VFW Post 2667

Korean War will be focus for Memorial Day program

by W. Winston Skinner


The Newnan Times-Herald File Photo

Local veteran Dick Stender greets Beverly Chase of Senoia at the 2012 Memorial Day program in Newnan. Chase’s brother, Richard E. Clapp, was killed Sept. 2, 1950, during the Naktong Offensive. His remains were finally identified in 2012, after 62 years.

Connie Goosby once lived in Newnan.

He served his country during the Korean War and lost his life in Korea. Finding information about Goosby, however, has proven difficult for local veterans seeking to honor him.

“Who was Connie Goosby?” asked local veteran Dick Stender, who has been working for several years to organize the annual Memorial Day program for Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2667. “I have run into a blank wall.”

The post “is planning for a program, honoring the 60th anniversary of the ending of the Korean War,” Stender noted. The Korean war “raged for three years and accounted for more than 50,000 American combat deaths.”

Three Cowetans lost their lives in Korea – William F. Crawford, Robert L. Shavers and Goosby. The VFW remembers a specific fallen hero each year on Memorial Day, and Crawford and Shavers were recognized in previous years.

The post wants to memorialize Goosby this year, but efforts to find information about him have yielded little. Stender noted Korea is “often referred to as ‘the forgotten war,’” and it seems Connie Goosby has been nearly forgotten as well.

Goosby “has turned out to be a mystery,” Stender said.

“He was born in 1927 and was for a time a resident at a house on Savannah Street. His military record is commendable, showing he died a POW of the Chinese in 1950,” Stender said.

Goosby, an African-American, was a private first class in the Army when he was captured. He was a field artillery cannoneer. Military records indicate he died Dec. 1, 1950.

Goosby’s mother, Maria, was living at 90 Savannah St. when he died, according to an article published in Panama City News in 1954.

A Goosby family with a son about the right age to be the Korean War soldier was living in Brooks in 1930. The 1940 census shows a Goosby family with a son the right age in Atlanta – and shows they were living in Atlanta in 1935, as well. It has not been determined if either of these families is Connie Goosby’s.

VFW Post Commander Jeff Carroll is requesting additional information about Goosby’s life in Newnan and asks for help from the public. “We know that Connie must have had friends and family who grieved for his loss,” Carroll said.

“We want the community to know Connie Goosby, to make him more than just a name on the bronze plaque in Veterans’ Memorial Plaza,” Carroll said.

Anyone with knowledge of Goosby should contact Stender at 770-251-9781. “Any information will be appreciated,” Stender said.

Memorial Day ceremonies will be held May 27 at 11 a.m. at Veterans’ Memorial Plaza in the city park at Jackson Street and Temple Avenue. More information on events and schedules will be announced.

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