William Goehner, the phony first SEAL, meets Dan Noyes

| June 2, 2015

Goehner Noyes

We heard through various channels that this William Goehner fellow had given a talk about his experiences to a group at the USS Hornet Museum in Alameda, California. He told the crowd that he had been awarded a Navy Cross, 3 Silver Stars and 4 Purple Hearts, that he was a 19-year-old Lieutenant Commander, that Richard Widmark had portrayed him in the movie “The Frogmen”, that George Patton had gone looking for him because Hill was so famous in the European Theater as one of the “first Navy SEALs”. Well, of course, none of that was true, and our buddy, Dan Noyes tracked him down;

The problem is that none of it is true. The I-Team started digging and obtained Goehner’s records under the Freedom of Information Act. He did serve in the Navy during WWII, but left as a seaman first class, not a lieutenant commander. He was never in the UDT, and he never received the Navy Cross, Silver Stars, and Purple Hearts.

Noyes: “Are you sure about those medals?”
Goehner: “Oh, yes.”
Noyes: “You’re sure about four Purple Hearts?”
Goehner: “Oh, yes.”

When Noyes gave Mr. Goehner a copy of his actual records from the Navy, he showed a certificate supposedly from the Library of Congress detailing his accomplishments, but then admitted a schoolteacher friend had made it on a computer. Still, Goehner persisted with his tall tales.

He’s another Library of Congress Veterans History Project liar – that means that he has altered history with his tall tales.

Feel free to click over to Dan’s article and participate in the comments and give Dan our support. Yeah, this fellow is old and wheelchair bound, but he’s been telling his lies for decades since he was a young man and fully ambulatory. The internet finally caught up with him and his BS.

Category: Phony soldiers

Comments (65)

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  1. Silentium Est Aureum says:

    Explain to me again why the Library of Congress has this bullshit program?

    And why is it not filed under “Total Fiction”?

    • Jeff Hamman says:

      I had gone through that section when doing research on the US intervention in Lebanon in 1958 and was excited to see a veteran interviewed.

      He went on to say he was there when the Marine Barracks was bombed… in 1958! I was astonished at how they could just stick a camera in front of someone and record anything they say, then include it in the Library of Congress.

      In 75 years nobody will know any different and this will become a part of history. It is an injustice to those that have served and deserve to have history recorded properly.

      • NavymanBill says:

        Yeah, A real creep. I Have a friend-my dog’s breeder-whose dad was one of the Navy corpsmen killed in the block-house in ’83. Knew the Recon Plt Ldr for that unit also. He was having a hard time for a while-survivor guilt-not necessary-he got hurt, too, but it was his men. I hurt for him. These Phony bums should be publicly shamed.

      • Pinto Nag says:

        Oh, it’s being recorded properly, just maybe not in the Library of Congress. But the Internet lives forever.

        William Goehner, for my father, who was a WWII vet and NEVER lied about his service — GO STRAIGHT TO BLISTERING HELL, YOU LYING FUCK.

  2. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    Old and wheelchair bound doesn’t change the fact that a rat fuck of a liar has been stealing valor for decades.

    Another old fool who had once served honorably, but felt compelled to make shit up so he could feel better about who he was at the expense of the people he was fooling with his lies.

    “It is best to live with honor for just a day than with dishonor for many decades; better a short lived celestial swan than a century-lived crow.”

    • NavymanBill says:

      Good comment. I just don’t understand these guys. I get a little “cocktail hour bullshit”/tall stories, but to go on record with the Library of Congress? I just don’t understand that. And the quote is very good also. I’ve written it down.

  3. LIRight says:

    In a wheelchair? Screw him! Every now and then God catches up to these posers, or Dan Noyes, TAH or some of the others.

  4. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    No one wants to whack a guy as old William Goehner, but he wasn’t always old. Old lying SOBs were once young lying SOBs. In 2015, being a WW II Veteran is enough for people to beat a path to your door and want to meet you. But that’s not enough for Goehner. He has to steal valor, the old bastard.

  5. Bobo says:

    Any idea if he did serve, and, if so, what he did, where, and when?

    • Ex-344MP says:

      Apparently he was a Seaman 1st Class and was in the Navy during World War 2.

    • GDContractor says:

      The video shows Noyes handling his FOIA obtained service records but it does not provide any close-ups. My guess is that Guardians of Valor and/or Don Shipley have copies. The word is he did serve during WWII and got out as a Seaman First Class.

      • Dan Noyes says:

        Seaman 1st Class on LST’s. I’ll be
        posting the documents soon.

        • Bill M says:

          Thanks Dan. You do good work.

        • B G says:

          I have known Mr Goehner all of my life. And until the last few years I have not ever heard him talk about the war or his record. Frankly he is a lonely old man who would like to feel relevant to somebody. And given the state of his aged mind I’m sure he truly believes what he is saying. everybody gets old and irrelevant someday, how will YOU meet it?

