Rank and organization:   Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company I, 130th Infantry,
33d Infantry Division.
Place and date:   Near Tabio, Luzon, Philippine Islands,
6 June 1945.
Entered service at:   Barberton, Ohio.
Birth:   Barberton, Ohio.
G.O. No.: 14, 4 February 1946.
Citation:   He volunteered to investigate
the delay in a scheduled attack by an attached guerrilla battalion. Reaching
the line of departure, he found that the lead company, in combat for the
first time, was immobilized by intense enemy mortar, machinegun, and rifle
fire which had caused casualties to key personnel. Knowing that further
failure to advance would endanger the flanks of adjacent units, as well
as delay capture of the objective, he immediately took command of the company,
evacuated the wounded, reorganized the unit under fire, and prepared to
attack. He repeatedly exposed himself to draw revealing fire from the Japanese
strongpoints, and then moved forward with a 5-man covering force to determine
exact enemy positions. Although intense enemy machinegun fire killed 2
and wounded his other 3 men, S/Sgt. Woodford resolutely continued his patrol
before returning to the company. Then, against bitter resistance, he guided
the guerrillas up a barren hill and captured the objective, personally
accounting for 2 hostile machinegunners and courageously reconnoitering
strong defensive positions before directing neutralizing fire. After organizing
a perimeter defense for the night, he was given permission by radio to
return to his battalion, but, feeling that he was needed to maintain proper
control, he chose to remain with the guerrillas. Before dawn the next morning
the enemy launched a fierce suicide attack with mortars, grenades, and
small-arms fire, and infiltrated through the perimeter. Though wounded
by a grenade, S/Sgt. Woodford remained at his post calling for mortar support
until bullets knocked out his radio. Then, seizing a rifle he began working
his way around the perimeter, encouraging the men until he reached a weak
spot where 2 guerrillas had been killed. Filling this gap himself, he fought
off the enemy. At daybreak he was found dead in his foxhole, but 37 enemy
dead were lying in and around his position. By his daring, skillful, and
inspiring leadership, as well as by his gallant determination to search
out and kill the enemy, S/Sgt. Woodford led an inexperienced unit in capturing
and securing a vital objective, and was responsible for the successful
continuance of a vitally important general advance.
This data was extracted from the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, U.S. Senate, Medal of Honor Recipients: 1863-1973 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1973)