David “Woodie” Lamson Wood, Jr. was born in Coventry, Rhode Island and grew up in Rockland, New York. He was the oldest of four children born to David and Martha Wood. He entered Rhode Island State College in September 1914 with the class of 1918, majoring in Electrical Engineering. David was a member of Rho Iota Kappa fraternity, the football team, the basketball team, and the track team. He participated in the Army ROTC program for three years.
When the United States entered World War I, there were 562 male students enrolled at Rhode Island State College; 334 left to serve in World War I. Woodie, like so many of his classmates, left college after his junior year to enter the United States Army and began his officer training at Plattsburg, New York, in September 1917. In January 1918, he received his commission as a First Lieutenant of Infantry and immediately deployed to France.
1LT Wood was initially assigned as an infantry platoon leader, Company K, 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, American Expeditionary Forces. He was involved in combat operations throughout his assignment. First Lieutenant David Lamson Wood, Jr., U.S. Army was cited for Gallantry in Action and Bravery and awarded the Citation Star.
For “Gallantry in Action”, by direction of the President, First Lieutenant David Lamson Wood, Jr., United States Army is cited by the Commanding General, 3rd Infantry Division, American Expeditionary Force for “Gallantry in Action” and awarded the “Citation Star;” and a “Silver Star” was placed upon the ribbon of the Victory Medals awarded him. First Lieutenant Wood distinguished himself by gallantry in action near Jaulgonne, France on 22 July 1918 while serving with Company K, 38th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, American Expeditionary Force, in action during World War I. Lieutenant Wood led a patrol into the enemy’s position; and while engaged with the enemy, by an inspiring example, maintained great steadiness in his platoon, which occupied the most exposed position, personally cared for his wounded and bore them to the rear in an orderly withdrawal over ground drenched with bullets.
The Silver Star Medal was not established until 1932. At that time, Veterans of World War I who had been cited for “Gallantry in Action” were awarded the Silver Star Medal in lieu of the “Citation Star.”
An extract from the story of the 38th Infantry Regiment – 9 October 1918 – Romange, France states the following:
“Here in the Moussin ravine, the attackers met a concrete gun emplacement with just enough logs on the sides and top to give it the look of an old Indian blockhouse. Lieutenant David L. Wood, Jr. with the leading platoon of Co. K flanked this emplacement from the west until a score of erstwhile busy Boches left their white-hot machine guns and filed out with the customary ‘Kamerade’ Salutations.”
First Lieutenant David Wood, Jr. was killed in action on 9 October 1918. 1LT David Lamson Wood, Jr., United States Army was a son of Rhode Island State College who answered the call to service during World War I and gave his life in service to Rhode Island and America during the “Great War.”