          • 19Delta says:

            He is relevant toa large number of people, as he’s one of a fast shrinking number of living WWII vets. His “aged mind” did not create that fictional backstory, he’s pretty darn lucid in that video and interview.

          • 2/17 Air Cav says:

            “And until the last few years I have not ever heard him talk about the war or his record.” He told his lies for posterity in 2004 and Dan Noyes’ report says that Goehner’s own son, with whom Noyes spoke, has been hearing his father’s stories all of his life. So, whatever it is your selling, no one here is buying.

          • NavymanBill says:

            Sorry B G. As 2/ 17 Air Cav is saying, no one here is buying that argument. I have an old uncle who will be 95 y/o in Aug- 1st Lt Bombardier in B-24s in the Pacific-great guy-still pretty lucid- and he doesn’t go around spouting any of that nonsense. We’re all proud of him for having served. And that’s PLENTY!! And Goehner makes him look like Jimmy Doolittle!! His family should be “editing” his comments and activities. I’d want my family to do the same for me if I ever get to the point where I’m spouting outrageous or dumb things.

            • B G says:

              I’m telling you I have known him all my life. Yes he is a goof ball. And yes his oldest son is a goof ball also. And frankly I feel sorry for them and I am thankful I am not blood related to them. You won’t agree with me but I don’t think he is doing any harm because anyone who actually believes his wild stories must be a fool anyway. I don’t see why America glorifies military service anyway. My father lost his left leg in WWII and I don’t think there is a day that goes by where he doesn’t wish he had his leg back. I don’t ridicule sad lonely people, I just feel sorry for them. if it makes you feel better to call him a jack ass, I don’t think you would be the first.

        • 2T451USAF says:

          My grandfather commanded LST647. There were hundreds of LSTs, but I’d be interested in knowing which one Goehner crewed.

  6. Combat Historian says:

    I wonder if this dude goehner served in the same outfit with earl littman, the secret combat naked swimmer…

  7. Ex-344MP says:

    This guy is a tool. He has been telling these stories to his family for decades. For what?

    Really feel bad for his family who now has to look at this man and wonder if anything he ever told him about the war was real.

    By the way, Don’t new nickname: Dan the Man. Keep up the good work.

  8. Kat Amara says:

    “…former cartographer, retired policeman, inventor, Santa Clara University School of Law alumni, self-taught mechanic, carpenter, veterans rights activist and storied World War II hero.” This is from an article in 2011, is any of this true? EX-police officer, lawyer?

    And a man, a LCDR Mark Chetman, is he legit? I don’t see him mentioned except in that article.


  9. Dave Hardin says:

    One of the responses from the Veterans History Project sent to me back in Feb. The whole thing is festering with fraud.

    Dear Mr. Hardin,
    Thank you for your writing to the Veterans History Project. We have notified senior staff and they will review your complaint.
    For the record, the Library of Congress does not verify the accuracy of the accounts described by participants in the Veterans History Project. This is both a policy based on resources (over 400 collections are received a month) and because the histories are the personal recollections and perspectives of participating individuals and are not intended as a substitute for an official record of the federal government or of military service. Individual stories are voluntarily submitted to the Veterans History Project and are placed in the Library’s permanent collections as received.
    Again, thank you for notifying us.
    Veterans History Project Staff
    Library of Congress

    It appears they have no intention of cleaning up their act.

    • Nicki says:

      Yeah, but BLATANT LIES? The least they could do is a modicum of research!

      • MrBill says:

        At a minimum they should obtain the FOIA info that any citizen could request.

      • Guard Bum says:

        Nicki, Nicki, Nicki, anything with “Congress” in the name is absolutely going to be full of lies. LoL

    • Eric says:

      Well, it is the Library of Congress after all. Imagine all the bullshit they have to record from politicians in DC, why would stories about veterans be any different?

      What it comes down to is laziness. They aren’t worried about “history” they are only worried about records.

    • Jeff Hamman says:

      The very LEAST they could do is publish a disclaimer that they cannot verify the validity of any of the stories.

      There is an implied accuracy to these stories when some of them are just ramblings.

    • NavymanBill says:

      That stinks. They should ask for verification 201 File DD 214-what ever was in use at the time.

      • justsayin says:

        And who is going to authenticate the DD214 and make sure it is not a forgery?

        • Hondo says:

          If the individual signs a SF180 giving the LOC access to his/her records for verification purposes the records would be from official sources. Those are presumed correct absent compelling evidence to the contrary.

        • NavymanBill says:

          Oh, I know-there’s plenty of forgers, fakes, etc, but they could verify it with the specific branch. With a lot of these guys, just the dates (Vietnam veteran who went in the army in 1976? Really??)would be a quick disqualifier. And Hondo makes a good point allowing access to their records by the LOC. I’ve dealth with the Navy on that stuff. They KNOW what is real and what is baloney. I’m sure the other branches work similarly.

    • Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

      Well that’s a response Dave, it is a really shitty response they gave you though. I’ve touched up the reply a little below to reflect the reality of the current project underway.

