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The New Era Paper
Sweet Home, Oregon
November 7, 2012     The New Era Paper
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November 7, 2012

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:IT  r - November 7, 2012 Page 9 Photo brings back, Car memories Sl00t man By Scott Swanson Of The New Era Darrell Goddard was looking at a Time-Life book on World War lI some years ago when he saw a scene that looked very familiar. In a U.S. Army photo from a battle on Bougainville Island, near New Guinea, was a tank with the name "Lucky Legs II" emblazoned on it. A tall, athletically built soldier stood upright, firing a rifle at the right of the tank, while other Ameri- can GIs crouched or crawled on the ground as they fought a battle. The reason the photo was famil- iar was because Goddard realized he was the soldier firing the gun. "He recognized the situation," Goddard's wife Bobble said. "He knew it was him, but the tank con- firmed it." "There was one tank on the is- land and we used it," said Darrell Goddard, now 89, who's lived in Sweet Home since 2006. Growing up in an impover- ished, single-parent family, God- dard said times were tough before he was drafted into the Army four World War II. He was born June 13, 1923 in Bellingham, Wash., where his father owned two grocery stores - and was "so successful that he ran Safeway out of business there," he said. His father had fought in World War I and the family had a photo of him dur- ing a celebration in downtown New York City at the end of that war. His parents divorced and God,- dard's mother moved with her three children - two boys and a girl - to Pasadena, Calif., where Goddard grew up. "We lived very frugally," he said. "We lived on $135 a month for four people for many years." While in high-school at what is now Pasadena City College, God- dard started working at a coffee bar, and was earning money, he said. World War II had broken out in Eu- rope and Asia, but it seemed some- what distant. "I was just a wild kid; we didn't have much money and we had a bro- ken family. "I bought a car from the son of the owner of the Studebaker compa- ny, who lived in the Arroyo Seco in Pasadena. I put $1,000 in the bank. I was beginning to have some ideas. We didn't really know what the war was about." But then he was drafted after the U.S. entered the war in 1941. His brother Richard, two years his senior, who had been working in a bank, also was drafted - into the Navy. "He was a genius," Goddard said. "He could sit there and listen to people rattle off numbers and then tally them up in his head. The Navy found out he could do that and they nabbed him and made a navigator out of him because he could always get them there at the right time. I ran into him a couple of times during the war." After basic training at Camp Roberts, north of San Luis Obispo, Calif., he was sent to infantry school, also at Camp Roberts. "We would take 26-mile Walks Carrying all this stuff," he recalled. "I got caught once because I took a stovepipe and wrapped it in a helmet liner or something of that nature and carried it like a knapsack because it was lighter." The "fun" ended soon, he said. He found himself on a fast ship heading for the South Pacific. After some months in French Polynesia, Goddard was assigned to the 37th Infantry, which had for- merly been an Ohio National Guard unit, and sent to New Guinea, where he spent a year and a half. "Bougainville is a big island, and if you like coconut they had a huge plantation there," Goddard said. New Zealand and Australia had provided "a lot of coast watchers" who helped prevent a Japanese at- tack on those countries. But it took the Allies a year and half to drive the Japanese to sur- render on Bougainville, which hap- pened a few weeks before the final surrender in Tokyo. The photo that has appeared in at least two Life publications that the Goddards have. found, and a portion of which is also on Wickipedia under "Bougain- ville," though Goddard is cropped out of that one, was taken during those months of combat. "I did not see the photographer," he said. "He was dressed like every- one else so you couldn't tell. But I See Photo, page 12 Photo by Scott Swanson Darrell Goddard holds a copy of a Life book about Worm War H that fea- tures a cover photograph that he believes pictures himself and his fellow soldiers during a battle in Bougainville. A soldier that Darrell Goddard sacs is him, right, takes aim as a "Lucky Legs II," a tank that Goddard remembers from his service in Bougainville, rolls through the jungle. PROUD TO HONOR OUR COUNFRYS VETERANS We salute our Veterans. We remember those who served with honor and ......... ' courage, and remember lhose who gave their ....... ..:'  .... lives to defend freedom. May we never lake for granted the important contribution these brave ; 1214 tong St I 541.367.3131 They are our family, friends and neighbors; everyday citizens, yet so much more. They are the brave men and women who have put their lives at risk to protect and serve our country in war. On Veteran's Day, we take this opportunity to say Thank You to the brave souls who have served in battle with our Armed Forces. SWEET HOME SANITATION 1001 LONG STREET, SWEET HOME I 541.367.2535 l Oth