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Interview with Ed Goodwin on March 27, 2003

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

What were your, what was your highest rank and where, where did you serve during that time?

Ed Goodwin:

I was, the highest rank I had was a Commander, uh, I was a junior ensign when I went aboard ship, the destroyer, and I spent four years on it, and I came off as a two-striper. Uh, four years later, and, uh, I went on a retired reserve status, and, uh, was recalled during the Korean Campaign, and I was sent to Washington, D.C., the Pentagon, which, to me was - maybe I shouldn't say this, but I thought it was worse than combat duty as far as being a junior lieutenant and all the admirals and stuff like that.

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

Now, where, where did you grow up?

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

When, uh, do you remember when you really, when you, you went to the Navy full time? I know, you were going to college initially, but could you explain your experiences when you went into it full time?

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

Yes, sir.

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

Now, kind of going back a little bit, you said you were a "ninety day wonder." Uh, could you go into a little bit more detail, did that mean you were rushed through training quicker than you would normally have been rushed through if you were in peacetime?

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

And, and what was that experience like?

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

Was that a bit overwhelming at times?

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

Was it, uh, overwhelming, getting all that information pushed on you so quickly?

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

Was that, when you went away, was that the first time you'd left home for an extended period of time?

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

You said, then, you went to, uh, Shell Beach to train, Russians and U.S. Navy personnel on antiaircraft guns? How, what kind of experience was that like, working with Russians and knowing what was going on in the Soviet Union during World War II?

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

And, uh, then you, you, you went to Harvard, and, and was that kind of a strange experience because, you're, I guess you're still in the military, but you're not, it's not quite a military situation. Was that...?

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

And graduated number one in your class.

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

Could you describe that a little bit, you're, you're given the destroyer in Bermuda, and then, uh, how, how was that, taking over the ship for the first time? How did it make you feel, your first command?

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

Now, in terms of, how, after you took over the ship in Bermuda, did, did it have a name or, just was it DE-753?

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

U.S.S. Cates.

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

Yeah, that's, that's gonna be my next question: how, how quickly were you thrown into the con, into convoy duty?

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

Uh, and how often, were those the only two times you had contact with subs on convoy duty? And, and how many trips back and forth across the Atlantic did you make? Do you remember?

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

A lot of historians give you credit for it, too. So it wouldn't just be you, you thinking that. Uh, in terms of like the weather, you, you hear about, a lot about that, that Atlantic weather, especially in the winter, about how bad, could you describe a little bit of that? Did you have any bizarre experiences with the weather, or just, was that a constant?

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

Murmansk.

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

Did you have any trouble, any trouble with seasickness?

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

Do you remember his name?

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

That's okay, if you don't, you don't, that, that's all right.

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

Okay. Uh,

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

I wanted to kind of move next onto, onto D-Day. And now, you, from the way it looks here, it's almost like you went fairly quickly from Bermuda to, to convoy duty into, into D-Day. Could you talk a little bit about how, how you kind of went into that situation? D-Day.

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

So nobody on your ship was hurt during D-Day?

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

Now, when did you, did you know when you were going to cross the Atlantic that you were going to go straight into that, or did, when did you kind of realize something big was up?

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

Had you, had you, had you ever seen anything like that many ships? I mean, was it, was it just like, overwhelming, the number of ships and planes and men you were seeing?

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

Well, what was the kind, finish, like finish up Europe and go, then go to Japan, because I definitely want to talk about that, that, I, I think that's very important. Uh, but, any other comments about D-Day? I mean, did you, did you feel, like sorry for anybody? Did you feel, I mean, you, like, obviously you were that close to the beach, you saw the pounding the Germans were getting. What kind of, did you, did you feel a bit sorry for 'em, or just feel ...?

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

Do you remember where you were when uh, when you heard about V-E Day?

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

And what was your -

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

You were scared of, you were scared of the women?

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

[Laughs] I didn't think so, okay.

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

I, yeah, I want to ask you about the Pacific. Were you kind of discouraged to be having to go over there, I mean, uh, because you had served in the Atlantic, and now you gotta go finish Japan off?

