Moore Ledford was born on February 23, 1906, in Asheville, North Carolina. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on March 18, 1924, and completed basic training at NTS Hampton Roads, Virginia, in May 1924. After completing A School at Hampton Roads, S2c Ledford served aboard the destroyer USS Parrott (DD-218) from July 1924 to February 1928, and then received an honorable discharge from the Navy on March 27, 1928. He reenlisted in the Navy on May 17, 1928, and then served aboard the fleet tug USS Bagaduce (AT-21) from May to September 1928. His next assignment was to Submarine Base Coco Solo, Panama Canal Zone, from September to November 1928, followed by service aboard the submarine USS S-16 (SS-121) from November 1928 to March 1931. Y3c Ledford then served aboard the submarine tender USS Bushnell (AS-2) from March to October 1931, and was hospitalized at the Naval Hospital in San Diego, California, from October to December 1931. His next assignment was aboard the destroyer USS Wasmuth (DD-338) from December 1931 to February 1932, followed by service at NAS San Diego, California, from February 1932 to January 1934. He served as aircrew aboard the airship USS Macon (ZRS-5) from January 1934 to February 1935, and then at NAS Sunnyvale, California, from February to April 1935 after the Macon was destroyed in a crash. His next assignment was aboard the destroyer USS Tattnall (DD-125) from July 1935 to September 1937, followed by service aboard the destroyer USS Herbert (DD-160) from September to December 1937. Y1c Ledford then served aboard the destroyer USS Decatur (DD-341) from December 1937 to September 1940. He served aboard the submarine USS R-6 (SS-83) from September 1940 to December 1941, followed by service aboard the submarine USS Grunion (SS-216) during her fitting out in December 1941, through her commissioning in April 1942. He was killed in action during a confrontation with the armed Japanese freighter Kano Maru on July 30, 1942. On August 22, 2007, a search team organized by the three sons of CDR Mannert Abele (the Captain of the Grunion when she was sunk) used a remotely operated vehicle to find a sunken vessel 3,000 feet down in the Bering Sea north of Kiska Island at the tip of the Aleutian Islands. On October 1, 2008, the U.S. Navy announced that the sunken vessel is the World War II submarine USS Grunion (SS-216).
His Navy Commendation Medal Citation reads:
For meritorious conduct as a member of the crew of the U.S.S. GRUNION which destroyed three enemy destroyers while engaged in a war patrol in enemy controlled waters. Despite severe and persistent anti-submarine measures resulting from these three successful attacks, the GRUNION was brought safely through the counter attacks and continued an aggressive war patrol. As a member of the crew of the GRUNION, your performance of duty was an important and material contribution to the prosecution of this war.