Devoted son, loving brother and steadfast friend—Carroll David Wood will remain forever in our hearts. His passing came unexpectedly to us, but along the steady road of life he trod, his quiet sense of humor, calm efficiency, and dependability marked him as a great and unfailing man.
Born at Fort Casey, Washington, on November 17, 1913, Carroll was the eldest son of John Shirley and Marguerite Little Wood. His father was then a Major of Coast Artillery and Carroll’s childhood years followed the pattern of Army life—frequent moves, strange lands, different schools, foreign tongues—a way of life that developed his strong self-reliant character.
Carroll followed his parents to many different Army posts and stations—Madison, Wisconsin; Fort Leavenworth; Schofield Barracks; Fort Bragg; and Paris, France. It was while attending the American High School in Paris that Carroll first realized his ambition to attend the United States Military Academy and he was finally admitted to West Point in 1933 as a member of the Class of 1937.
As a member of Company C at the United States Military Academy, Carroll was known as one who had “qualities which do not shine or make him conspicuous, but which make him capable, reliable and a man to depend upon when the going is tough”. Carroll was active in gymnasium, tennis and squash. He was on the gymnasium team for three years, winning his Numerals and Monogram for the rope climb. It was at West Point that Carroll’s classmates first noticed a quality that characterized him for all of the years that followed—his vast wealth of knowledge on almost any subject one might pick. Widely read and deeply studious, Carroll delved into the mysteries of many varied subjects.
After graduation from West Point as a Second Lieutenant of Infantry, Carroll was first posted to the 19th Infantry Regiment at Schofield Barracks until April of 1940. The early war years saw him at the Infantry School at Fort Benning, with the 13th Infantry at Fort Jackson, and with the 434th Infantry Regiment on the Island of Santa Lucia. He was promoted to First Lieutenant in June and to Captain In September of 1940. In July of 1942 he was assigned to the 8th Armored Division at Fort Knox, Kentucky, in the G-3 Section being promoted to Major in November 1942. While with the 8th Armored Division he commanded the First Battalion, 80th Armored Regiment, and attended Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth.
In July of 1944. Carroll was posted to the Pacific and was given command of the 716th Tank Battalion, participating in the campaigns of Luzon, Southern Philippines, and Leyte.
During the campaigns in the Southern Philippines Carroll was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious achievement in connection with military operations against the enemy in Mindanao from April 20 to June 20, 1945. This citation reads “As the Commanding Officer of a Tank Battalion, his untiring efforts toward the employment of his battalion with the Infantry units to which attached contributed materially to the successful conduct of the operation. Under the severest operational difficulties, he maintained and operated his battalion at an unusually high level of efficiency. His loyalty and devotion to duty throughout this arduous period was exemplary”. Carroll was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on June 3, 1945 while commanding the 716th and he later served with Xth Corps and Headquarters, AFPAC.
Returning to Washington, D.C., in 1947 he served on the Army Personnel Reassignment Board and then in G-3, Reserve Components Branch.
In February of 1953 he was assigned to Headquarters, IXth Corps, FEC, as Corps Armor Officer. He was cited on several occasions for meritorious service against the enemy in Korea. Part of one of his citations reads: “Colonel Wood’s superior performance of duty in exercising supervision over armor units in IXth Corps, and a number of extraordinary assignments, his faculty for carrying out difficult projects from the inception to their successful completion, and the high standards of achievement he required of himself and his subordinates contributed in a large measure to the noteworthy success of the IXth Corps. The meritorious service rendered by Colonel Wood throughout this period reflects great credit on himself and the military service”.
In December of 1953 Carroll was posted from the Far East to Camp Irwin, California, and then to Headquarters, Nevada Military District, where he served as Executive Officer until the time of his death when a completely unexpected attack of Coronary Thrombosis took him from us. Carroll’s body was laid to rest with the solemn respect of a military funeral in beautiful Fort Rosecrans National Military Cemetery, overlooking San Diego Bay. He is survived by his parents. Major General and Mrs. John S. Wood; his sister, Miss Shirley Wood; and his brother, Lieutenant Colonel John S. Wood, Jr.
Behind this record of long and faithful service in the United States Army are the many facets that made him known and admired by all with whom he came into contact. Carroll was the type of man that you would never notice at first, but, you would gradually find that his judgment and depth of knowledge were infallible. It was this rocklike stability that characterized his life. He was never known as a man who publicized himself in any way. He was, on the contrary, extremely self-effacing and sought only to do his duty in the most efficient way possible. Yet, behind this strictly businesslike facade lay a warm and understanding heart and an extremely humorous sense of fun. Carroll loved the intricacies of the stock market and spent many years in developing some very successful investment techniques. His hobbies were wide and varied—stamp and coin collecting, short-wave radio and ancient weapons. Carroll’s sports program was as well planned and ordered as his professional life, and his assiduous attention to various sports made him outstanding in tennis, squash, swimming, skiing and surf-boarding.
Such is the brief life story of my brother.
I am sure that Carroll would not want us to grieve over his departure, because, in his quiet way, he would like us to know he has merely passed along to another world where he will await our coming, as he did in this one, with anticipation of helping us all wherever and however he may.
-John S. Wood, Jr.