Volunteers for Vermont’s annual Green Up Day made an odd discovery when they looked inside a maple tree: wrapped in plastic inside an old VCR cassette was the World War II Good Conduct Medal for a Nebraska man who died 32 years ago.
The 1945 medal had belonged to Robert Gene Woody, who served on the USS Hughes, a Navy destroyer that saw action at the Battle of Midway and Guadalcanal. The medal turned up in the town of Milton. The cassette in the tree was also hiding a treasure trove of copper coins and other military medals — a Veterans of Foreign Wars medal from the 1930s, a Spanish American War medal, a woman’s Relief Corps medal and a Civil War pay stub for Pvt. Lewis N. Lucas of the Vermont 2nd Light Artillery. Price stickers were attached to the medals.
CM2c Robert G. Woody enlisted on 03 JAN 1942 in Dallas, Texas. He arrived for service on 15 FEB 1942 to serve on the USS Hughes (DD410), a WWII era Sims class Destroyer. He would serve on the Hughes until the war’s end. As a member of the Hughes, he saw action at the Battle of Midway, Guadalcanal, the Battle of Santa Cruz, the Aleutian Islands, the Gilbert Islands, the invasion of Makin Atoll, the Marshall Islands, Hollandia, New Guinea, and Leyte among others. He would go on to serve a total of 30 years in the Navy, even spending a tour in Vietnam.
Fike tracked down Woody’s 62-year-old son Myron Gene Woody in Sidney, Neb., and told him about the find.
Robert Woody spent 30 years in the Navy after enlisting in 1942. The son told the Journal Star he’s looking forward to the return of his father’s medal.
“When my dad passed away, I got an old Timex watch and a few shirts, and that was all,” Myron told the newspaper. “This would be one of the very few things of his past that I’d have.”