Elmer F. Godwin
July 10, 1920 – February 19, 2009
Service # 12498989
Elmer “Ace” Godwin was born July 10, 1920 in Smithfield, Va. He was educated in a one-room schoolhouse, called the Godwin School, which was built and supported by his family. Looking for a life other than working on the family farm, Godwin moved after high school to Sea Bright, NJ. There, he worked in various jobs, including building many of the jetties along the oceanfront.
World War II marked the beginning of many firsts for Godwin in his breaking of society’s racial barriers. He was a member of the famed Tuskegee Airmen, the all black 332nd Fighter Squadron who became the country’s first black military airmen during segregation.
Godwin disembarked at Taranto, Italy on January 29th 1944 with the 302nd Fighter Squadron, 332nd Fighter Group as a Corporal, Military Occupation Specialty (MOS) 754, Radio Mechanic – AAF which is consistent as being a control tower operator In March 1945 when the 302nd FS was deactivated he was reassigned to the 100th Fighter Squadron.
While there, he received the Good Conduct Medal and the Distinguished Unit Badge.
After the military, Godwin attended Monmouth College and Rutgers University, where he received his B.S. degree. Godwin then worked for 35 years as electronics engineer for the Army’s Electronics Command Research and Development Laboratories at Fort Monmouth in Eatontown, NJ. He was considered a leading international lecturer and authority on wire and cable engineering.
After retiring from the fort in 1979, Godwin became CEO and Director of the International Wire and Cable Symposium (IWCS). This group brought together government and industry representatives from around the world to develop wires and cables in military applications. Godwin was also owner of GEF Associates of Shrewsbury, NJ, an electronics engineering consulting firm. In 2002, IWCS endowed a scholarship in Godwin’s name at Rutgers University. The Elmer “Ace” Godwin scholarship is for qualified high school seniors and college students in need who want to enter the electronic or engineering field of telecommunication.
Craig Huntly, Tuskegee Airmen Subject Matter Expert