Medal Of Honor, “Most Outstanding Soldier” Of World War I

Woodfill

Army legends are stellar soldiers, but what do you call the “Most Outstanding Soldier” of World War I?

A Stellar Soldier

Samuel Woodfill spent his adult life serving the military. First, he was there fighting Filipino warriors in Alaska and guarding Mexico’s Border. After that, he went off to World War I.

Woodfill began his career as a private, but he was incredibly skilled. These skills and his experience earned him a commission. He then went off to the Great War.

In France, Woodfill was stationed near Cunel, moving toward the German troops when the fog came gunfire toward him and his men. While his men ducked for cover, Woodfill pressed on and went after the cannon turning it on the German soldiers in the trench.

Subduing the Germans

The German officer made a move toward him, but Woodfill took him out. He got his men out of hiding and had them attack the other machine gun. They took it out, but another gun popped up, firing on the men.

Woodfill and his men charged the gun. With Woodfill leading, he jumped into the nest but realized he did not have any shots left in his gun.

He fought both of the guns simultaneously. After searching and searching, he finally found a pickax to give him a hand.

Retreating From Gas

The fog kept getting thicker, but the men realized that it was not actually fog. It was Mustard Gas. The Americans fled the area.

Wooodfill and his men were ejected from the war due to the Mustard Gas. In fact, Woodfill felt lingering effects of the Mustard Gas for the rest of his life.

However, for his heroism at Meuse- Argonne, Woodfill earned a Medal of Honor. The medal was presented to him in France by Gen, John J. Pershing.

Woodfill also had the distinct honor of carrying the Unknown Soldier to its tomb at Arlington National Cemetary. Along with him were two other Medal of Honor Army legends, Charles Whittlesey and Alvin York.

Even though Woodfill suffered lasting effects from the Mustard Gas, he remained in the Army until 1943. Then, he trained recruits for World War II, preparing them to fight the Nazis.

Sources: 1, 2

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