William H. Wood was born in 1919 to William and Ethel Wood who lived in West Chester, Pennsylvania. William was one of two children, including his older brother Gordon S. His father worked as a salesman at an automobile dealership.
William was a member of the 1st Engineer Combat Battalion, 1st Infantry Division. The 1st Engineer Combat Battalion led the assault forces on Omaha Beach on June 6th 1944, breaching gaps in the extensive enemy line and clearing paths off the beaches. The battalion received its third Presidential Unit Citation for actions at Omaha Beach.