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William Jennings Goodwin

William J. Goodwin

                         Name: William Jennings Goodwin

                         Branch of Service: U.S. Army

                         Unit: 4th Armored Division

                         Rank: Sergeant

                         Dates of Service: 7/9/1943-Feb. 1946

                         Area of Service: Europe


Dr. Goodwin's remembrances of WWII:

I graduated from Scottsville HS in 1943.  I was drafted in the U S Army in July 1943 and shipped overseas the following February.  I was stationed in Wales and England and landed on Omaha Beach on D Day +6.  I was with the 4th Armored Division and fought in 5 campaigns in five countries.  I was in combat for 310 days and was fortunate in not being wounded.  Following is my original copy of the prayer General George Patton had issued to all soldiers engaged in the Battle of the Bulge:

General Patton's Prayer Issued to All Soldiers Engaged in the Battle of the Bulge, Dec. 1944
Original copy of General Patton's Prayer Issued to All Soldiers Engaged in the Battle of the Bulge, Dec. 1944.  Donated in 2014 by Dr. William Goodwin, 4th Armored Division

My unit was the one that broke through the German lines and relieved the 101st Airborne Division that had been holding Bastogne, Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge.  It was very cold with snow on the ground, and I had my feet frostbitten.  This photo was taken of me and my unit near Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge. It was 15 degrees Fahrenheit with over a foot of snow on the ground.  Too cold for this southern boy!"

Goodwin's unit near Bastogne, Belgium, in December 1944
William Goodwin and crew one mile from Bastogne, Belgium, on December 24, 1944.

My unit was awarded the Presidential Citation, the French Croix de Guerre and the Belgium Croix de Guerre and 5 battle stars.  We liberated the Orhdorf Concentration Camp which was the first concentration camp liberated by Allied forces.  Following the conflict I was in the Army of Occupation in southern Germany for some 8 months.  I returned to the USA in February 1946 having spent 2 years in the ETO.  I was discharged with the rank of Sergeant.

I attended college on the G.I. Bill receiving the BS,MS and PhD degrees.  After graduate school I join the Commissioned Corps of the United States Public Health Service.  I served 7 years in international health programs in Libya, Haiti, and Jamaica.  I spent 12 years as a Scientist-Administrator at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD, and retired from the USPHS in 1975 with the rank of Captain (USPHS uses US Navy ranking).

Dr. William J. Goodwin, Portland, OR

W. J. Goodwin, Jr., With Unit Praised By General Patton
The Scottsville News, Scottsville, Virginia
Thursday, March 1, 1945 (p.1)

Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Goodwin, Scottsville, have received a copy of the following letter from their son, PFC William J. Goodwin, Jr., who is serving with the 4th Armored Division of the:

Office of the Commanding General
APO 403

20 January 1945

SUBJECT:  Commendation.
THROUGH:  Commanding General, III Corps, APO 303, U.S. Army
TO:  Commanding General, Officers, and Men of the 4th Armored Division and Attached Troops, APO 254, U.S. Army

1.  The outstanding celerity of your movement and the unremitting, vicious, and skillful manner in which you pushed the attack, terminating at the end of four days and nights of incessant battle in the relief of BASTOGNE, constitute one of the finest chapters in the glorious history of the U.S. Army.

2.  You and the officers and men of your Command are hereby highly commended for a superior performance.

3.  You will apprize all units concerned of the contents of this letter.

/s/ G.S. Patton, Jr.
    G.S. PATTON, JR.
    Lieut. General, U.S. Army Commanding

Combat Command "A", 9th Armored Division; 818th Regiment (less 3rd Battalion), 80th Division.

After WWII, Dr. Goodwin met and married Kathleen Turner, a former member of the U.S. Women's Army Corps.  They went on to attend Oklahoma State University together, and later the Goodwins lived all over the world: Kathleen was an accomplished artist, and Bill served as a U.S. public health service officer. The Goodwins raised two children, James A. Goodwin and Susie O'Day, in a marriage that lasted 63 wonderful years. Sadly, Kathleen passed away on 30 October 2010 in Portland, Oregon, and the following obituary was published on that tells more about the wonderful life Kathleen and William shared:

Kathleen Turner Goodwin, wife of William J. Goodwin

To Spend Two Years in Libya
The Scottsville Sun, 10 June 1957

Dr. and Mrs. William J. Goodwin and their son and daughter, James Allen, 3, and Susan Ann, 2, of Clemson, S.C., will soon begin a two-year stay in the Arab-speaking world of Tripoli.

