Coolidge Woodard

As told by Mary Randolph:

Coolidge Woodard

I was inducted into the army July 1943. I was sent to Camp Abbott Oregon to take Combat and Engineers training.  I was shipped overseas shortly after that from Camp Stoneman California  “As I stood on deck and watched the mountains get dim and finally vanish, I wondered if I would ever see them again.  I really didn’t think I would. I know I was not the only sad, frightened boy standing there that day.”

In a few days we landed at OAHU Hawaii then on to the island of Saipan in the Marianas Islands.  Saipan was the first beachhead his unit fought to establish. Our job was fueling flame throwers.  As soon as the equipment came in we built roads, repaired an old railroad.  We built the east fields for the fighters and bombers.  Later the B24’s and B17s came and we had to lengthen the airstrip for them, and later found out the main reason to lengthen it was to accommodate the B29’s.  It was a B29 (Enola Gay) that dropped the A-bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
We were being shelled from near by Tinian Island so we went in and established a beachhead there.  When Tinian was secured, we were sent to New Herbrides near Australia for a couple of weeks R and R.—not much of either.
Next landing was Okinawa.  As soon as this beachhead was established the unit was sent to the Island of Iwo Jima.  Here we built a small airstrip for reconnaissance plane (L4’s) and some roads.
My unit was given “The Presidential Unit of Citation” for outstanding performance in combat during the seizure of the Japanese held islands of Saipan and Tinian from June 15 to August 1, 1944.On January 1st 1946 i got my discharge papers. I had been in service 2 years, 6 months, and 12 days.

4 Responses to Coolidge Woodard

  • Mary says:

    My dear sweet Uncle Coolidge, my hero in more ways than one. I miss him dearly!

    • Dianna Fury says:

      My sweet Uncle Coolidge-I miss him so much–he was one of sweetest and funniest guys around. I loved his humor and I love all the stories my dad tells about all the things he and Uncle Coolidge did traveling around as young men.

  • Tina says:

    My Uncle Coolidge was the neatest man. I loved him so much. He was so kind, gentle, and funny. He was one of the greatest!

  • Margaret Woodard Johnson says:

    I miss my uncle Coolidge. He was so unique in so many ways. I cherish fond memories. Truly blessed to have had him in our lives.

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