New Books: “Warriors of the 106th” and “Woodfill of the Regulars”

by / / History, New Products

Revere’s Riders runs several events at Camp Atterbury near Edinburgh, IN. Camp Atterbury was established in 1941 and was used for training soldiers during WWII, later a POW camp, and finally a training facility for the Indiana National Guard. Camp Atterbury is also the new host for the NRA National Matches.

We have added two new books to our online store in recognition of Camp Atterbury:

Warriors of the 106th: The Last Infantry Division of World War II

The 106th Infantry Division was the last division deployed to the European theater during WWII. The 106th spent several months training at Camp Atterbury before being deployed to Belgium near the German border in early December, 1944 to relieve the 2nd Infantry Division. Only days later, the 106th would experience their first combat when the Germans commenced an attack that would unfold into the Battle of the Bulge. The 106th would be instrumental in the battle for the town of St. Vith.

One member of the 106th, Kurt Vonnegut, would turn his experiences during WWII into the novel “Slaughterhouse-Five”.

Woodfill of the Regulars: A True Story of Adventure from the Arctic to the Argonne

1st Lieutenant Samuel Woodfill was born in 1883 in southern Indiana and joined the US Army at age 18 in 1901. Woodfill would serve the Army in the Phillipines, Alaska, Kentucky, the Mexico border, and finally in the Meuse-Argonne area of France in WWI. It would be here that Woodfill would distinguish himself and earn the Medal of Honor:

While he was leading his company against the enemy, First Lieutenant Woodfill’s line came under heavy machinegun fire, which threatened to hold up the advance. Followed by two soldiers at 25 yards, this officer went out ahead of his first line toward a machinegun nest and worked his way around its flank, leaving the two soldiers in front. When he got within ten yards of the gun it ceased firing, and four of the enemy appeared, three of whom were shot by First Lieutenant Woodfill. The fourth, an officer, rushed at First Lieutenant Woodfill, who attempted to club the officer with his rifle. After a hand-to-hand struggle, First Lieutenant Woodfill killed the officer with his pistol. His company thereupon continued to advance, until shortly afterwards another machinegun nest was encountered. Calling on his men to follow, First Lieutenant Woodfill rushed ahead of his line in the face of heavy fire from the nest, and when several of the enemy appeared above the nest he shot them, capturing three other members of the crew and silencing the gun. A few minutes later this officer for the third time demonstrated conspicuous daring by charging another machinegun position, killing five men in one machinegun pit with his rifle. He then drew his revolver and started to jump into the pit, when two other gunners only a few yards away turned their gun on him. Failing to kill them with his revolver, he grabbed a pick lying nearby and killed both of them. Inspired by the exceptional courage displayed by this officer, his men pressed on to their objective under severe shell and machinegun fire.

–Medal of Honor Citation, 1st Lieutenant Samuel Woodfill, January 22, 1919

1st Lieutenant Woodfill would also earn numerous other distinctions:

along with being one of three decorated military servicemen to participate in the initial dedication of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in 1921 (Sergeant Alvin York and Lieutenant Colonel Charles Whittlesey).

Woodfill would be buried at Arlington National Cemetery near the gravesite of General John J. Pershing who said of 1st Lieutenant Woodfill:

Deeds of valor were too numerous to mention here. Outstanding was the heroism of Lt. Samuel Woodfill, Fifth Division, in attacking single-handed a series of German machine-gun nests near Cunel and killing the crews of each in turn until reduced to the necessity of assaulting the last detachment with a pick, dispatching them all.

–General John J. Pershing

A small monument honors 1st Lieutenant Samuel Woodfill on Range 5 at Camp Atterbury, a range we often use for our Marty Brown Memorial Invitational rifle match.