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Name: Charles Seyward Goodwin Rank: Able Seaman Service: The J.B. White, Merchant Navy Date of Birth: March 18, 1917 Place of Birth: Canso, Guysborough Co., NS Date of Death: March 16, 1941 Age: 23 Cemetery: Halifax Memorial, Nova Scotia Reference: Panel 18 Commemorated on Page 144 of the Merchant Navy Book of Remembrance Displayed in the Memorial Chamber of the Peace Tower in Ottawa on March 24 and August 21 Charles Seyward Goodwin was the son of Howard Glenwood Goodwin, a native of Argyle, Yarmouth County, while his mother, Minnie Olivia, was the daughter of Elisha and Christina Carter, Queensport, Guysborough County. Charles’ parents married at on January 24, 1914 in Canson, NS, and welcomed two daughters—Catherine (1914) and Doris Christine (1915)—into their home before Charles’ arrival. Minnie gave birth two more sons, Laurier Howard (1919) and Reginald (1921), before tragedy struck the family. “Howard’s marriage license lists his occupation as “fisherman.” On December 8, 1921, he and a crew- mate were “overcome with coal gas” while working aboard a fishing vessel near Sekonnet Point, Rhode Island. Howard was rushed to Truesdale Hospital in nearby Fall River, Massachusetts, but medical staff were unable to revive him. According to a contemporary item in a local newspaper, Howard’s remains were transported to Canso for interment, although there appears to be no headstone there marking his final resting place. Left to raise a family of five young children following her husband’s death, Minnie never re-married and remained at Canso, where her family could provide support, for two decades. Charles, the oldest of her three sons, followed in his father’s footsteps, earning a living at sea. Sometime after the outbreak of the Second World War, he joined the crew of the steam merchant J. B. White as an Able Seaman, a rank that implies at least two years’ experience at sea. Built in 1919 by Skinner & Eddy Corp., Seattle, WA, for the United States Shipping Board (USSB), the J. B. White was initially christened the Jadden. After a lengthy period of service with USSB, the 7,375-ton vessel was placed in its reserve fleet. A shortage of available steam merchants resulted in its transfer to Canada in 1941, at which time the ship was assigned to Atlantic Transportation Co., Montreal, QC, and re- named the J. B. White. In February 1941, the newly acquired vessel, under the command of Master J. W. R. Woodward, loaded 2,500 tons of steel and 4,500 tons of newsprint at Mobile, Alabama, and departed for Halifax, where it was assigned to Convoy HX-112. On March 1, the 41-vessel convoy departed for Manchester, UK, traveling northeastward past Newfoundland and the southern tip of Greenland before heading eastward, south of Iceland, across the North Atlantic toward its final destination. On March 15, German submarine U-110 first sighted the convoy west-southwest of the Faroe Islands and alerted other U-boats in the area. The following day, two submarines—U-110 and U-99—attacked the convoy. U-99, under the command of Korvettenkapitän Otto Kretschmer, sank five vessels and damaged a sixth, while U-110 damaged a seventh vessel. U-99’s first sinking victim was the J. B. White. Master Woodward and 37 crew members successfully abandoned ship. Rescued by HMS Walker, the survivors safely arrived at Liverpool, UK, on March 21. Two members of the J. B. White’s crew perished in the March 16, 1941 sinking—Boatswain Jack Henry Visser, Braughing, Hertfordshire, England, and Able Seaman Charles Seyward Goodwin, Canso, NS. Charles’ name is engraved on the Halifax Memorial, Point Pleasant Park, Halifax, NS, erected in memory of military personnel and merchant seamen who perished at sea during the First and Second World Wars. In the early 1940s, Minnie and her children moved to the Halifax area. Following her passing in 1972, she was laid to rest in Fourth Hill Cemetery, Canso. Minnie and Howard’s oldest child Catherine relocated to Montreal, QC, where she married and raised a family. Her sister Doris married Appleton Hurst Roberts, a Canso native, and settled in Dartmouth. Doris passed away in 2015 at the age of 100. Minnie and Howard’s son Laurier emigrated to the mid-western United States after the Second World War. After his passing, his remains were returned to Canso, where he was buried. His brother Reginald served in the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War and lived in the Halifax area for the remainder of his life.”[1]
Charles Seyward Goodwin
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