We just might have found him. Reader John Bowman went to the National Archives regional facility in Chicago to see if he could find Dobie Moore in the World War II draft cards for Michigan. He writes:
Here's what I found. First, the draft registraton cards are in a closed stack section of the archive, so I didn't actually see them. I have a copy, though.
Here's what's on it:
1. Walter Moore (No middle name or initial)
2. 1022 Alfred, Detroit, Wayne, Mich
3. (Mailing address) Same
4. (Telephone) Check mark (no number)
5. Age 46, DOB Feby 8 1896 (Winborn's handwriting)
6. Born Atlanta, GA
7. (Contact) James Simmons, 635 Adelaide (Winborn's handwriting)
8. Unemployed (Winborn's handwriting)
9. (No work address)
On the back:
Height 5'10", Weight 165
Complexion: Dark brown
Physical characteristics: 2 scars on forehead (Winborn's handwriting)
Registrar: R. E. Winborn
Local Board No 1, Detroit, Mich
April 27, 1942
So the date of birth matches the Walter Moore who served at Camp Stephen D. Little in 1920. No mention of a bad leg. Maybe the brace and the crutch in the 1943 photo were props related to the content of the newspaper article.
Dobie Moore lived just a few blocks from where Comerica Park is now. The buildings he and James Simmons lived in have been replaced by I-75.
It’s not 100 percent positive yet that this is Dobie Moore (a mention of the leg injury would have pretty much cinched it), but there’s a very, very good chance it is him. No luck yet finding a corresponding death date, but we’ll see. Many thanks to John for tracking this down.
UPDATE 10/26/2007 Here’s something from Larry Lester’s recent book on Baseball’s First Colored World Series: “In September 1923, the illiterate Moore married the former Francis Davis” (p. 83), I’m assuming in Kansas City. It seems like a good chance that his marriage license could be found, and that it might have a birth date (and place).