Rank Insignia Previous Honoree ID Next Honoree ID

honoree image
First Name: Howard

Last Name: Woodford

Birthplace: Barberton, OH, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Barberton, OH
Middle Name: E.

Date of Birth: 21 June 1921

Date of Death: 07 June 1945

Rank: Staff Sergeant

Years Served:
Howard E. Woodford

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Howard E. Woodford

Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army

Medal of Honor Recipient

World War II

Staff Sergeant Howard E. Woodford (21 June 1921 - 7 June 1945) was a U.S. Army soldier who was posthumously awarded the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his heroic actions during World War II.

Howard E. Woodford was born on 21 June 1921 in Barberton, OH; he also joined that Army from that town. On 6 June 1945, he was serving as a Staff Sergeant with Company I, 130th Infantry, 33rd Infantry Division. In a battle that day near Tabio, Luzon, Philippine Islands, his actions resulted in an inexperienced unit capturing and securing a vital objective. For his heroism he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company I, 130th Infantry, 33rd Infantry Division.

Place and date: Near Tabio, Luzon, Philippine Islands, 6 June 1945.

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.

Awards and Medals

Medal of Honor
Purple Heart


A transport ship, the Sgt. Howard E. Woodford, was named in his honor.

Death and Burial

Staff Sergeant Howard E. Woodford was killed in action on 7 June 1945. He is buried at Greenlawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Akron, OH, in Section I, Masonic Garden.

Honoree ID: 1724   Created by: MHOH




Honoree Photos

honoree imagehonoree imagehonoree image

honoree imagehonoree image

honoree image