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

Did you ever, uh, meet him, personally?

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

Any, any impressions of him? Or could you talk about the experiences when you did meet him a little bit?

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

Did you, uh, did you take part in the invasion of the Philippines at all?

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

Talk about that a little bit, please?

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

Now, you were, how long were you in the Philippines? When did you ship out, going to Japan?

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

Was that kinda nerve-wracking, I mean, I'm sure you'd heard stories from other people about how hard the Japanese had fought, and, and I'm sure there was, was there [unintelligible]?

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

Really?

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

Do you, do you, uh, do you remember hearing about that the first time on the radio? Could you describe that when you, you remember when you heard it on the radio?

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

Uh, do you, do you remember the reaction among, uh, some of the other men when they heard the news about the atomic bomb? Because I'm assuming not everybody knew about it, I mean.

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

Do you remember where you were when you heard about the, the Japanese surrender, and what your feelings were?

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

Did you run into any kamikazes in the Pacific at all? Did you see any?

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

Kamikazes, like, you know.

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

When, when you finally, uh, when you finally went into Japan, you had talked about how that was, in Tokyo Bay, it was very tense. Could you describe, what, what kind of emotions were running through your mind when you guys are going in there? I guess this is after the surrender, right, when you're going in there?

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

What, what was your first impression of the Japanese civilians you met, or you came into contact with?

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

You mean U.S. POWs in Japan?

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

Okay, sorry, go ahead.

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

Was it, was it hard to see those, those POWs, especially the way they'd been treated, I mean?

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

When, when you were in Japan, did the devastation kind of surprise you, I mean, because, I mean, did you get to go to Hiroshima or Nagasaki or just, just Tokyo?

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

You mean the Doolittle Raid?

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

Do you remember hearing about that? You weren't in the military, yet, were you, you were still -

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

Oh, you were? Okay.

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

Yeah, okay. Um, any other stories you'd like to talk about, uh, about World War II before we kind of move on to, anything you think I forgot or something you'd like to mention, or just an anecdote or story you'd like to talk about?

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

Oh, no, like I say we -

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

It was a well-deserved week's leave, though.

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

Now, what, what did you do when you, when you got back? After the war's over?

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

Now, when, when did you, uh, get married?

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

Okay, so you were single throughout the war?

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

Did you, did you keep in good communication with her throughout the war, or?

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

Oh, okay. Uh, now, uh, when, uh, when did you, when did you have an inkling you might get called back into the service with Korea?

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

By this time, you were married, right? By, by Korea, you were at least, you were married?

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

Oh, okay.

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

Now, you, so you didn't, you weren't over in Korea, you were just here for the Korean War, but you were back in the service? Or did you go over to Korea?

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

T. Beckenbaugh: Okay. You -

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

Yeah, I was just gonna ask you about that. Could you, could you explain some of your experiences at the Pentagon?

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

And you were, I take it, you were glad to go to Mechanicsburg.

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

Okay. Uh, could you talk a little about, about recruiting? I mean, did you, what was it about recruiting that you enjoyed doing?

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

T. Beckenbaugh: Well I'm from Shippensburg, so.

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

The, the Navy parts depot in Mechanicsburg, right?

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

Yeah, see, I grew up in Shippensburg, so I'm very familiar with that area. It's just about, uh, Shippensburg's fifteen miles south of Carlisle.

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

So I, I think you know where Carlisle is.

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

Yep, that's, that is correct. Uh, now, you, you basically stayed in the military, were you in the military up in Mechanicsburg until 1969, or did you start kind of bopping around the country before then?

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

Yes, uh-huh.

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

Now, it seems like you have been keeping very busy since you, since you left the military, looking at your, at the paper you gave me-

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

Do you keep in touch with any of your, uh, uh, uh, anybody that you served with, either in World War II or?

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

When you, when you look back, is there any, any, uh, anything that you're just the, you're most proud of? Anything particular -

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

Is there any stories that you, that I, I, didn't ask you about, or anything that you'd like to, to add?

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

Okay, folks, that -

Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh:

Okay, all right, fellas, I think that's a wrap.

 
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  October 26, 2011
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