Clifford Wooldridge killed enemy fighter in hand-to-hand combat

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The story about Clifford M. Wooldridge, a Marine, and the extraordinary thing he did on 18 June 2010 when his convoy came under heavy attack. He was with his Marines in Humvee, when suddenly approximately 15 fighters tried to ambush the convoy. What happened next was astounding.

Clifford Wooldridge from United States Marine Corps, when the attack occurred, served as Vehicle Commander in the rank of Corporal. He was deployed in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. When his vehicle approached the ambush location, Wooldridge ordered his squad to dismount and maneuver to the suspected enemy location, soon they spotted a group of approx. 15 enemy fighters.

Clifford Wooldridge led his fire team across open ground in order to flank the enemy and that action resulted with killing or wounding at least 8 militants and forced the rest fo them to retreat. As he held security alone to cover his fire team’s withdrawal, he heard voices from behind an adjacent wall. Boldly rushing around the corner, he came face-to-face with two enemy militants at very close range. He killed both of them with his M-249 Squad Automatic Weapon. But, when he crouched back behind the wall to reload, he saw the barrel of an enemy machine gun appear from around the wall. Without hesitation, he dropped his empty M249 and seized the machine gun barrel.

Clifford Wooldridge, US Marines, received Navy Cross Medal
Sgt. Clifford Wooldridge, combat weapons instructor, Marine Corps Security Forces Regiment, Chesapeake, Va., stands at parade rest after receiving the Navy Cross Medal, May 18, at Lance Cpl. Torrey L. Gray Field. He earned the medal for combat actions in Helmand province, Afghanistan, while attached to 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, in 2010.

He disarmed the enemy fighter in hand-to-hand combat after they grappled for control of the weapon. He killed him with his own weapon, giving him several blows to the head. But, just before that, militant reached for one of his grenades in a desperate attempt to kill himself and then Corporal Clifford Wooldridge, but he didn’t succeed to pull the pin on the grenade. His brave and fearless actions thwarted the attack on his platoon, which saved many lives.

 

Shortly after, the remaining members of his team came around the corner and witnessed the three dead enemy fighters and Corporal Wooldridge standing over one fighter holding the machine gun. That was enough for Clifford M. Wooldridge to be awarded Navy Cross medal and to give him the status of legend in US Marines Corps.