      For the record, the Library of Congress does not verify the accuracy of the accounts described by participants in the Veterans History Project. Consequently, the Library of Congress is placing the stories of known liars and frauds into the permanent record of the United States Government instead of the truths upon which this nation was founded. We will continue to demean and misrepresent the stories of actual veterans with honorable service by accepting these lies until the project formally closes out.

  10. Reb says:

    Young asshole to diaper wearing asswipe..go to hell with the rest of the liars…

  11. ChipNASA says:

    Someone ought break this fucker’s legs…Oh….wait.

    • USMCE8Ret says:

      I can’t help but wonder if he’s actually disabled. I’ll bet the wheelchair is bullshit too.

      (Guy should be dumped over in his chair).

  12. Guard Bum says:

    My grandfather who raised me was a pilot in WWII (PBYs) and used to tell stories about the various cultures and living conditions and funny aspects of the war but never once did he mention anything about the bad things.

    When he passed in the early 90s I discovered his flight logs and various official documents about flying in Greenland, I found a bunch of photos including one of him with Marlena Dietrich (apparently on a USO type visit), and I found some stuff from when he was an engineering officer in the pre-war Coast Guard in the Bering Sea.

    I am telling this to relay how much regret I have over not really sitting down with him and pressing him for his history. He had several Air Medals and campaign medals from WW II but he never shot anyone down, never sunk a ship, and though he retired in 1959 as a Captain he was a very modest man and yet he was always my hero.

    All of us need to remember to sit and really talk to the real Veterans who aren’t slinging bullshit because now the Korean and Viet Nam vets are passing in large numbers and even the guy who was a cook or a truck driver have honorable and interesting tales to tell.

  13. Green Thumb says:

    I bet the VFW loves that picture of him at the top rocking their hot dog hat.

    Just an old, gnarly turd.

  14. Jarhead says:

    When the old faker croaks, he now has a place to be interred. Earlier today I paid for a grave site at the IHOP cemetery. BTW, for your information it is the “I Hate Outed Posers” cemetery in Bullshit, Mississippi. Always an honor for a deserved veteran to be buried in Bullshit; especially since he’s been immersed up to his neck for much of his life.

  15. John "Faker 6" Giduck says:

    William Goehner is living my wet dream. If only I could get my real fake American hero stories in the Library of Congress…

    I guess that hope really does spring eternal, although it sprung for donuts.


    John “Faker 6” Giduck

  16. JarHead Pat says:

    Fucking oldass POS, he is as bad as that cunt giblet from OH CANADA, Doesn’t anyone ever check these things out before you go and honor someone.What a fucking asshat.

  17. USMCE8Ret says:

    According to this article, he apparently has a history of lying (according to his son).


    • Dan Noyes says:

      I also reported the bit about his son. You know, it pisses me off that local paper looks at the records that I gave Goehner, and presents it as original reporting. I’ll be posting the documents soon.

      • ChipNASA says:

        As is always deserved by you….here you go….

      • Bobo says:

        Thanks, Dan. I’m looking forward to seeing what he really did, especially given the defender’s claim that he must have PTSD.

  18. Hondo says:

    Dan Noyes: I’ll go out on a limb here. I think I can speak for all TAH regular readers and contributors when I say, “Many thanks.”

    We certainly appreciate those in your business who do their homework – and expose the liars out there. You’re certainly one of the “good guys”.

  19. A Proud Infidel®™ says:

    He claims to have been “The First SEAL”, a title given to Roy Boehm (A real-life horsehide-tough old school badass), referred to by Richard Marcinco (CPT, USN, Ret.) as “The Godfather of All SEALS” in his books, fiction and nonfiction. I see Goehner the gunk-head as yet another example of what Don Shipley (SCPO, USN, Ret,) was referring to when he said in a news interview (available on YouTube) that “Most of these guys will take their lies with them all the way to the grave.”.
    I couldn’t give a slug snot-eating asswipe muddafuxx less how old posers are, if they’ve been spouting their lies for decades, I asy “Do the crime, do the time.”.

  20. Just an Old Dog says:

    What a festering boil on the ass of humanity. There are three types of people that a good society trusts and has respect/sympathy for.
    Elderly People
    The Disabled

    He uses those statuses to defy those that call him out.

  21. Seabee Guy says:

    My Great Uncle, William “Willy” McCormack USMC, survived Corregidor, the Bataan Death March, and 42 months in captivity with the Japanese and never lied or embellished his records. This asshole’s whole life is a lie. I wish Uncle Willy was alive today to beat this douchebag with his own wheelchair.

  22. CavMedic says:

    Holy Gods and ancestors.

    You served in the navy in WW2. You don’t have to church that shit up.

  23. Gary Genest says:

    He told me his story at a microbrew bar in Morgan hill. I was suspicious of the story. I went home and tried to do a little research on him. What I found seemed to somewhat confirm his story. Obviously, it was incorrect information about him.