A Soldier's Letters Home - World War II

John David Goodin was born May 1, 1917.  He volunteered for service in the United States Army and received his acceptance letter June 28, 1941. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1942 and assigned to B Co. 3rd Armored "Spearhead" Division as tank platoon leader/commander.  He served in England, France, Germany and Belgium in some of the hardest fighting and was wounded twice, once during the Battle of the Bulge.  He earned the European Theater Ribbon with five battle stars and was awarded the Bronze Star for Valor and the Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster.  A monument was dedicated in his honor August 2006 at War Memorial Plaza in Nashville.

Having graduated from UT Law School before entering service, Goodin was an eloquent writer.  He faithfully wrote letters to his mom and dad keeping them informed, as much as censoring allowed, of his general location and situation. 

This exhibit highlights selections from the 300+ letters, as well as photographs and memorabilia, in the John Goodin Papers housed in the Archives of Appalachia.


curated by Sandy Laws