Northern Territory Government

Roll of Honour

WOFFORD, James M

Tulagi

Port side view of the British cargo vessel Tulagi.


James M. Wofford was born on 21 March 1917 in Idaho, United States of America, to James D. and Maggie V. Wofford. He was brother to Lucy A., Wilma M. and Kathleen E. Wofford. In his civilian life Wofford was an electrician and, at the time of his enlistment, was single with no dependents.

Wofford enlisted as a Sergeant in the Field Artillery at Fort Lewis, Washington, on 17 May 1941 (service number 20947009).

Some of the American troops of the 148th Field Artillery were required to spend the night of 18 February on the Tulagi; when the Japanese attacked on 19 February 1942, these troops fought to stay alive alongside their Australian comrades.

Disregarding his own safety, Wofford remained on deck to assist with firing a .50-caliber machine gun at the enemy planes trying to sink the ship. Wofford died either from being hit by a bomb fragment, or by bullets that were being sprayed over the deck from the Japanese Zeros.

Wofford was buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Honolulu, Hawaii, Section B, Site 782; he was posthumously awarded the United States Purple Heart Medal.

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