regiment in the 3rd Infantry Division.
In November 1943, Edward was injured in the shoulder by a shell explosion while fighting in Italy. PFC Edward Moriarity was awarded the Purple Heart for his wounds. He soon returned to duty. A few months later T/3 Edward Moriarity was still in Italy with his regiment fighting their way through Cisterna. He was killed in battle on 1 February 1944.
T/3 Edward Moriarity was laid to rest in the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery in Nettuno, Citta Metropolitana di Roma Capitale in Lazio, Italy. In addition to the Purple Heart, he received the World War II Victory medal, the American Campaign Medal, and the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign medal.
This story is part of the Stories Behind the Stars project (see www.storiesbehindthestars.org). This is a national effort of volunteers to write the stories of all 421,000+ of the US WWII fallen saved on Together We Served and Fold3. Can you help write these stories? These stories will be accessible via smartphone app at any war memorial or cemetery.
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- SBTS Historian: Pam Broviak
You can also access this story at the following sites:
- Fold3, Edward Moriarity
- Together We Served, Edward Moriarity
- 1910 U.S. Census, Edward Moriarity, Ancestry.
- 1920 U.S. Census, Edward Moriarity, Ancestry.
- 1930 U.S. Census, Anna Moriarity, Ancestry.
- 1940 U.S. Census, Edward Moriarity, Ancestry
- U.S. World War II Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947, Edward Moriarity, Ancestry.
- U.S. World War II Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947, William Moriarity, Ancestry.
- U.S. World War II Draft Cards, Young Men, 1940-1947, Harry Moriarity, Ancestry.
- U.S. World War II Draft Cards, 1942, John Moriarity, Ancestry.
- U.S., World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946, Edward Moriarity, Ancestry.
- Certificate of Death, State of Illinois, 1926, Edward Moriarity, FamilySearch.
- U.S., Headstone Applications For Military Veterans, 1925-1970, John T. Moriarity, Ancestry.
- U.S., World War II Hospital Admission Card Files, 1942-1954, Edward J. Moriarity, Ancestry.