Aboard the USS Petrof Bay in the Pacific. Nolan R. Goodson, seaman first class, USNR, Route 2, Rayville, La., helped polish off Japanese planes and shipping when this small aircraft carrier fought at Okinawa, Iwo Jima and in other engagements that sometimes carried her within 15 miles of enemy-held bases. Fighting off suicide planes, torpedoes, bombs, strafing and surface and underseas attacks has been a daily routine for the PETROF BAY since she first tangled with the Japs in September. 1944, at Palau. Pilots from the carrier have knocked down 20 Jap planes and the ship’s gunners have accounted for five more. Five flags painted on the bridge signify that three Jap cruisers, a destroyer and a merchant ship have fallen victims to the PETROF BAY.
Officers, pilots and men aboard the carrier have won 103 decorations for outstanding devotion to duty from September, 1944, to February, 1945. 18 of the awards being Navy crosses, the Navy’s second highest award, while 37 have been Silver Star Medals. During the Battle for Leyte Gulf, officers and men stayed at their battle stations more than four days without a letup, undergoing attack most of the time. Meanwhile, her planes were blasting the enemy, returning to refuel, then going back into the fray. Of four escort carriers taking part in this action, the PETROF BAY was the only one to emerge without a hit.Nolan R. Goodson of Rayville tells of Okinawa, Iwo Jima, Pacific campaign. Sat, Aug 11, 1945 – 1 · The Richland Beacon-News (Rayville, Louisiana, United States of America) · Newspapers.com
Life Legacy / Obituary
Nolan Ray Goodson, 92, passed away on April 7, 2017 at a local care facility.
Mr. Goodson was a combat veteran in the United States Navy in World War II and fought in the Pacific Theater. Ray was an avid outdoorsman that loved to hunt and fish. He was especially known for his bow hunting skills. Ray ran Untied Automotive in Monroe, LA and was a sharp minded salesman. He could always remember his clients’ and friends’ family and what was going on in their lives. His family remembers him as a good man that had a tender spot in his heart for children that may not have had a father of their own. Ray was a devout Pentecostal and attended Grace Pointe Church in Monroe.
He is survived by his son, James Ray Goodson and wife Brenda of Lake Charles; brother, James Paul Goodson; five grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and one great-great grandchild.
He preceded in death by his wife, Dorothy Lucille Odom; parents, Jeff and Maude Goodson; daughter, Theresa Ann Goodson; eight sisters, Margie, Maudell, Nelroy, Vera, Jo Ann, Rachell, Gracie, Mal Elizabeth; three brothers, Jeff Thomas, Lester Lee, and Billy.
Cremation has been entrusted to Johnson Funeral Home of Lake Charles. Burial will be at Mulhearn Cemetery in Monroe, LA at a later date.
The family would like to extend a special thanks to Heart of Hospice, Brookdale Assisted Living, and Evangeline Home Health for their compassionate care.