Lewis Frelan Goddard was born in Procter, Vermont. He was the son of Carlyle Johnson Goddard and Elva Estella Emmons. He moved with his family from Vermont to Knoxville in 1928. He graduated from Central High School. He was first president of the hiking club and was known as an outdoorsman.

He served with the Office of Strategic Services. He was accidentally killed during a night parachute jump August 7, 1944, on a mission to help French resistance fighters against Germans.

Buried at Rhone American Cemetery in Draguignan (Var), France.

The Boston Globe, 2 October 1974
The replica of a seven ft. high wooden cross that marked the grave of an American hero in France during World War II, arrived at Hanscom Field in Bedford recently enroute to Knoxville, Tenn. There it will mark the family gravesite of Army Sgt Lewis F. Goddard as a gift from the grateful residents of three small French villages.
Sgt. Goddard was killed when he parachuted to the villages of St. Armand, Beddes and Chateaumeillant, in August, 1944. The villages were in German hands and his mission was to contact the French underground in preparation for the advancing American Army. The local resistance forces recovered and buried his body while the German soldiers were scouring the countryside for him.
After the war Sgt. Goddard’s body was buried at Beddes, France, and later removed to the National Cemetery at Draguignan. It was at this time that the original cross that marked the graveside was lost. The gift of the French villagers, presented to Goddard’s mother, Mrs. Elva E. Goddard of Knoxville, during ceremonies at Beddes last summer, was brought home by another son, Army T-Sgt. Robert E. Goddard. Robert was only 10 years old at the time his brother was killed in action. But it was his quest to find out how his brother died that led to the discovery of Lewis’ final mission and the gratefulness of the villagers.
On assignment with the Army in Europe, Robert spent his furlough and other free time seeking out members of the French resistance fighters of 30 years ago, to piece together the story of his death. He found that Lewis was part of a specialized parachute team dropped behind the enemy lines with weapons to supply the French underground in the three villages and to assist them in acts of sabotage and harassment against the German forces. The French fighters were awaiting at the predetermined site for the air drop. But Lewis’ chute failed to open and he was killed instantly. The story was recounted by the leaders of the French villages as they presented the unfinished replica of the grave-marker. The cross was finally finished last month and the villagers paid the freight costs to Paris where it was carried by train and taxi by Robert to Orly Airport, airlifted to England and then flown to Hanscom Airfield.

  • Rank: First Sergeant
  • Date of birth:
  • 9 May 1925
  • Date of death: 7 August 1944
  • County: Knox
  • Hometown: Knoxville
  • Service Branch: Army/Army Air Forces
  • Division/Assignment: Office of Strategic Service, Headquarters Detachment
  • Theater: Europe
  • Conflict: World War II
  • Awards: Purple Heart
  • Burial/Memorial Location: Rhone American Cemetery, Draguignan (Var), France
  • Location In Memorial: Pillar VIII, Middle Panel
  • Contact us to sponsor Lewis F. Goddard

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