Re: Looking For Information About Ships My Father In-Law Served On.
Posted by Ron Carlson on February 21, 2012, 10:09 am, in reply to "Re: Looking For Information About Ships My Father In-Law Served On."
Sorry not to get back to you sooner. I had made a search for Robert Godin and had found one record, but for a man in the merchant marine. A merchant mariner would not have served in USS BOSTON, a U.S. Navy warship. Most Armed Guard sailors initially sailed in merchant ships but later in the war many were transferred to the fleet (i.e., to warships) to take advantage of their experience and knowledge in gunnery. So if your father-in-law was in the Armed Guard, the man I found is not "your" Robert Godin.
SS KOHALA was built in 1919 by J.F. Duthie & Co., Seattle, WA. Her original name was WEST HENSHAW. She was renamed several times (probably after being sold), first to GOLDEN CROSS in 1928, then to KOHALA in 1938, and to PETR TCHAIKOVSKY in 1945. She was "hulked" in 1966, meaning turned into a barge, storage facility or other maritime but non-sailing function. See http://shipbuildinghistory.com/history/merchantships/wwi/pacific.htm and search for any of the names of the ship.
SS COULEE DAM was a class T-2 tanker, the most common tanker built during World War II. She was constructed in 84 days between February and May 1944 by the Kaiser Swan Island shipyard in Portland, OR. She survived the war and was sold to a private shipping company in 1948. She was renamed twice, first to SHAPUR, then to FERNAND GILABERT. She was scrapped in 1959 in India after being damaged in a collision in 1958. See http://www.aukevisser.nl/t2tanker/id358.htm, which includes several photographs.
USS BOSTON was a U.S. Navy heavy cruiser, commissioned in 1943, decommissioned in 1970, scrapped in 1975. During World War II she served exclusively in the Pacific theater. After the war she was the first ship to be converted to a guided missile cruiser. She served as late as the Vietnam war. See http://www.navsource.org/archives/04/069/04069.htm, which has many photographs.
You, or better yet your wife, should be able to obtain the official military service record for Robert Godin, which may provide useful details on his military service. See this page from the Armed Guard / Merchant Marine website: http://armed-guard.com/searchmil.html, in particular section II.A.1. - Records of Individuals - U.S. Military. You will have to contact the National Personnel Records Center, a records facility operated by the U.S. National Archives in St. Louis, MO. Provide as much identifying information as you have. There may be a charge for research time, photocopying and mailing, but the Records Center staff will provide an estimate on the cost before beginning work. The request should come from your wife, since she is next of kin to your father-in-law, whereas you are not. Next of kin should be able to obtain the full service record; persons not next of kin may be able to obtain only a partial record.
Ron Carlson, Webmaster
Armed Guard / Merchant Marine website