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Dated:  October 16, 2013

Pfc William L. Wood

Pfc William Louis Wood
 Battery A, 329th Field Artillery Battalion
85th "Custer" Infantry Division

 William Louis Wood was born 11 Sept. 1921, in Lexington Tennessee.  He was the son of Jessie and Pearl Wood.  He lived in a rural setting around Wildersville Tennessee and farmed with his father.   They grew cotton and corn on their farm.
In 1942, William was drafted into the US Army, and  he reported to Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, on Oct 2,1942.  His term of enlistment was for the duration of the war or other emergencies plus 6 months.  He had a Grammer school education.

William Wood before the war

William Wood
Photo taken before the war.

  At 21, William was a wiry
young man at 6 feet, 1 inch
and weighing 150 lbs.

      William entered basic training at Camp Shelby, Mississippi and spent 3 months there learning about life in the Army.  While in basic training, the soldiers were assigned to the companies and units within the large organization.  PFC Wood was assigned to the 329th Field Artillery Battalion.  The 329 Field Artillery was one of the four artillery battalions of the 85th Infantry Division.   After basic, their advanced training took the division to several different states, including desert training assignment in California.  The 85th Infantry Division was an all-draftee division and their training was designed to toughen the GI’s for the upcoming combat in Africa.

DUI pin for 329FA

DUI pin for 329th
Field Artillery Battalion

    PFC Wood is wearing this pin on his
    overseas cap in the above photo.

During the War

Pfc William Wood set foot in North Africa with his Field Artillery Battalion on Januanry 7th 1944.  They were moved to mainland Italy in March and slowly adjusted to front lines.  He fought the entire length of Italy until the Germans surrendered on May 2, 1945.
  Sometime during his transfer back to the States, he was transfered to the 125th Field Artillery Battalion, a part of the 34th Infantry Division.  This was done quite often during the movment of troops back to the States.   He was discharged at Camp Aturbury, Indiana, on November 11, 1945.

Photos taken at the Desert Training Center near Yuma, Arizona -

Desert Training 1

 Summer 1943.

Desert Training 2

Pose with 329FA Jeep in Italy
An unidentified soldier poses for a shot with friendly Italian family
on the hood of a Command and Recon Car.
The marking on the jeep identify it as belonging to the 85 Infantry Division,
329 Field Artillery Battalion, and the 4th vehicle of Battery A.

Buddies in Italy
  PFC William Wood (center) with 2 buddies.
Rest stop
Pfc William Wood


PFC Wood brought this War Trophy back from Italy.
This is a Martian 6.35mm pistol made by Martian Bascaran Eibar, Spain, in the 1920's.

   Photo of Pfc William Wood taken in his "Ike" jacket with patches and ribbons.  The ribbons appear to be the EAME Campaign Ribbon with four Bronze Star devices and the other is the Good Conduct Medal.  He proudly wears the "CD" shoulder patch of the 85th "Custer" Infantry Division.

   In the photo at the TOP of the page, Pfc Wood is wearing
   summer tan uniform shirt & tie.  His garrison cap has the
piping for artillery and the DUI pin for the 329th Field
   Artillery Battalion.

After the War

After his discharge, he traveled to Chicago to meet his girl friend, Freda Davis.  They had written each other during the war.   They were married on November 12 in Corinth, Mississippi.  He helped his father farm Cotton in Tennessee.  When his father died in 1963, William accepted a job at Lexington Metal Products
factory in Lexington, TN.  He remained with that company until his retirement in 1986.  William and Freda raised 4 sons. 

Wood Family

Early post-War photo of the Wood Family

William Wood taken after he retirned.


   William Louis Wood with his sons: 

        Rick, Michael, Jerry, Tony

Mike Wood

This biography was contributed by Michael W. Wood, the son of Pfc William L. Wood.  This is a photo Mike Wood taken at the time of his enlistment.

  During Mike's time in the Army, he followed the trail of his father.  Mike spent time at Camp Shelby MS for 2 summers with the Nation Guard, with the 4th/117th  Mechanized Infantry.  He then moved
to Chicago with the 333rd MP Co.  and spent 2 summer camps at Camp Atterbury, Indiana, the location where his father was discharged in 1945.

See  History of 328FA Main Menu for the 328th Field Artillery Battalion: history, photos, Operational Reports and battery group photos.

Biographies of other members of 328FA:

Capt. Wm Dempsey, Battery C  
1st Sgt Eric Bauch, Battery B 

Sgt Newton Cole, Battery B  PFC Clarence Mills, HQ Battery 

Go to Desert Warfare Training for maps and info on the camps in southern California.

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