He Led Ragtag Group that Took Out over 200 Germans in the Ardennes, Being Considered for Medal of Honor

Craig Bowman
Colourised by Royston Leonard.

US House Resolution 7835 was introduced by Representative John Joyce. If passed, it will authorize President Donald Trump to award the Medal of Honor to Lt. Eric Fisher Wood, Jr.

Wood died at the Battle of the Bulge in World War II. During the fighting, Wood became separated from his unit. He then gathered a group of Allied soldiers and led them in a guerrilla campaign that resulted in the deaths of 200 German soldiers.

His dead body was discovered in January 1945 near the village of Meyerode, Ardennes, Belgium. He was surrounded by the bodies of seven German soldiers. It is believed that he killed all of them himself before dying from his own injuries.

When he was found dead in the forest outside the village of Meyerode, Belgium in the Ardennes, in January 1945, he was surrounded by the bodies of seven German soldiers.
When he was found dead in the forest outside the village of Meyerode, Belgium in the Ardennes, in January 1945, he was surrounded by the bodies of seven German soldiers.

In a press release, Joyce called Wood “an American hero.” He went on to state that he felt privileged to recognize the efforts of Wood. Joyce said that Wood’s actions certainly saved the lives of other Americans and were an aid to the overall war effort.

Wood was born in 1919 in California. His family moved to Bedford, Pennsylvania, in the 1920s and Wood grew up on the family farm there. Wood’s father was Eric Fisher Wood, Sr., one of the founders of the American Legion and an architect whose best known work is the tomb of President Warren G. Harding.

Wood was schooled at the Valley Forge Military Academy and he attended Princeton University. He served in the Pennsylvania National Guard in the Artillery Reserve before he was called to active duty.

He was serving with a US Army artillery battalion in the Ardennes Forest in December 1944 when the Germans began their counter-offensive in what is now called the Battle of the Bulge.

When he was found dead in the forest outside the village of Meyerode, Belgium, in January 1945, he was surrounded by the bodies of seven dead.
When he was found dead in the forest outside the village of Meyerode, Belgium, in January 1945, he was surrounded by the bodies of seven dead.

During the battle, he found himself alone in the woods with no way to return to his unit. He found other American soldiers over the next few days who were in the same predicament. Gathering these troops together, he led them in a guerrilla-style campaign to harass the enemy and cut their lines of communication wherever possible throughout the Ardennes.

For the next several weeks, Wood’s group  frustrated and slowed the advance of the German army and helped keep the German troops from overrunning the American forces.

Wood’s body was found on January 23, 1945. No one is certain as to the precise day he died – the Army lists it as December 17, 1944, which is the day he was separated from his unit. Belgian witnesses testified about his activities in the weeks after that date.

Wood’s son, Eric Fisher Wood III, sent a letter to Joyce to thank him and the others who are leading the effort to recognize his father’s actions. Woods III said that he never met his father so the loss has been a constant presence for him.

Knowing that his father died serving a noble purpose has given the younger Wood a sense of peace and seeing him honored reminds him of the meaning his father’s life held.

Another Article From Us: Hero Dick Winters: New Book Explores the Life, Letters & Artifacts of the Legend

He went on to say that his father went beyond the call of duty in order to protect citizens of the world from the atrocities that were occurring during the Holocaust. “There is no sacrifice that matters more than the sacrifice of one’s life.”