Naval Veterans From USS Duxbury Meet after 70 Years

As the anticipated WWII film, The Monuments Men opened, another drama from the Second World War unfolded in Shoreline.

Harry Goin was a tough kid in Spokane when he enlisted into the Navy.

“You know why I joined the Navy, I liked those bell-bottom pants,” the 87-year-old said.

The former seaman is now frail and battling kidney disease and renal failure. He now receives care from Providence Hospice of Seattle.

Goin’s walls are filled with his paintings. Among all the paintings, he keeps a photograph of the USS Duxbury where he served. He served alongside Charles Brown, who is now 88 years old and is battling a brain tumor.

Brown was drafted in 1944 and, coincidentally, receives care from the same hospice. The chaplain from the hospice noticed both men had photographs of the same ship and with the help of the staff, they were able to connect the dots.

“It’s one in a million, one in a million,” said Goin.

The Komo News reveals that Brown was based in the Duxbury’s bow and Goin was in the stern. The gentlemen didn’t remember or even recognize one another.

“I can’t see that good anyhow. I got glaucoma,” Goin said.

Goin became a window washer after the war had ended and Brown went on to sell used cars. The men hope the meeting wouldn’t be the last.

“We have a lifetime of stories to share,” said Brown.

And Goin just kept saying, “I can’t believe it, I can’t believe it. What’s the chance of two guys on the same ship after all these years.”

Evette Champion

Evette Champion is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE