John Townsend Goss

Posted On January 3rd, 2013 -

Of Honolulu, Hawaii, passed away on Thursday, December 20, 2012 at age 89. He was born on December 19, 1923, in Geneva, Switzerland, the son of George E. Goss and Almeda Townsend Goss. He was the third of four children, George E. Goss, Jr. (Pete), Cora Margaret Goss (Peggie), and Howard Hitchcock Goss (Howdy). At the age of twelve, after living in Switzerland, the Philippines, and Martha’s Vineyard, his father died and the family boarded a ship and moved back to the islands and lived with his great uncle D. Howard Hitchcock (the painter) for a brief time before the family settled down in Kaneohe. John attended Iolani High School until he was offered a scholarship to attend Punahou High School where he excelled in track and football, often playing offense and defense in the same game. He graduated from Punahou in 1942. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkeley and received a master’s degree from Pepperdine University. John was a 17 year old senior at Punahou when Pearl Harbor was attacked in 1941. John enlisted in and was accepted into the Air Army Corps in August 1942 at the age of 18. In 1943, he received his commission as a Second Lieutenant and was assigned to the Army Air Base at Clovis, New Mexico. It was during that time that he was assigned to pilot a B-24 dubbed the Hula Wahine, the plane that he was to command throughout the war as a member of the the 446th Bomb Group. During the war, he piloted 31 missions over Germany and his last mission was as the co-pilot of the B-24 “Red Ass,” which led the 8th Air Force attack and was the first bomber over Europe on D-Day. John always remarked how lucky he was during the war as 63% of his squadron did not survive the war. John retired from the Air Force in 1967 as a Major. After the war John met Marilyn Mueller and was married to her until her death in 1999. In 2002 he married Marilyn G. Tracy of Houston, Texas. John also enjoyed a long career in business. He was the vice president of Honolulu Construction & Draying Co., known as HC&D, a co-owner of Hobie Surfboards Hawaii, and a trustee in many high profile bankruptcy cases, including those involving The Hawaii Corporation and the Hamakua Sugar Company. During his spare time John was an expert hiker, climbing both the Matterhorn and Kilimanjaro, and he was also an avid tennis player. He was a past president of the Outrigger Canoe Club. John is survived by his wife, Marilyn G. Tracy, four children, Jay Goss of Honolulu, Mele Majors of Dallas, Jeb Goss of Waikoloa, and Jim Goss of Honolulu, eight grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and three step-children. We will miss you. We couldn’t have asked for a better spouse, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and friend. Funeral services will be held on Friday, January 4, 2013 at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at 11:30 a.m.

- Denotes U.S. Military Veteran