Dr. Goodwin is the son of Mr. and Mrs. W.J. Goodwin of Scottsville and is a graduate of Scottsville High School with the class of 1943.  For the last three years he has been associate entomologist with the South Carolina Experiment Station and associate professor of entomology at Clemson College.  He has resigned as of February 1 and with his whole family will spend the next two years in Libya where he will serve as vector control advisor with the International Cooperation Administration.

Dr. Goodwin will be in charge of all work done on the internal and external parasites bothering man.  Also, he will train personnel who will take over when he leaves.

While Dr. Goodwin goes to Washington, D.C. for about a month's orientation, his wife and children will visit her people in Oklahoma.  They expect to leave the United States about March 1 by plane.

In Tripoli, they will live in a furnished home provided by the government.  They will have the same housing privileges granted Embassy officials or officers stationed at the American Air Force at Tripoli.  They will have an APO number with the same mail order buying privileges as men in service.  Dr. and Mrs, Goodwin spoke of the pleasant moderate climate in which it will be possible to enjoy swimming in the Mediterranean for six months of the year.

The Goodwins said they both look forward to travel opportunities and sightseeing Rome and other parts of Europe.  Some of the European sightseeing was done --- after a fashion --- by Dr. Goodwin from 1944 to 1946 while he served with the Fourth Armored Tank Division.

In his two years there, Dr. Goodwin must not only try to improve sanitation in a whole nation but must train his "counterpart" to take his place when he leaves.  Also he will train such other assistants as are available.

William Jennings Goodwin was born on April 30, 1925, in Fluvanna County, Virginia; he is the son of William Jennings Goodwin, Sr., and Kathleen (Pace) Goodwin of Scottsville, Virginia.  William married Kathleen Francis Turner on June 28, 1947, in Washington, D.C.

DIGNITY Memorial, Portland, Oregon
Dr. William Jennings Goodwin, Jr.
April 30, 1923 - March 10, 2019
Dr. William Jennings Gooding, Jr., Dignity Memorial, 10 March 2019

Bill was born in Virginia and lived on the family farm which was the remainder of the plantation owned by his mother's family (Johnson).  He had one sister Kathrine (deceased) and one brother Edward who lives in Scottsville, Virginia.  His grandfather died in 1937 when he was twelve and his father worked seventeen miles away, so he had to take over all the responsibilities of the farm.

After high school he was drafted into the US Army to fight in WW2.  In July of 1944 he landed on Omaha Beach.  He served in the Fourth Armored Tank Division under General Patton.  During the Battle of the Bulge, they captured the Orhdolf Concentration Camp, the first one liberated by allied troops.

Returning home, he worked for the Veterans Administration and started college at the University of Maryland.  He met his wife Kathleen Turner there and they were married 6 weeks later.  She worked at the Pentagon as a WAC.  They enrolled at Oklahoma State University to be near her family.  They moved to New York where he received his Masters and PhD in Entomology from Cornell University.  Their son, James Alan Goodwin, was born there.  His first job out of college was as an Associate Professor at Clemson University where their daughter, Susan Ann Goodwin was born.

In 1957 he joined the Public Health Service, packed up his family and moved to Libya to fight malaria.  They spent four years there and another two years in Haiti.  He came back to DC to work for the National Institute of Health as a Branch Chief issuing government grants to seven primate research facilities across the United States.  He retired from the Public Health Service with 29 years of service.  He worked as an administrator at the Oregon Regional Primate Center for 3 years and then for the Medical Research Facility in San Antonio, Texas, for 17 years.  After retirement, he volunteered every Friday for 10 years at the ICU desk at St. Vincent's Hospital accruing over 2000 hours.bsp;

He and Kathleen traveled to 40 countries during their marriage, and she received a Masters Degree in Painting from American University.  They returned to Oregon to retire and spend time with their children and grandchildren.  Their son, James, passed away in 2004, and Kathleen passed away in 2010.

Bill is survived by his daughter, Susan O'Day, and his four grandchildren, Katie O'Day, Megan O'Day-Kappler, Daphne Goodwin, and Chad Goodwin.

Donations can be made to the Wounded Warriors Foundation or the Salvation Army.

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