Wayne Sandefur: 152nd Infantry at Woodpecker Ridge.

Following the 152nd Infantry, 38th Infantry Division’s hard-fought victory at Zig Zag Pass, the unit was deployed to the Sierra Madre mountain range along the northeastern coast of Luzon in the Philippines. Captain Wayne Sandefur’s Company L was assigned to take Woodpecker Ridge, part of the Japanese’s Shimbu Line.

Captain Wayne Sandefur (left) poses with his commanding officer, Major Harold Mangold, at Woodpecker Ridge - May 1945.

For his heroics at Woodpecker Ridge, Captain Sandefur earned his second Silver Star medal on 16 May 1945. The official citation read in part: “…Captain SANDEFUR’S company was attacking over extremely rugged and heavily wooded terrain, against a fanatical enemy defending its position to the death.  Without warning, the leading platoon came under murderous machine gun and rifle fire from both flanks.  Casualties were heavy and the hostile fire was so intense that the platoon was forced to seek a more advantageous route of approach.  In this critical situation Captain SANDEFUR quickly organized a detail to evacuate the casualties, and directed the establishment of a base fire upon the enemy.  With complete disregard for his own safety, he led his party through a hail of fire to the wounded men.  He then directed their evacuation and personally carried four of his wounded comrades fifty yards across a bare, fire swept ridge.”

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