Best known for: Leading British forces during Falklands conflict.
Interesting fact: Penzance is mainland Britain's closest major town to Argentina.
The start of Sir John's Navy career saw him working as a submarine specialist. Jobs with the Ministry of Defence and in training roles in the '70s gave way to him taking command of HMS Sheffield between 1976 and 1977.
It was after serving as director of naval plans between 1978 and 1981 that he was assigned to lead the British task force sent to the Falklands.
As well as his leadership during the conflict, Sir John 'Sandy' Woodward later went on to advise Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's Cabinet and becoming Flag Aide-de Camp to the Queen.
With the Falklands conflict never far from his mind, he wrote his memoirs of his time in command during the war in One Hundred Days. Sir John was knighted in 1982
Sir John "Sandy" Woodward, the commander of the Royal Navy task force that retook the Falklands Islands in 1982, has died aged 81, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) confirmed today.
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond commended Admiral Woodward on his "magnificent achievement" and said he would be remembered by many as the Navy's "fighting admiral".Admiral Woodward reportedly died after a long illness.
David Cameron has paid tribute to the "heroic command" of Sir John "Sandy" Woodward during the Falklands conflict. He said: "We are indebted to him for his many years of service and the vital role he played to ensure that the people of the Falkland Islands can still today live in peace and freedom."
Sir John Woodward's military leadership during the Falklands conflict resulted in one of the most historic victories for British forces.
First Sea Lord Adm. George Zambellas paid tribute to Woodward, saying he had been "undaunted by the challenge of fighting a capable enemy over 8,000 miles from the U.K., in the most demanding and extreme of weather conditions, and against uncertain odds."
In a military career spanning more than 40 years, Woodward was later deputy chief of the defense staff and flag aide-de camp to Queen Elizabeth II.