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Equal in death, unequal in life. This website tells the tale of the african americans, who played a roll in the liberation of Europe

Discover the stories and experiences of both African Americans soldiers and Dutch citizens at the end of the war.

01. Stories: Truckdriver QMSC unit

Edward Moody

Edward was born on January 10 in Trenton N.J. He was one of the many Black conscripts who worked as a truckdriver during WWII in Europe. After the liberation of the Dutch most Southern province Limburg, he was stationed in the city of Maastricht, where he worked at a supply operation for troops advancing in the direction of Germany.

Moody JG min 1
Registration card

End of 1944 Edward Moody and three other Black soldiers were accomodated in the house of the Wetzels family in the Nieuwstraat in village Heer near Maastricht. Their quarter was made in the attic of the house. Since their arrival in Europe, three years before, they had been in one place after another so they were delighted to now have a good place to sleep for a while.

The husbands of two of the five Wetzels daughters immediately became good friends with the soldiers and visited their mother in law’s house almost daily. They learned the soldiers how to play the cardgame jass (klaverjassen), and driving a ‘scooter’(autoped), something completely new for them. In return the soldiers were singing on several occasions for the family as they listened breathlessly.

Edward was an exception in the group. Though his mother was Black, his father was white. That was very exceptional at the time because untill 1967 mixed mariages were not allowed in most American States. Edward was an extreme good singer and even had records made in Maastricht, at the Hilgers’ shop in the city centre. Its a pity that later on the records ’s could not be found.

Bruilofsfoto Edward etc min min
Wedding picture Edward Moody

Edward and Wetzels daughter Lenie fell in love little after he had arrived and their relationship led to pregnancy of Leny. A marriage was soon arranged – obviously not in a regular way, because documents needed from the U.S. would have taken much longer to arrive in the Netherlands. And probably this mixed marriage would not been allowed by the US Army. A few month later Edward was on a troopship back tot he U.S.

The couple stayed in touch and after son Ed was born, Lenie received a letter from Edwards mother who invited Lenie to visit with her Eddy. That didn’t happen.

Supply troops of the Red Ball Express at the Oranjeplein in Maastricht (source: RHCL)

After returning to the U.S. in 1945, Edward always stayed a truckdriver. And he has been good in it, as an award showed he got after damage-free driving for 500.000 kilometers. Edward never met his Dutch son Ed Moody. After returning in the U.S. he had two other children with his wife Bessy, a son and a daughter. Son Keith died at the age of 27. His daughter Mia lived on with her three children and her mother Bessy.

Edward’s mother was a Jehovah witness and lived in a nursing home without contact with her family. She died at the age of 102. Edward died on August 26, 1989 and is buried on Princeton Cemetery in Princeton N.J.

Ed Moody’s family often visits the Margraten Cemetery to bring flowers to the grave of soldier Jacob G. Moody (no relative).