Veteran immortalized in museum
Vietnam combat engineer honored
By CLAUD HODGES
A retired Army sergeant from Chocowinity is the only one of many Vietnam War combat engineers to be chosen to represent the combat engineer position at the Hall of Heroes in the 14th Combat Engineer Battalion museum in Fort Lewis, Washington.
Godley’s memorabilia is on public display in a glass case at the museum.
Also at the museum, three other combat engineers are honored: one from World War I, one from World War II and one from the Korean War.
Like Godley, the other three veterans had donated items on display at the museum that tell some of the story of their lives during those wars.
He keeps photos of his experiences in Vietnam.
Godley has one photo of himself sitting on one of the many bunkers that his company built for other soldiers to use.
Another of his photos shows a deep hole in the ground which was created when he used dynamite to destroy a mine that was buried there.
He said the combat engineers lived in tents and holes while they built the camps, which were used to support helicopters and artillery that was brought to the area.
Godley was in Vietnam during the Tet Offensive I, Tet Offensive II, Tet Counter Offensive I and Tet Counter Offensive II.
Of 12 campaign ribbons won in Vietnam, Godley was in some of the incidents that resulted in him receiving four of the ribbons.
For the final two years of Godley’s Army career, he was a chief instructor at the 1st Infantry Combat Engineer Battalion Academy.
Godley graduated from Chocowinity High School in 1960.
He is married to Julia Cayton Godley. They have one daughter, Billie Godley Powell, and two sons, Rupert Godley Jr. and Coy Allen Godley.