Lawrence Goodin was born on the 16th of November, 1919 in Madison County, Ohio, to parents Mr. and Mrs. Tomas Goodin. Mrs. Goodin died in April 1983 while the research on her son's death was being carried out. Lawrence was raised near Jameston, Ohio and attended Ross High School. At the time of his death he was married, and his wife, Miriam was a teacher. They had no children. A few years after the crash she remarried an is now known as Miriam Briggs, and now lives in Sarasota, Florida. She visited Lawrence's grave in Northern Ireland in 1947, and at that time she also visited the Cambridge American Cemetery where his body was to be permanently buried.
Lawrence was a jewellery maker and designer and had a very keen interest in music, as had all his family. From the time that he was a young boy he always had a keen interest in airplanes. His sister, Donna Hamilton, aged fifty five, at the time of the research, has been most helpful in providing information. She has a sister, Mary Kretschiner, who is two years older, and she lives in Florida. In all there were six children in Lawrence's family.
He entered the service in 1940 as a private in the infantry at Mineral Wells, Texas. Then he was transferred to Little Rock, Arkansas, where he was promoted to Staff Sergeant. Notification of his death was given to his family by the Red Cross.
We have been able to examine Lawrence Goodin's flight records, and these like the records of John Scharf, give a very interesting picture of the typical training that a recruit to the American Air Force went through at that time (1943). We give below a summary of his training programme. An interesting note in these records is to the effect that his death is "presumed to have occurred on the 16th of December in the European area". This is, we now know, the day before he died in the Co. Kerry crash.
His records show that he satisfactorily completed the prescribed course of elementary training at Corsican Training School, Texas, on the 21st of March, 1943, having entered this school in January of that year. At the time that he left this Training School he was rated as an Aviation Cadet, Air Corps, with 60 flying hours to his credit, having spent half of this time flying solo. He also spent five hours on a 'Link' trainer. From the Corsican Training School, Lawrence was transferred to Majors Army Air Field, Greenville, Texas.
At Greenville Texas, in the month of April 1943 Lawrence Goodin then aged 23 years (according to USA-AF records) flew exclusively on BTl3As. During that month, with the rank of Student Pilot (Basic) he successfully completed 105 landings. As a student he flew 17 hours on dual control, and nearly 34 hours solo. Little of his flying time was done at night. Up to the 24th of May, Lawrence continued his training at Greenville on BT -13As, with a further 55 landings in May, and increased flying time as a solo pilot. He was the co-pilot on the C-47 which concerns us here.
On the 24th of May, Lawrence transferred to Brooks Field, San Antonio, Texas, as a student pilot, and continued his training through July on AT-6Cs, BC-ls, AT-6Bs and other types. He completed 64 landings and 45 flying hours. Up to the 26th of July, 1943, he had flown a total of 206 hours as a student pilot, and nearly 135 hours as a student first time pilot. In August the training continued at Brooks Field as a qualified pilot, with nearly 12 hours flying time in that capacity. He had graduated on the 29th of July, as a pilot.
On the 13th of August, he transferred again to Bergstrom Field Austin, Texas. On the 30th of August he flew a C-47 for the first time for a period of one hour and thirty five minutes as pilot. His flight records for the first seventeen days of September are blank.
Up to the 11th of October, Lawrence remained at Bergstrom with further flying time on C-47s. On the 13th of October, 1943, he transferred to the 63rd Troop Carrier Group, Grenada AAF, in Mississippi. He flew C-47s exclusively on the 20th, 21st, 22nd, 29th and the 31st of October. His flight records end on the 31st of October, 1943, at which stage he had 20 hours on C-47s.
In November he reported for overseas duty and joined his C-47 crew at Baer Field, Fort Wayne, Indiana, for departure to Europe.
A Memorial Service was held for Lawrence Goodin in the Central Methodist Church, Springfield, Ohio, on the 5th of March, 1944.