2LT Willoughby S. Goin was a potential VHPA member who died after his tour in Vietnam on 03/10/2018 at the age of 77.7
Frankfort, KY
Flight Class 66-8
Date of Birth 06/27/1940
Served in the U.S. Army
Served in Vietnam with A/501 AVN in 66, 71 AHC, 335 AHC in 67

More detail on this person: On Saturday, Willoughby "Sandy" Goin, 77, a former master aviator in the Kentucky Army National Guard, earned his heavenly wings. "Our dad may have literally flown on earth, but now he's soaring in heaven", said his youngest daughter Erin Willoughby Goin, of Frankfort. Born and raised in Frankfort, Sandy Goin was a 1958 Frankfort High School graduate. Following graduation, he enlisted in the service, where he did two tours in Vietnam - earning the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, two Distinguished Flying Crosses, 48 Air Medals and the Kentucky Medal of Valor. He died Saturday and was laid to rest Thursday with full military honors, including a helicopter flyover and 21-gun salute. Goin logged more than 12,500 flying hours. And, according to oldest daughter Fairen Goin Wells, he never went to airborne school but participated in a combat airborne jump. "We are definitely a military family," Wells said, adding that some of her favorite memories of her father came while attending military functions with him. "Knowing the sacrifice that's made and seeing the pride in my father's eyes is a sight that no camera lens can catch." In fact, the Goin family name dates back nearly 200 years in Frankfort. Sandy's great-great-great-grandfather, Capt. Sanford Goin, settled in the city in 1820. During John Hunt Morgan's June 1864 siege, Capt. Goin was instrumental in defending Frankfort against a raid of the arsenal and destruction of the Capitol and courthouses. His sword and portrait hang in the Capital City Museum. The Goins also have a lengthy lineage of Masons. Many local buildings, including (ironically) the arsenal, Capt. Sanford Goin House and the smallest Buffalo Trace warehouse, have been built by the family. Sandy Goin retired from the National Guard in Frankfort after 42 years of service to devote more time to the loves of his life - family, flying and camping. He remained active in the Guard, dropping by each day after a cup of joe with the Coffee Club at the westside McDonald's, and Boy Scouts. "(I'll never forget) camping with him at Boy Scout camp", said middle daughter Nancy Goin Manson. "We turned over rocks in the creek looking for crawdads until we had enough to catch a mess of fish. We'd go fishing and finish up the day taking baths in the creek on the rope bridge." Wells recalled a six-week family camping trip in which they visited each of the original 13 colonies and their state capitals, before spending time in Montreal and Quebec. He was most at home, though, camping along Elkhorn Creek. Goin was also a talented woodworker, making pens, police and military badges. Some of Wells' most fond memories were spent with her father in his woodshop, where he patiently taught her his craft. "In his travels all over the world, he would pick up exotic woods, bring them home and make them into writing instruments," Wells said, adding he loved creating things with his hands. "Many times, he would make plaques bearing family names and established dates just to give as a gift." In addition to his three daughters, Goin is survived by his wife of 30 years, Mary Sue Johnson Goin; a sister, Mary Watkins; two stepdaughters, Joanna Webner and her husband, Frank, of Shelbyville and Tammy Dunlap and her husband, Wayne, of Indiana; three grandchildren; one great-grandchild; four step-grandchildren; four step-great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by two sisters, Peggy Wood and Linda Rogers, and two sons, Andrew Justin Goin and Christopher Wade Goin. "It's sad to think that the Goin name dies out with him," Manson said. The name may not continue on, but Sandy Goin's youngest daughter, Erin, is convinced that she and her father will meet again as a result of a visit she had with him five days before he passed. "I truly thought he may not make it through that night. As a Christian myself, I needed reassurance that my dad had given his heart to our Lord and Savior. I wanted to know I'd spend eternity with him one day - healed and whole again," she recalled. "So, after much prayer, he gave me that assurance, followed by more hugs than I could ever count. (That was) absolutely priceless to me."

This information was last updated 01/31/2019

Please send additions or corrections to: HQ@vhpa.org VHPA Headquarters

Return to the Helicopter Pilot DAT name list

Return to VHPA web site

Date posted on this site: 06/15/2024

Copyright © 1998 - 2024 Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association