The Reunion has now taken place!
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A Reunion To Remember

Robert L. Goggins, GM1, USN, served his country with pride during WWII aboard DE 217.  Memories of his shipmates and days aboard ship dimmed with time, but were never forgotten.  Over the years, he recounted his memories with his children and grandchildren who shared in his devotion to his ship and his country.  His inspiration lead his three sons and a grandson into the U.S. military.

Until recently, Goggins was unaware of the existence of the Destroyer Escort Sailors and USS Coolbaugh Associations and reunions.  His son Bernie, a US Army Green Beret, discovered the Coolbaugh web site and signed up his father for membership in the association. A short time later, Goggins' daughter, Mary Goggins Shipman, had the idea to put together a "memory book" for her father using pages from the Coolbaugh web site.  On one of these pages she discovered a link to the DESA web site where she located the reunions listings. 

Upon learning this information, Mary shared it with her entire family. Goggins extremely devoted daughter went to work immediately organizing the family to attend the 16th annual Coolbaugh Association reunion, held in conjunction with the annual DESA convention.

Now, when Mary organizes, she organizes!  All the arrangements have been made and the wheels set into motion for the Goggins family to travel from Missouri to Myrtle Beach, SC.  Mary will be escorting her father and mother, Sarah Livermore Goggins, and fifteen other family members!  The members range in age from ten to eighty-three years.  "We are all very proud of him. He inspired all three of his sons to enlist in service to our country as well as serving himself," Mary said.

GM1 Goggins will have the unique opportunity to re-unite with his former
Gunnery Officer, ENS George R. Reynolds, USN, now CDR(RET) and GM1
Clyde Birch. Mr. Birch has been a vital force in the over-all existence and
success of the Coolbaugh Association.  Goggins and Birch were leading gunnery petty officers of ENS Reynolds. The last time these three shipmates met was some fifty-six years ago while serving aboard DE 217 in 1945-46.

Also, Goggins will be introduced to a very special lady. Marie Coolbaugh Schanbacher, sister of LTJG Walter W. Coolbaugh, USNR (a Navy Cross recipient, for whom the ship was named in honor) will be present with her husband, Walt. Mrs. Schanbacher was 21 years old when she joined with her family, including sister Alberta Coolbaugh Klipple, for the Coolbaugh commissioning ceremony at Philadelphia U. S. Navy Base. Marie and Alberta have been active and guiding forces in the Coolbaugh Association.

In addition, a special surprise event is in store for Goggins.  CAPT Milton R. Kochert, USNR(RET), C. O. of the USS Coolbaugh DE 217 Association will present him with a Proclamation and gifts at their annual Happy Hour, October l5. The proclamation reads:

Quarters of the Captain


From: CAPT Milton R. Kochert, USNR(RET)

To: Robert L. Goggins

Subject: "Distinguished Shipmate" of USS COOLBAUGH DE 217

WHEREAS: Robert L. Goggins has honorably served his NATION and the UNITED STATES NAVY aboard USS COOLBAUGH DE 217, as Gunner's Mate First Class, both in war and peace, from l943 - l946, and

Whereas: On October l5th, l943, as a PLANK OWNER, he was an "original"
enlisted member of the commissioning crew, and on January 14th, l944, USS
COOLBAUGH DE 217 was re-assigned from Eastern Sea Frontier (Atlantic) to
Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet, for the duration of World War II, and

Whereas: Robert and Sarah Livermore Goggins have been happily married for
fifty-five years and have a beautiful family of three sons, two daughters,
thirteen grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren, and was a dedicated
employee as an Electrician in the States of Nebraska and Missouri, and

Whereas: Now, therefore, I, Milton R. Kochert, CAPT, USNR(RET), Commanding
Officer, USS COOLBAUGH DE 217 ASSOCIATION, do hereby declare Tuesday, October l5th, 2002, as



(Milton R. Kochert, signature)


The Goggins family presence on this day at this year's reunion is quite coincidental. "This entire 'story, family reunion, etc' has a definite 'historical value'! On the day, October l5, 2002, which we designate as 'Robert L. Goggins Day', fortunately, happens to be the 59th Birthday (October 15, l943) of the commissioning of USS Coolbaugh DE 217, with Marie Coolbaugh Schanbacher in attendance", exclaimed a smiling  Capt. Kochert.

In addition to attending the DESA convention and DE 217 reunion, the Goggins entourage and Coolbaugh Association members have arranged an all day visitation to Patriot's Point. In order for two of the Goggins grandchildren to be absent from school, they are required to present a schedule of their trip, information concerning Patriot's Point and other events to both the principal and superintendent of their school. To aid them with this project, the school will provide them with video equipment for their utilization. Credit has also been authorized by subject teachers.

Along with the Goggins family, 28 shipmates, spouses and guests will be in attendance! However, the present number of 67 attendees is expected to increase in the coming weeks.

The presence of the Goggins family and special events of the day promises to make the 16th Annual Coolbaugh DE 217 Association reunion a reunion to remember! 

For more information, contact Capt Milt via email:


The Reunion has now taken place!
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